Archbishop tells adult confirmandi that the Spirit will come into their lives in powerful ways
August 10, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper
Archbishop tells adult confirmandi that the Spirit will come into their lives in a new and powerful way
Through the laying on of hands and anointing with sacred chrism, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, confirmed a group of nearly 50 adults during Mass at St. Jerome Church August 7, praying to the Holy Spirit that the Church may grow and increase in unity of faith and love.
The archbishop told the candidates that the two readings at the liturgy from Isaiah and Luke shape the celebration of the sacrament of confirmation.
“God chooses prophets to speak on his behalf, to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, to give comfort to those who mourn,” Archbishop Gustavo explained.
In the Gospel passage from Luke, in the synagogue at Nazareth, among family and neighbors, Jesus reads a text from the Old Testament. Then he tells his listeners: “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing!” In doing this, he makes the mission of a former prophet – Isaiah from the first reading -- his own: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because the Lord has anointed me.”
“God calls you to continue the mission of his beloved Son. God will give you whatever you need to carry out your responsibilities as disciples of the risen Lord Jesus,” the archbishop said. “The Holy Spirit bears witness that we are children of God, called and sent to share the good news of God’s love with all our sisters and brothers whom we encounter.
While Archbishop Gustavo called the ceremony a new, blessed moment in their lives, he acknowledged that it is also a great challenge. “We live in difficult times for people of faith. Walking in God’s ways is countercultural. The ways of the world are to seek power, possessions, pleasure -- by whatever means!” he emphasizing, continuing, “Daily we face an exaggerated individualism, a tendency to justify every kind of evil, an atmosphere of mistrust and falsehoods that divides, alienates, and polarizes us into camps and tribes, building walls rather than bridges.”
Pope Francis has even stated, “Around us there is presence of evil. The devil is at work. But in a loud voice I say God is Stronger.”
“The Kingdom of God is one where everyone is respected because he or she is created in God’s own image. The Kingdom of God is a place of justice and peace, of harmony and unity, of love and concern for the poor, the brokenhearted, the captive, those who mourn,” the Missionary of the Holy Spirit smiled, saying, “The gift of the Holy Spirit has been bestowed in abundance so that we may live lives of genuine faith and active charity.”
The San Antonio prelate stressed to listeners that the sacrament of confirmation will strengthen them to live a life of discipleship, faithful to the word of God.
“The Holy Spirit will empower you to proclaim the Lord Jesus and his gospel to others, especially by the way you live and act. We rightfully pray daily for a better life for our families and our communities,” he concluded, adding, “But God needs us to be his eyes, ears, mouth, and arms in order to bring the kingdom to fulfillment. Have courage! Be confident! God’s Spirit is with us, within us!