There are special times in our parish’s year when we become more aware of the presence of God in our community life. Today is one of such of those days, as we celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for more than twenty of our young people. I would like to thank all of those who have prepared them, over many years, for this wonderful day. The gift of Confirmation does not mark the end of a process of classes, but an introduction to living a mature Christian faith. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of all those who have helped our young people who will be confirmed this Sunday, especially their family members and the Life Teen group, for helping them this far on their journey of faith.
I was very touched by the personal letters of the Confirmation candidates, who wrote to me, expressing why they desired to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We can all be taught and inspired by the young, and I thought it would be good for all of us to hear the personal wishes of our candidates today. Here are just a few examples:
“The Catholic religion is a wonderful experience and I feel that Confirmation will help me live more deeply this experience and bring me closer to God”.
“I want to be confirmed in order to strengthen my bond with God and to continue on my spiritual journey. I want to keep growing within the Catholic Church”.
“Father, I request the Sacrament of Confirmation as I feel that it is the beginning of a deeper relationship with God. It will give me the opportunity to draw closer to God and to grow as a good person within the Church. I feel that the Church is where I belong, it is a huge part of my life and I want to continue to be so in the years ahead”.
“As I continue to try to become a better person, I feel that receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation will help me along my journey. I want to become a more involved member of the Church, so that I might become closer to Christ”.
“I want to be confirmed because I would like to be more deeply involved in living my Catholic faith. I want to be confirmed as one of the disciples of Jesus, to follow Him and to become more like Him”.
“I ask that the Sacrament of Confirmation be bestowed upon me because Holy Redeemer parish has been my family’s parish much longer than I have been alive. I would like to receive God’s grace and want to continue this journey with the other Confirmation candidates”.
“I would like to be confirmed so that I can become an adult in the Church, and so that the Holy Spirit can come upon me”.
These are just a few of the examples of the letters that our Confirmation candidates have written to me recently. I find myself touched by their words, and inspired by their spiritual desires. I also believe that their words have something to say to all of us, no matter how young or old we may be. It is this. Confirmation is not simply an event that takes place once in our life and means nothing thereafter. Rather, the Sacrament of Confirmation is a gift that is given to us, that we might more confidently become witnesses to the world of God’s love and presence amongst us. In other words, Confirmation is a sign that we have accepted our personal vocation to be witnesses of the overwhelming love of God.
Today, as we celebrate this wonderful Sacrament for our young people, may each of us be inspired by them, and be renewed in our own sense of Christian vocation. May our whole parish become renewed and transformed by the presence of the Holy Spirit, that we might truly witness to the love of God, and share that love with one another and with the world.
Fr Gerard, CSsR