The Sacrament of Confirmation-A Significant Step in an On-Going Process
Mar 4, 2018
On Thurs., April 12th, Bishop Thomas will be coming to St. Mary Parish to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation upon a number of youth from both St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes. On the one hand, like Baptism, Confirmation is a Sacrament that occurs only once. The action of Confirmation can be likened to the gift of a large sum of money that has been placed in an account in our name at a bank. The Lord, the chief Actor in the Sacrament of Confirmation, makes the deposit of the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Like any gift that we receive, the Gift that is received at our Confirmation is meant to be spent. The reception of this Sacrament is a significant step in a life-long on-going process.
The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation corresponds to the experience of Pentecost. Pentecost marks the occasion when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and radically changed their lives. Before Pentecost, the faith of the Apostles was defensive and lived out in a secluded manner. As a result of Pentecost, and accordingly as the result of receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are empowered to live the Christian Faith proactively and in an outward manner.
As our youth prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, each Candidate is interviewed. The purpose of the individual interviews is to help the Candidates to both appreciate the Gift that they will receive when they are confirmed and the on-going implications of this Gift. Hopefully, by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, our youth will want to do the following: first, to recognize and respond to the on-gong need for Christian formation – The goal of continuing religious formation is to relate the implications of the Catholic Faith to all areas of our lives both as individuals and as members of the groups to which we belong. The Holy Spirit works in distinctive ways through our religious formation programs to guide our youth to make two choices that will affect them for the rest of their lives, namely that of the vocation, or life-style to which the Lord is calling them and that of a career or occupation in which they can effectively use the skills with which they have been blessed. Participating in an on-going way in faith formation can provide the motivation for our youth to embrace school and all other legitimate opportunities that are out there which enable them to develop as the Lord wants this to happen.
As a result of receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, hopefully our youth will want, secondly, to celebrate in an on-going way the Faith of the Church. This happens as one comes to Mass at least weekly and on obligatory Holy Days and celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular frequent basis. Hopefully, and thirdly, this will lead our youth to want to dedicate themselves to an on-going life of service to others as an expression of their love for the Lord.
The upcoming celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation for our youth invites and challenges those of us who have already been confirmed to reflect upon the example that we are setting in regard to what we hope our youth will want to embrace as this is expressed above. As we pray that the Lord would continue to stir into a living flame the Gift of the Holy Spirit that we received when we were confirmed and do our part to make this happen, we will be providing the spiritual climate in which our youth who are to be confirmed will want to continue to embrace all that the Lord would give to them and do in and through them as they develop.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor