This Sunday, April 3rd, the following youth from Resurrection Parish are to be confirmed within Mass at Resurrection Parish, Lexington, at 1:00 p.m.: Jordan Beahr, A.J. Blubaugh, Eric Boll, Wilson Cannon, Alexis Dwyer, Michael Dwyer, Josie Dahlinghaus, Jenna Hiebel, Alex Llamas, Colin Mack, Goelena Milano, Darron Reinhart, Owen Sainiak, Anna Shaffer, Daniel Shaffer and Sam Weaver.
As the Pastor of these youth, it was very heartening to read the letters in which these young persons expressed why they want to be confirmed. A common theme expressed is that they want to take a growing sense of ownership in the Faith of the Catholic Church.
Confirmation marks a milestone in our on-going spiritual journey. When we are confirmed, we receive a remarkable gift that carries with it an on-going challenge. This Sacrament centers around the Gift of the Holy Spirit which is offered in a distinctive manner. The Lord is the chief Actor in this Sacrament. Unless we are on guard, we can develop the notion that we are offered the Sacrament of Confirmation as a reward for all that we do to prepare for this special occasion.
Hopefully, a goal of preparing for Confirmation is to motivate us to grow more and more into the gift that is conferred in this Sacrament. This happens as we take to heart the communal nature of our Faith. On the one hand, each have a spiritual journey that is personal and unique. And yet, we belong to the Lord as members of the Church. The Church offers to strengthen our faith in the following ways: through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God as this comes to us through the Church, through the Sacraments and through the example of many persons who have been faithful until death to live as Christ’s disciples. We take to heart the Gift of the Holy Spirit Who comes to us in Confirmation as we treasure and continue to avail ourselves of these ways in which the Lord would work to strengthen our common Faith. As our faith continues to develop, we grow in the awareness that the Gospel has implications for all aspects of our lives, both for ourselves as individuals and in our life with others.
We are strengthened in our own Faith in order to witness to it both within and beyond the parish community to which we belong. In each setting in which we find ourselves, we are empowered and challenged to relate to ourselves and to others as the Lord wants us to do this.
We will grow in the ability to appreciate that being successful in the Lord’s eyes means developing and using our gifts to serve others and also motivating others to discover and to use their gifts for the benefit of all. Within our respective parishes, there are avenues of service that invite the participation of our youth. Perhaps our youth who are to be confirmed will come up with new avenues of service to others in our Lord’s Name.
Confirmation empowers us to live the Faith of the Church in a proactive manner in the broader community in which we all reside, including settings such as the schools we attend, the places at which we work, in the non-church groups to which we belong, and in the neighborhoods in which we live. Hopefully, in each of these settings, it will be evident in a good sense that there is that which is different about us who have received the Gift of the Holy Spirit as this is imparted in the Sacrament of Confirmation. In the way that we relate to persons and in the manner in which we do what we do, it will be evident that the Lord is at work in our lives.
Hopefully, as a result of being around us, persons who presently have no spiritual home will be attracted to that faith community in and through which the Lord empowers us to live in this world in an upbeat manner.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor