This past year I taught a Confirmation class of high school girls. They were everything you’d expect: outspoken and often ill-informed, but sensitive, respectful, quick to think my stories were “sweet,” as teens say, and ultimately willing to learn and grow. I cop to a small amount of, well…. fear… at the beginning of the year, but my girls were easy to love. I’m very glad I knew more than them, because they would readily challenge anything they didn’t agree with. 🙂
Bishop Steven Lopes celebrated their Mass of Confirmation. When he started speaking I had that feeling of “I never want to forget this!” I grabbed a scrap piece of paper and couldn’t write fast enough to record every profound word he spoke. I mean it – every single sentence was one to remember. Shorthand would have been helpful here. I hope that this recap is enough to remind you of the great POWER we have in our sacraments. Here are my notes from Bishop Lopes. Read them with as much passion as you can muster, because that is how they were proclaimed:
*To those who are being confirmed:
Confirmation is not about you. Confirmation is about God, and what HE is doing in you. THIS (today) is the gift of Pentecost. THIS (today) is the Upper Room!
In the sacraments, God sends down the POWER of GOD to CONFORM us.
In the Sacrament of Baptism, we call down the Holy Spirit on the baptismal waters, and those waters are so charged with the power of God that the baby, or child, or adult, is conformed and becomes a child of God!
In the Sacrament of Confession, the Prayer of Absolution is beautiful: “God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins…” We are conformed to be more like Christ by the forgiveness of our sins.
In the Sacrament of Marriage, the Holy Spirit descends on the couple and conforms them and they become one. In married love we see the sacrificial love of Christ brought to the world.
The Holy Spirit makes Christ present in the church through our sacraments to transform the world!
- You will be filled with the creative power of Christ. He conforms you to himself so that you can be Christ in the world!
- When the world interacts with you, they have an authentic experience of God!
- Through you, faith is born.
- God will be a power in our weakness, and a zeal in our laziness.
Act in the world as if the salvation of the world depends on it, because it does.
In hope, Peggy
*Notes from a Homily by Bishop Lopes during a Mass and Sacrament of Confirmation, June 9, 2017