"If You're Happy, Let Your Face Know"

John Powell, SJ, once said, “If you’re happy, let your face know.” It is a reminder to look in the mirror occasionally and see if we look like someone who believes the Good News of the Gospel, someone who believes in God’s unconditional love for us, someone who truly believes the Easter mysteries we have just celebrated: Jesus’ triumph over sin and death.

There was an ancient tradition in the church that the Monday after Easter was “Joke Day.” In honor of the Good News of the Resurrection, Christians told jokes to each other. Since we are still in the Easter season, I’m offering some items that I hope bring a smile to your face. Let’s begin with a few things little children have said:

A father was telling his 6-year-old daughter that someday she would have feelings for boys. She said, “I already have feelings for boys. He said, “Really?” “Yes,” she replied, “They make me mad.”

A four-year-old asked his mother, “Can we get a kitten?” She said, “No, I’m allergic. We can’t be in the same house.” He said, “You could sleep outside.”

A 5-year-old said, “Grandma is so good with kids, why doesn’t she have any of her own?”

And here are three comments kindergartners made to their teachers:

“You’re pretty–for an old person.”

“You aren’t as mean as some kids say you are–only loud.”

“I named my bunny after you.”

Let’s move on to three short videos. The first is a video of a 70-year-old woman who–in the midst of hurricane strength wind and rain, dutifully returned her grocery cart to the corral in the parking lot at Walmart:

She was featured on the news for her good deed. Walmart awarded her a trophy with a little grocery cart on it and free groceries for a year–and the groceries would be delivered to her car! Coincidentally, the name of the place where this happened is Hurricane, West Virginia! (Do you always put the cart into the cart corral?… just wondering!)

Video #2 shows a 19-year-old young man giving CPR to an injured squirrel. The action was caught by police body camera and reported by the local news.


And now, here’s Mary Maxwell, delivering the invocation for the “Home Instead” dinner. I think you’ll enjoy her 7 minute prayer to God about growing older:

PS: A big thank you to all the men and women who attended the retreat day for the St. Petersburg Diocese last Saturday in Tampa. About 80 people came–and they inspired me by their presence and their various ministries in the Church. Thank you to Sabrina for inviting me and for taking care of so many of the details for the day. Also, I enjoyed my time with Pat Livingston and her husband Howard… and with all the SND’s ministering in Florida. And finally, special thanks to Sisters Donna and Renetta for their wonderful hospitality!

If you’d like to respond to today’s reflection and/or videos, please do so below. In keeping with the joyful Easter spirit, perhaps you might have a joke or two to share with us. We always love hearing from you!


  1. John E Hopkins on April 29, 2019 at 5:38 am

    Good Morning!

    Here’s one: When my daughter Kate was four (she’s now thirty-five), she insisted she could get dressed and ready all by herself. When my wife went into her room to check on her progress, she noticed Kate had put her shoes on the wrong feet. When my wife informed of her of this, Kate replied in exasperation: “These are my feet!”

    One more: Kate comes home from kindergarten and tells us she knows all about the pilgrims, including the name of the boat they sailed over in: “The Cauliflower!”

    • Carol on May 3, 2019 at 8:26 am

      John, these 2 made me giggle & laugh out loud….thanks for sharing!

  2. Rosanne Coffey on April 29, 2019 at 7:22 am

    Thank you Sr. Melanie for the reminder to laugh and look for the good news in our world. Also, I appreciate your suggestion to look in the mirror to see if I look like a believer of the resurrection. Your Monday blog is a vital part of my weekly spiritual growth and I am forever grateful for your words of wisdom.

  3. Ginger Haug on April 29, 2019 at 8:39 am

    This reminded me of the old song, If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands, if you’re happy and you know it your face will surely show it…

  4. NANCY MATRAS on April 29, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Is it Monday morning and laughter pierces the walls of my home – this is the best prescription a doctor can order refills to the max!

  5. Roseann on April 29, 2019 at 8:59 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mary Maxwell! I just laughed all the way through her speech. God Bless and Happy Easter.

