Homilies

Father Arthur’s Message of Encouragement to Confirmandi

Posted on August 3, 2020 by Published by

Dear Youth,

As your pastor and shepherd, I am delighted you have come here today to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation! This is the final and most important step of your initiation into the Catholic Church.

During this Sacrament, I will trace the Cross with the Chrism oil on your forehead. This cross will be a sign that you are spiritually sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and this spiritual mark will indicate that you belong totally to God. With this anointing, you will also receive many and unimaginable graces that will help you throughout the rest of your lives as you follow God’s call. What is most important for you to know at this moment is: From this day forward, you have the great calling and mission to always bear witness to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means that you must reflect Christ in literally everything that you say, think, and do. In your lives today, this could mean refusing to talk negatively about your classmates or teachers when you are with your friends. It might mean asking God to help you remain respectful toward your parents (not rolling your eyes at them and talking back). It might mean being charitable and helpful at home and contributing to the community of your family by doing the dishes, cleaning the yard, making dinner. It also might mean speaking what is true and right among your friends, refusing to participate in occult practices, defending the Catholic Church when people attack Her, and safeguarding the gift of virginity or chastity by not taking or sending immoral photos and videos by Snapchat or other apps, and by wearing clothing that emphasizes your dignity as Christ’s disciples. When you behave this way, you might lose some friendships and other people might not want to associate with you. But, always remember that the Apostles and Disciples experienced the same kind of rejection after the Holy Spirit descended upon them. So, I assure you, dear youth, that, if you follow Christ, you will be in good company. And when you follow Christ, you have a multitude of friends—the angels and saints—in Heaven, who are and always with you.

As you receive this unfathomable Sacrament, know that Jesus is calling you to a great mission and a wonderful purpose: to be Saints. Dear youth, it is not easy to be a Christian in our secular society. Those who follow Jesus Christ are some of the most persecuted and hated people in the world today. Yet, know that when I anoint you today, God is going to bestow on you the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the unique gifts and graces that each one of you will need to follow Jesus’ call and your vocation in life to the very end. Be courageous, dear youth. Respond generously and joyfully to this Sacrament! Be living—not indifferent and passive—members of the Catholic Church, and under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, seek to serve all people like Jesus did.

And now, before you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, call to mind the faith which you professed at Baptism or which your parents and godparents professed at your Baptism with the Church.

Please stand as we profess our faith: “I believe in God, the Father, the Almighty …..”

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