Be Courageous

07-31-2022From the Pastor's DeskMsgr. Ellsworth R. Walden

It is very easy to get upset and riled up by reading and listening to news reports. Reporters have their own slant on how we should look at what is happening. Too much anger only makes the walls between us higher and thicker. It might sound naive but one of the best things we can do is get beyond worry and anger and what we cannot do, and embrace the good that is right in front of us. That is exactly what Jesus did. He did not overthrow the Romans occupying Israel during His earthly life nor did He support them. Instead He proclaimed the Good News of God’s love and was the Good News of God’s love. Every day in our homes, community, and parish true love and goodness are seen.

One the prayers that I pray in the Breviary on the feast of a saint who is a pastor is: “On your walls Jerusalem, I have set my watchman to guard you.” What dangers are there that God wants us to be aware of and not be injured by? In our nation at this time we see tremendous anger, rage, and organized attacks, all centered around abortion. Yes abortion is a choice, a choice to take a living human being from the womb of his or her mother. A few weeks ago I had the joy of spending time with my family in Greenport. One of my sisters came with her daughter and granddaughter and we stayed with my brother and his wife. The granddaughter was Paige, a beautiful little girl that was taken from her mother’s womb at 24 weeks because she was dying. She weighed 14 ounces and was ten inches long. Now she is over four years old. I was amazed and delighted to see how full of life she was. She was non-stop motion and talking. I enjoyed her company. As I was reading a book with her she hugged me and said, “I love you.” How sad that even though the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, children at 24 weeks and even up to the day of birth are able to be aborted in our nation and especially our state. The rage to defend abortion is the work of evil.

We have installed security cameras in our church and have the number to call the police if people disrupt our Masses or threaten to do damage to our church building (911). There will never be peace in our nation or any country or group of people as long as abortion is legal, promoted, and defended by the government. What is our response? First and foremost PRAY. At every Mass in our parish we pray for an end to abortion. It is also important and helpful to make that petition part of our daily prayers. Then we get into the sticky area of our responsibility as we vote and support candidates and elected officials. What responsibility do we have? Why or how can we justify giving our support to those who are committed to passing laws to enshrine abortion and eliminating all laws that limit them? 

What business do I have as a priest in opening this door? “On your walls Jerusalem, I have set my watchman to guard you.” We are all responsible for our response to Jesus and His invitation of follow Him through this world and live with Him forever in heaven. Jesus was unjustly condemned and crucified. The majority in power prevailed. Where are they in eternity? Did they repent or did they die with hardened, smug hearts? There is a slogan that says, “Don’t drink and drive.” To do so is to endanger others and ourselves. Politicians and those who support and promote abortion cry it is a woman’s right to choose. To be human is to have free will. The choices we make are either virtuous and life giving or sinful and death dealing. Sinful choices put us in the deadly web of devil. Support of those who make evil legal and seemingly free of repercussions puts us on road to division with one another and God. At this point in time who among us is so foolish and naive to think we can justify our support of anyone who promotes and defends an evil that has already killed more than 60 million children in the womb in our nation and continues to increase that number by an average of more than 1,600 babies every day of the year?

I offer 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10 for our prayerful reflection.

“So we are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”