  6. Pete on April 29, 2019 at 9:00 am

    What a great way to start a Monday. Thank you also for April 27 in ‘Living Faith.’

  7. Missy Butler on April 29, 2019 at 9:11 am

    While teaching my 4 yo daughter( now 31) about prayer she asked pray what. I told her about anything you want to talk to God about- any thing you think about. She proceeded to pray- Dear God, please help me know is Big Bird real?

  8. Lin Pobjecky on April 29, 2019 at 9:26 am

    When my son, Mark, was in preschool he had a substitute teacher one day. He tried out her knowledge of the preschool’s rules. She asked him if his teacher allowed them to play in a certain restricted area. His response to her was, “When she’s not looking she does!” He’s grown into a Special Forces soldier and I imagine he still tests the limits.

  9. Steve Hadwiger on April 29, 2019 at 9:33 am

    To add another line of humor, yesterday on FB’s Oldtimer was an expression, “If you’re happy and you know it, it’s your meds.”

  10. Jean Canatsey on April 29, 2019 at 9:38 am

    What a great start to the morning! You’d think I would have any # of cute stories to relate after raising 8 children and having a multitude of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. However, I’m old!

  11. Carol Anne Schmidt on April 29, 2019 at 9:48 am


  12. Ann Michalcik on April 29, 2019 at 10:16 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Retreat last Saturday. Wish I could remember all your jokes. I’ve enjoyed your Monday messages for several years, but was too shy to approach you last Saturday. Hope many more people sign up to see your message.

  13. Sister Beverly Palumbo, RSM on April 29, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Thanks so much….Dearest Sister Melanie and God bless . Sister Beverly

  14. Rhea on April 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for a truly wonderful, prayerful, fun , and inspirational day on Saturday at St. Mary’s.

  15. Vicki on April 29, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    I so appreciate you.
    Thank you for the humor today.

  16. Rose on April 29, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    My nephew was trying to compliment my grand-nephew on his new boots. “Hey Dylan, those are really cool! What brand are they?” Indignant and exasperated, the little guy replied, “They’re brand new!”

  17. Maggie on April 29, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    That was a super way to start the week‼️
    Thank you Sister.

  18. Joe Johnson on April 29, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    a chicken goes into the library, walks up to the librarian, and says, “Book.”
    The librarian says, “You want a book?”
    ” Book. ”
    “Any book?”
    ” Book”
    So the librarian gives the chicken a novel and off it goes!
    An hour later the chicken comes back and says, “Book- book.”
    The librarian says, “Now you want 2 books?”
    ” Book- book. ”
    So she gives the chicken two novels. The chicien leaves but again comes back later.
    “Three books?”
    ” Book-book-book. ”
    So the librarian gives the chicken three books, but she decides ti follow the chicken and find out what’s going on. And the chicken goes down the alley, out of town, and toward the woods, and down to the rivef, down to the swamp, and there is a bullfrog.
    The chicken sets the books down by him.
    The bullfrog looks at the books and says, “Reddit….reddit…redditt…”

  19. Chris on April 30, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Sr. Melannie,
    As always, I enjoy your Monday morning blog.
    Wanted to say that I always return my shopping cart to the return, however, looking at the extreme weather, I don’t think I would have that day. I was glad to know that Walmart rewarded.
    Mary Maxwell was GREAT!!! Not only what she said, but her delivery was right on.
    Happy Easter, happy face 🙂

  20. Kathy Batko on May 1, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Loved Mary Maxwell’s prayer. Have heard her before in Omaha and her delivery is always right on. Don’t know how she keeps a straight face.

    I met you once at a retreat at the Benedictine Retreat House is Schuyler, Nebraska. Love your Sunflower Seed reflections on Mondays.

  21. Carol on May 3, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Here’s one: What did the custodian say when he suddenly opened the storage room door? “ SUPPLIES!”

  22. Debbie Turner on May 3, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    My 3 year old granddaughter ‘s birthday is December 26th. I overheard her telling a playmate ” My birthday is the day after Christmas again this year!”

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