Confrmation is an amazing sacrament, it's the thing prepares us to face that which nothing else can prepare us for.
We generally prepare young people to be competent, independent adults through academia and extra curricular activities and rightly so, these are extremely valuable in shaping a person to participate in the world. However, there are myriad moments in life that can not be prepared for in the classroom, the sports field, or the concert hall.
- Choosing a college, a job offer, a proposal for marriage: there are decisions in life that will indefinitely impact the trajectory of our lives and no one can make these decisions for us.
- Death, illness, loss, pain, suffering: there is no handbook, no script for how to deal with these most painful parts of life.
- A spouse, children, friends, enemies: it can be extremely hard to love when love is a choice and not an emotion.
- Sharing the love of God with a world that increasingly finds God irrelevant: Christianity is anything but comfortable and easy.
The sacrament of Confirmation offers us the strengthening of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of Grace that specifically equips us to face each and every one of these moments for which nothing can prepare us. The Holy Spirit, the Advocate, is with us not only so that we will never face these challenges alone, but so that we can be strengthened in our weakness, despite our flaws, our failures and our shortcomings. The grace we need is given to us so that we can be the people God formed us to be at our creation and answer the call of our baptism.
Disciples to Apostles
The Disciples, cowering and trembling with fear, locked themselves in the upper room - afraid to answer the call of Christ to proclaim the Gospel. The Holy Spirit descended upon them, filled them, and empowered them to overcome their fear, to boldly break out of that room, and to go out as Apostles to begin the work of the Church. In the sacrament of Confirmation, through the anointing with Chrism, the laying on of hands, the renewal of baptismal promises, and the proclamation of our name, we receive that same outpouring and strengthening of the Holy Spirit, now ready to go out on apostolates, to be apostles- putting faith into practice (note: lower case "a" apostles, not one of the 12).
Empowered through Confirmation
Confirmation is our pentecost. Confirmation is when you are equipped in a powerful way to answer the call of your baptism. Confirmation is not so much about you choosing God, but about God strengthening you to face what lies ahead, confident that you are not, nor ever will be, alone.