The children in school frequently ask me if God can read our minds. Yes, of course! To me it's an easy question (I'm often asked harder ones), and I'm surprised by the students' reactions to that answer. They are taken aback. Really? God knows what I'm thinking?! Yes, he does—he's God. “For God is greater than our hearts and knows everything” (1 Jn 3:20).
Our second reading is from St. John's first letter (he wrote three). In this letter—actually more of a theological treatise than a letter—John lays out the reality that we are privileged to be sons and daughters of God. When we die, we shall be like God, for we shall see him as he is (cf. 1 Jn 3:2).
John says that we show our love for God and others by what we do and what we believe. What we say doesn't matter all that much. Anyone can say “I love you.” The person who sacrifices and lives for someone other than himself is the one who truly loves.
John wants us to work on our hearts. A good heart—one that loves God and neighbor—will make us free, happy, and blessed.
Back to the kids. There's nothing to fear about God being able to read our minds. Yes, we all have bad thoughts from time to time. The bigger question is, is our heart oriented toward God and toward the good? Because that is what determines our character.
The way to have a good heart and a good character is to simply stay connected to Jesus Christ, as we hear in the Gospel. “I am the true vine...remain in me, as I remain in you” (Jn 15:1-8).
Goodness is not just about avoiding sin. It is about abiding in Christ. If we pray, receive the Eucharist at Mass each Sunday, and open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit, then we will have good hearts and we will be good people.
Congratulations to our second graders who made their First Holy Communion this past Saturday! We are very proud of you and excited to have you now receiving Jesus at Mass. Thank you again to the teachers and catechists who helped prepare the students and organize the Mass.
Sunday, April 29th at the 9:30am Mass is the Confirmation Sponsor commitment Mass. CCD will practice for Confirmation on Wednesday of this week. The following day, Thursday, is the actual Confirmation Mass at 7pm! We welcome Bishop Perry. Please keep the 7th graders in your prayers.
The school May Crowning will take place in the church at 2pm on Tuesday, May 1st. That same Tuesday evening I will be giving a Theology Talk at 7pm in the chapel on the apparitions of Mary, such as Lourdes, Fatima, Knock, Guadalupe, and others.
You certainly have noticed the City of Chicago is redoing the sidewalk and curbs along Touhy around the parish campus, which is a good thing, though I apologize (on behalf of Mayor Emmanuel!) for the inconvenience. Once this is finished, the city will start on repaving the streets. I will keep you posted. I will also keep you posted on the status of the new women's bathroom in the back of the church, which is just about complete!
I hope you all foster your relationship to the Blessed Mother during this month of May. She can help mold your heart and make you a loving and joyful person.
Yours in Christ,