Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
April 19, 2009
The Coming of the Spirit
This weekend ten of our young men and women will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. They have been preparing for this moment for two years now. On Sunday afternoon they will gather with their parents, relatives and friends to celebrate a sacrament that will bring them to full initiation into the church.
These young people deserve to be applauded for their commitment. As the years past, fewer and fewer Catholics take full initiation in the Church seriously. Preparation takes time and effort. The students must attend Mass regularly, attend classes and give some of their time in service to others. The preparation in itself is daunting for some and consequently they walk away.
Perhaps it would be a good time to sit back and reflect on the purpose of preparation for full initiation. For this we need to understand the purpose of full initiation in the Catholic Church. The purpose of full initiation which happens after Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, is to be able to participate in the works of the Church. This includes being a minister of the liturgy such as a Lector and a Eucharistic Minister. It also includes the option of serving as a sponsor for relatives and friends in times of Baptism or Confirmation. Catholics who are not fully initiated cannot be sponsors. Those who are sponsors or Godparents without full initiation are Christian witnesses.
Being fully initiated has privileges but it also has responsibilities. A person who wants to be confirmed is saying that they intend to fully participate in the work of the Church. The works of the church are many. There are many avenues one can choose. One serves to the best of their capacity depending on the gifts they have received. Not everyone is called to the priesthood of religious life. Not all are called to full time ministry. However, all Christians are called to serve to the best of their ability.
Sadly, many Catholics do not take advantage of their potential as sons and daughters of God. Too many Catholics believe that receiving the sacraments, such as Baptism and confirmation, and even First communion, is simply something they have to do to get to heaven. Far too many do not see the connection between receiving these sacraments and their every day life.
We are a sacramental people which means that we must live the sacraments we receive. We are people of faith, hope and love. We must allow these gifts to radiate in our relationships, our sufferings and our joys. We cannot simply receive a sacrament and drop the ball. Let us pray for our young men and women that they will be faithful to their call.
Lorette P. Nault