Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This week is an exciting one for our parish as we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation on Monday. Our eighth-grade students from the school and religious education program are about to receive their final Sacrament of Initiation and become full-fledged members of the faith. This year, we are especially blessed because the celebrant is none other than the bishop himself. It is always a special occasion when the chief shepherd of the diocese comes to visit the local flock.
Confirmation is such a beautiful Sacrament. All seven have their beauty, since every Sacrament confers God’s grace. But Confirmation is not always the best understood and the true depth and meaning of it aren’t fully appreciated by many.
As I’ve already said, Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being Baptism and Eucharist. For most of us, it is the final Sacrament we receive out of the set. As such, some people tend to think
of Confirmation as a kind of graduation. However, such a viewpoint does a bit of a disservice to the wideness found in this experience of God.
It is true that the first Confirmation, or outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred at Pentecost. As it is told in the Acts of the Apostles, this was the final reception of God’s grace for the Apostles before they began their public ministry of going out into world and proclaiming the Good News. It is fair to say then that Confirmation has within it a certain ability to send people, to graduate them into a new phase of life. But if we focus too much on the exterior movement of going out, then we may be missing the inward grace that is found in every Sacrament.
Every person that is Confirmed receives the Holy Spirit in a special and unique way. Our faith teaches us that our God is a God of relationship and that He wishes to be in relationship with us. He wants to be close with us.
He wants to help us in the highs and lows, in the important and the mundane, in every aspect of our lives. And rather than doing so while sitting somewhere up in heaven on a cloud far away, in the person of the Holy Spirit,
He comes to dwell, to literally be within us throughout our lives. Are you aware of the Holy Spirit’s dwelling within you? Do you live your life with that reality in mind?
Confirmation is an important part of the Christian life. Let us pray for our young people that as they receive this great Sacrament, they might experience the true depth of God’s love and His presence in their lives. And may we, who have already been Confirmed, be reminded of its powerful effects and welcome again the Holy Spirit ourselves. Come, Holy Spirit, Come!
Peace and Goodness,