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Fr. John's Column - April 30, 2017

I admit that it has been a long time since I checked out a book from a library. It is just so easy now to order any book online or have it downloaded to an electronic device. Then it is “mine”. I can read it at my own pace, mark it as I wish, and not worry if I lose it. It is after all “mine”. The principle of a library is a great thing. It is putting Christian values into action. The idea is that many things are owned essentially in common and available for use by others – this is how the early Christians lived. We heard about this last week in our first reading. It is how Sisters, priests, and Brothers living in community continue to interact today.

The purpose of owning in common and sharing is not for the economic benefit it provides. It is also not about limiting what a person might own individually, nor is it solely connected to the idea that then all will have and no one will be without. The idea of collectively owning and sharing is that it helps one appreciate and maintain a sense of gratitude – that everything is a gift. This principle is the foundation for every spirituality, morality, and commandment. Nothing can be claimed as our own and nothing comes to us by right.

Children are typically required to ask for permission, whether it is to possess something, use something, go somewhere, or do something. We often relate asking permission with childhood and many long for the day when they no longer need to ask for that authorization or consent. We are taught to “seize the day”, “claim what is rightfully ours”, “go after the gold coin”, and “work toward ownership”. Anything less is seen not as a virtue, but as a fault.

Quite often we hear how Jesus said that the children and the poor can more easily enter into heaven than the rich. He is not idolizing their innocence or poverty, but instead acknowledging their sense of dependence.

This weekend and next we celebrate with many of our children as they receive the Eucharist for the first time. The emphasis here is that they “receive” as we all receive. The word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving”. It is one thing in our lives that we truly can only receive; it cannot be purchased or made by human hands. It is the ultimate reminder that we are dependent upon our God. We are not the creators but the receivers. As a result our hearts must burn with a sense of gratefulness. By consuming the Eucharist it does not now become ours, rather we become it: we become Christ. We must now go out and live for him whom we received.

We pray for our children receiving the Eucharist for the first time and for us as well. We pray for one another that we too may recognize Christ in the sharing of his Body and Blood as those disciples recognized him in the breaking of bread on the road to Emmaus. Let us appreciate the wonder and innocence with which the children receive their First Holy Communion, and reflect and appreciate that same wonder and innocence ourselves. For nowhere else but in the celebration of the Mass during Eucharist can we fully partake of the essence of Jesus Christ.

Next week at the 5:00 pm Mass we will be blessed to celebrate with our high school students the Sacrament of Confirmation. Bishop Powers will be with us as an incredible group of young people receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Please pray for them as they are anointed and become one with us in the fullness of the faith. 

Fr. John Gerritts



Friday, April 28
9:00 AM Mass at the School
5:00 PM Wedding Rehearsal
6:00 PM Father and Son Game Night at School

~ Saturday, April 29
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions
11:00 AM Baptism
2:00 PM Wedding
5:00 PM Mass
6:00 PM Oasis

~ Sunday, April 30
8:30 AM Mass
9:30 AM Mission Trip Parent/Youth Meeting
9:30 AM RCIA
10:30 AM Mass
10:30 AM Bible Explorers
2:00 PM RCIA 

~ Monday, May 1
8:00 AM Mass

9:00 AM Bakery and Produce Giveaway
9:00 AM Blood Drive
6:00 PM Boy Scouts
6:00 PM Communion Minister Training

~Tuesday, May 2
8:00 AM Mass
8:45 AM Divine Mercy Cenacle
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours
5:00 PM Social Concerns Committee
6:00 PM Family Rosary
6:00 PM Knights of Columbus Officers
6:00 PM Music Rehearsal
7:00 PM Knights of Columbus Meeting

~ Wednesday, May 3
8:00 AM  Mass 
10:00 AM Mass at CCH

6:00 PM Confirmation Rehearsal

~Thursday, May 4
6:45 AM Toastmasters
8:00 AM  Mass

9:30 AM Bible Study
10:30 AM Mass at Woodland Hill
1:00 PM CCW Charity Quilters
5:00 PM Youth Choir
7:00 PM Praise Company Rehearsal

~ Friday, May 5
CCW Convention
9:00 AM Mass at the School

~ Saturday, May 6
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions
1:00 PM Funeral for Gary Feucht
5:00 PM Mass and Confirmation
5:00 PM Epic
6:00 PM RCIA Inquiry

~ Sunday, May 7
8:30 AM Mass
8:30 AM Baptism
9:30 AM RCIA Inquiry
10:30 AM Mass
10:30 AM Bible Explorers
11:30 AM RCIA 
11:30 AM Baptisms
2:00 PM First Communion Mass

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