So there we have it!!
WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN ME CAN’T STOP WITH ME!!
WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN YOU CAN’T STOP WITH YOU!!
This is part of the Sacrament of Confirmation
Here’s the Holy Trinity
Here is Jesus
Here is God the Father
Here is the Holy Spirit
What has God done?
He has made you and I into His adopted children
He has brought us into the family of God
He has cleansed us of our sins
He has given us new birth and regeneration
He has made us a new creation
He has done all these things AND MORE
What does God want?
What does Jesus Christ want?
God wants the WHOLE WORLD to experience this so that there is no person who ever has been, is, or ever will be for whom Christ DID NOT SHED HIS BLOOD
Jesus Christ wants the whole world to know the Gospel
JESUS CHRIST WANTS THE WHOLE WORLD TO BE CATHOLIC!!
Why did Jesus establish His Church?
To go out into the WHOLE WORLD baptizing IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND MAKING DISCIPLES
Jesus did this because He desires that ALL MEN BE SAVED
WHAT GOD HAS DONE IN US CANNOT STOP WITH US!!
God gives us this incredible Sacrament of Confirmation for many reasons in many, many ways
To unite us more firmly to the Church
To strengthen us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit
To unite us more closely to God our Father as our Dad, as our Heavenly Father
ALSO TO SEND US OUT!!
To more closely associate us with the mission of the Church
To help us bear witness to the Christian Faith in words accompanied by deeds
IT IS SO SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THAT WE RECOGNIZE THIS!!
Paragraph 1319 says, “A candidate for Confirmation who has attained the age of reason must profess the faith, be in the state of grace, have the intention of receiving the sacrament, and be prepared to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ, both within the ecclesial community and in temporal affairs.”
What does it mean to PROFESS THE FAITH?
Do YOU reject Satan and all his works?
Do YOU reject the Evil One?
Do YOU believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth?
Do YOU believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son and our Lord?
Do YOU believe in the Holy Spirit?
Do YOU believe in the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church?
We said this on the day that we were confirmed
We remake that profession of faith when we are at the Easter Vigil
Let’s look at another angle of this
Is it that we make a profession of faith?
Does it mean that WE MUST PROFESS THE FAITH?
Meaning that we identify ourselves as CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS?
We identify ourselves as BELONGING TO JESUS
We profess the faith that we believe that God for all Eternity, at one moment in time, entered into the human race
In the Incarnation, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, took on human nature
In that human nature, body and soul, He lived, and He suffered, and He loved, and He died
And He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven
And He sent the Holy Spirit for all of us to have Eternal Life
Do we profess THAT FAITH on a regular basis?
This is a huge gut check for a lot of us
Even though here we are talking about the sacraments and the ways in which we worship God
THere are ways in which God’s grace comes to us on a regular basis
God gives us his gifts to be USED
How have YOU used God’s gifts?
Does anyone around YOU know that you are Catholic other than the fact that maybe it has come up once
Do they even know YOU are Catholic?
Does anyone around YOU know that YOU belong to Jesus Christ?
Does anyone around YOU know that the most important person in the world to YOU is God?
DOES ANYONE KNOW THAT??
This is a gut check
This is a HEART check
The candidate must also be in a STATE OF GRACE
So go to Confession, like Fr. Mike invited you to if you haven’t been Confirmed
The candidate must have the INTENTION OF RECEIVING THE SACRAMENT
The candidate must be prepared to assume the role of DISCIPLE AND WITNESS TO CHRIST
Fr. Mike has put on Confirmation retreats for high school students
Let’s listen to his story…
We say the words that we are told to say
We do the things that we are told to do
A lot of people don’t have the intention when they get Confirmed
We get all dressed up
We’ll stand where we are told to stand
We have NO INTENTION of being a disciple of Jesus
We have NO INTENTION to assume the role of disciple and witness to Christ for the rest of our lives
Is there something going on in that which would be similar if we had a “mock wedding”?
How many of us would say that is the only reason we were confirmed?
We just did what we were told to do (sheepishly raises hand ✋🏽😞)
We had no intention whatsoever of living that out
What is our intention as we enter into the Sacrament of Confirmation?
What is our intention as we get close and closer to the Lord?
We know we aren’t perfect
We know that we are going to fail
We know that we will not be the best witnesses and greatest witnesses
WE DESIRE TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT SO THAT WE CAN BE THE DISCIPLES GOD WANTS US TO BE!!
Go read Paragraph 1319 again
We want to profess the Faith EVEN IF WE DON’T DO IT WELL
We want to be in a state of grace EVEN IF WE KEEP FALLING OUT OF THE STATE OF GRACE AND GO BACK TO SIN
We want to receive the sacrament
We don’t want to do it because our moms told us to do it
We might not be prepared
We want to be prepared to assume the role of DISCIPLES AND WITNESSES TO CHRIST
If those things are present, they are present in the desire for this, even if they’re not FULLY realized
That is great and good and move forward
Even if we know how broken we are…
Even if we know that we are going to fail at this…
KEEP ON MOVING FORWARD!!
If you say, “I don’t want this.”
How many of us would get married to someone we did not want to get married just because grandma said to?
If it was important to grandpa, would we do it?
Would we say that we are not ready for that?
Sacraments cannot be forced on anybody
Does that make sense?
Many of us who have gone through Confirmation may not have been prepared in the way that we should have been (Again, raising hand sheepishly 🖐🏽😞)
There is no blame going on anyone but ourselves
Some of us maybe went through Confirmation not wanting the Sacrament of Confirmation
Maybe some of us are in formation of others for Confirmation
We meet people every day who do not want Confirmation
Maybe we can have more creative ways to help those going along the road
Where is Fr. Mike going with all of this?
It is incredible that we have a Church that has classes for our adolescents to take the next step
At the same time, everyone’s journey is different
Some people are ready in 7th grade
Some people are ready in 11th grade
Some people are ready in college
Some people are ready after college
To be able to deal with individuals and not just groups of people is a secret of incredible youth programs
A lot of youth programs are overtaxed and stressed
So we’re like, NO! THIS IS THE CLASS!
YOU ARE GETTING CONFIRMED!!
The really really good ones say, “This is the class and you are planning on getting confirmed.”
If someone says they’re not sure if they are ready, alright
Keep working with them
If someone else says they’re not sure if they’re ready either, alright
Keep working with them
If this is the Sacrament of Christian Maturity and someone says they’re not ready then LET’S HELP THEM GET READY!!
Maybe this is not a question you’ve ever asked
Maybe it just needs to come back to ourselves
Whether we were ready or not ready at the time, how about now?
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart. Pour out those graces in my life that maybe I wasn’t ready for when I was first confirmed. But now, now I am more ready. So fill me with your grace, fill me with your Spirit, and fill me with your life now.”
Any one of us can say this prayer even if you have been confused for the last 10 minutes 😉
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!