I imagine many churches nearby, like ours, are wrapping up another catechetical year and collecting registrations for September classes which seem so far away. This time of year is bittersweet for me, as we bid farewell to students, especially our Confirmation and First Eucharist kids and their parents. I find myself wondering, did we teach them enough? Will they come back? Were we able to convey the depth and breadth of our God’s love? Did we do more than just transmit information…were we able to reach some hearts as well?
I do realize that most of these questions I pose repeatedly to myself don’t have easy answers and often immeasurable metrics. But I will continue to ask them, to offer our families the best that we can give them as we journey together in our shared Catholic faith.
I also know that some of the best lessons of the heart take place when we are gathered around the Eucharistic table with our brothers and sisters each weekend as well as when we encounter Christ in others at work, in our neighborhoods, in our homes, or in our schools. These life lessons help us to see firsthand how we are to love God and others, and often these lessons are neither neat or perfectly executed. Some weeks we return to church the following Sunday feeling jubilant, and other times we come back deflated or discouraged, but we come back again and again, seeking nourishment, comfort, peace…
I hope this summer our families will continue to factor in Sundays or Saturday Vigil Masses around all the fun summertime activities that appear, like family reunions, camping trips, graduation parties, weddings and soccer/baseball/lacrosse tournaments. Let’s look for one another on the weekends so that we can continue to grow in God’s love and share that love with all we encounter on the days between the Sundays.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7