P.C.Pop with Pablo

Faith and Leadership – Action is the Answer not Pity

In Faith & Leadership, Malavenda, Pablo Malavenda, Philosophy on March 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

My Lenten Reflection


I am blessed to be in a position to serve others through my work with St. Thomas Aquinas Center and with the Lafayette Urban Ministry. I am also blessed with a close and loving family who I adore and work very hard every moment of every day to be a worthy husband, a devoted father, and a caring son. A day does not go by that I do not reflect on Matthew 25:31-46 and the parable of the sheep and goats.

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

At St. Tom’s my work behind the scenes is quite fulfilling. One aspect of my role at St. Tom’s is overseeing the Mother Teresa Fund. The Mother Teresa Fund is an emergency financial assistance program that offers a safety net for families in crisis. Each day I listen to stories of hard working families who need a small bit of assistance. I am humbled by their strength and persistence in a time of great crisis in their lives. Such a little bit of kindness and a small amount of money from St. Tom’s is saving lives, enriching spirits, and giving hope.

In my work with LUM, my primary role is to promote the various services and programs offered by LUM through social media and traditional marketing. Whether it is offering safe housing for the homeless, emergency financial assistance through the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, educational enrichment programs for children through LUM Camp, the After School Program, the Achieve high school program or the 5th Quarter Summer Learning program; or food assistance through the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry – LUM gives me an opportunity to serve families in our community in transition or crisis. Promoting such worthy initiatives is a joy.

Who am I to judge? How may I serve more? Am I really worthy enough?

I am reminded every day that I am merely a sinner but I have been given gifts from the Holy Spirit and called to serve others. AndThe_Inspiration_of_Saint_Matthew_by_Caravaggio when I serve, I must not judge and I must always try to do more – to be more worthy and more grateful for how “rich” I am. I can and do pray for others less fortunate than I – but my prayers must be followed by action – otherwise I am only offering sympathy and pity to others which is not helpful to anyone. God wants us to serve others as Jesus was called to do. Forgive others as God has and stop punishing others for their past or current mistakes or misfortunes.

On a broader level, we must not judge other “nations” – we must not just hope and pray that the world will get better – we must stand up for others, speak up when we see injustices, advocate for those who are marginalized or disenfranchised, fight for peace, and take action to make positive change for EACH member of our communities not just the majority.

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did NOT do for one of these least ones, you did NOT do for me.’

Every day I strive to be a good role model for others especially my children. Modeling that we must not only pray for others but we must also be servants – serving and giving without fear, without judgment, without hesitation. We must not let our prejudice and ignorance stop us from serving others. We have all needed the help of others – and seen friends and family members struggle due to unemployment, addiction, incarceration, relationship problems, death, and illness. If we turn our back on those in the most desperate need – it is neither neighborly nor Christian. We must give of our time, give from our gifts and talents, and give monetary gifts and from our material possessions – our tithing. And when we serve we must do so with grace, empathy, and humility — giving others hope and offering love and dignity.

Matthew 25 gives me a guidepost to live my life – and I might get it right 75% of the time. The important thing is that I am reflecting each day on how I can be a servant in some way, to someone each and every day.

And in reality – if I am honest with myself – my service is saving and enriching my soul as much as it is assisting others.

Matthew 25:31-46

The Judgment of the Nations. *31f “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, 32g and all the nations* will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35h For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ 40i And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41*j Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42k For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ 44* Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ 45 He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ 46l And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

About the author

For those of you who know me — I must explain why I, of all people, am writing a Lenten Reflection. I have been a Catholic my entire life and love it. But I have never considered myself a pious or even slightly religious person. A couple of years ago when my pastor asked me to use my “gifts” to serve the church, I was honored. Subsequently I have facilitated several parish staff retreats, presented workshops on leadership for parishioners, and developed a capstone leadership program for college Catholic seniors. My pastor must have been pleased with my work and confident in my leadership training, organizational development skills, and work ethic — because three months ago he offered me a job (paid) with the church as their “parish administrator.” I have enjoyed serving my church and assisting my pastor in advancing the ministries, improving the operations, and creating a healthy work environment. What I was not looking forward to or at all comfortable with was the “religious” part of the job. Our weekly staff meeting often consist of reflecting on the readings and Gospel for the upcoming weekend — yikes. This was the epitome of being “outside of my comfort zone.” To my surprise, I get it — and more importantly no one chuckles when I offer my opinion. Then I found out that every church staff member must contribute to the daily Lenten Reflection Booklet. I reached a new level of anxiety — but I faced my fear, was the first one to sign up, and submitted my reflection early. Part of my strategy for signing up first was that I was able to select Matthew 25 — a reading that I have come to know through my work over the past couple of years with the Lafayette Urban Ministry. So — that is my story. I hope this helps put the above reflection into some perspective — and gives you something meaningful to ponder during the Lenten season.

Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

WHERE DO WE LIVE? — I want all 3

In Movies, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture, Uncategorized on December 1, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I Want All Three — Frozen, 12 Years a Slave and Blue Jasmine


In the ongoing series – Where Do We Live? – I am baffled by our local movie theater company/monopoly (Goodrich Quality Theaters). Two frustrations we experienced during just one visit yesterday. They are as follows:


* FROZEN — was only being screened in 3D at 9 p.m. Really? Wouldn’t there be more people wanting to see a Disney movie at an earlier show time than 9 p.m. PLUS — all reviews say this movie should be seen in 3D; if not for the Frozen movie itself, but more so for the opening animated short which has groundbreaking animation — and Mickey Mouse.

* 12 YEARS A SLAVE — Arrived Friday, November 22, Gone Wednesday, November 27. Reason given they needed as many screens as possible for Frozen and Catching Fire. REALLY?? Only 4 days and 5 nights? Why can’t I have all three movies? The manager suggested we go to Indy to see it.

Lastly, not to put too fine a point on it…

* BLUE JASMINE — Woody Allen’s latest movie starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard,Blue_Jasmine_poster & Sally Hawkins — NEVER ever screened here. We’ve asked and asked to not avail. Yesterday we didn’t even bother asking about again. We were too tired.

Indianapolis is 60+ miles south of us and not a convenient excursion when you have two teenage kids — one who doesn’t like movies and the other that enjoys anything superhero. I just can’t believe that this community with a major university with over 40,000 students cannot sustain at least one screen for what used to be called “art house movies.” BTW — 12 Years a Slave which has raked in millions and will undoubtedly garner several Oscar nomination and Blue Jasmine with Cate and Alec are hardly “art house.” Even the Butler took forever to come to town and did not stay long — and that one has Oprah for goodness sakes.


Why is there no market for culture? Why is this part of the world a cultural void? If I am wrong (which I am sure some of your screaming right now) — then why don’t you demand better? And since the closest IMAX is also in Indianapolis then 3D needs to be offered at least for movies which we filmed for 3D.

I am greedy and selfish to want all three? Is there hope? Where the heck do we live, people??

Lou Reed, I miss you already

In Malavenda, Music, Pablo Malavenda, Pop Culture on October 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Lewis Allan “Lou” Reed

March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013

lou reed banner

“There’s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out”

- Lou Reed

Velvet Underground was one of the first bands that truly BLEW MY MIND. After a short time, the vinyl disc was noticeably worn —  and I had to listen with my headphones on or very, very loudly.

Early Lou Reed scared me — in a very good way. So real — so very real — that I was not really sure if it was safe — but I liked it — a lot. Lou was singing about sex, drugs, race, religion, bisexuality, inter-racial relationships, politics, and the dark parts of our minds. He gave us permission to be unique and be proud to be freaks. Lou Reed accepted everyone but the haters. He respected us all for just being. He gave us permission to express ourselves, appreciate the incredible beauty of the world and to live for the moment. I was also starstruck that he was friends with and collaborated with Andy Warhol. To me, he epitomized New York City and made me love NYC even more than I already had.

I never heard music the same way again. Velvet Underground and Lou Reed’s music was urgent yet folksy; genuine rock music but with pop influences and melodies; stark and beautiful; fragile yet in-your-face confident. Lou was an authentic rock star, punk rocker, story teller, glam rocker, metal head, folk star, guitar god, rapper, crooner, misfit, troubadour, and pop star. I couldn’t believe that this music was making me feel so much.

I remained extremely loyal to Lou Reed through the years; and even really enjoyed some of his later works like New Sensations and Magic & Loss. I’ve bought albums just because they featured a guest appearance by Lou Reed — one highlight is “Some Kind of Nature” on the Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach album (2010). I have grown to appreciate Lou Reed, the poet — Lou Reed, the activist – the cantankerous Lou Reed — Lou Reed, the actor – Lou Reed, the supernatural artist/human being — Lou Reed, the legend, the hall of famer.

Lou Reed has had such a tremendous impact on me that I never thought about him not being here — being real — making us face our fears, face reality — making music — blowing our minds! Luckily we will always have the music — Velvet Underground & Nico, VU White Light/White Heat, New York, The Blue Mask, Transformer, Rock n Roll Animal, Peel Slowly and See…and more.

May you be at peace, Lou.

My thoughts and prayers to your partner, Laurie Anderson.

Man — I miss you so much already.

THANK YOU, Lou Reed!



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