This week we celebrate the Confirmation of more than forty of our young parishioners. As we near the end of the Easter season, we complete it as we began at the Easter Vigil, with our parish reveling in the joy of sacramental initiation. I’d like to share with you today some of what I shared with our young candidates in their preparation last weekend.
The Easter Season is a time of new life. At Easter, Jesus died and rose again to a new, everlasting life. When the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they also began a new life as the first members of God’s family, the Church.
You first became part of God’s family when you were baptised. You received the Holy Spirit. In celebrating Confirmation, and in celebrating First Communion later this year, you complete your initiation, your becoming a part of God’s family of the Church and share the new life Jesus promised and gave to us.
You were dressed in white as a sign of your new life and goodness. Your parents and godparents were given the light of Christ from the Easter candle to keep the flame of faith and love alive in your heart. You were baptised with water and anointed with Chrism oil, specially blessed by the bishop, to show that you had become one with Jesus. All these symbols will be used again as we celebrate your confirmation.
It has truly been a glorious Easter season. The joy of initiating adults and children has been an inspiration to us all. And as we celebrate the end of the Easter season next Sunday with Pentecost, the journey of faith continues; we will celebrate the acceptance of another enquirer, Shelley, into the Order of Catechumens for preparation for initiation into the Church. May we pray for all of us walking the journey of faith. Perhaps there are no more fitting words for our prayer at this time than those from next Sunday’s Mass:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful;
and kindle in them the fire of your love.