The last day of Religious Education classes usually carries a mixed bag of emotions. There is a bit of sadness that the children are growing up so fast. I have watched some of them every year since they came to class in 1st grade. There is some anxiety when evaluating what we do in Religious Education. Did we reach them? Did we give them something to file away for later so that faith will help them get through difficult times? Did we help them understand the enormity of God’s love? Did we help them understand that God’s way is not about control, but about protecting us from the things that can hurt us, diminish us or keep us from reaching our full potential? Of course, there is also joy. I watch the faces of the younger children who have recently received the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time. I see in those faces hope for the future. I see in those faces great possibilities. I see in those faces the kind of trust that God desires from all of us.
Today is the last day of Religious Education classes until September and during that time I will be praying that all of the young people will come to understand a little bit more of what God is trying to help them understand so that those expressions of trust will not be replaced by doubt that God has many wonderful blessings waiting for them.