Are you being confirmed this spring? If you think that being confirmed isn’t a big deal, you are quite mistaken. Being confirmed makes you an ambassador – an ambassador of Jesus Christ – a person who is sent with a commission, a mission to make Jesus and the Church present in your part of the world. Being confirmed makes you an important person, one who is deployed by God for the life of the world around you.
The sacrament of confirmation is intrinsically connected with the sacrament of baptism. The two go together. In earlier centuries, baptism and confirmation were administered together in the same ceremony. As soon as a person was baptized in water, he or she was anointed with chrism and thereby received the sacrament of confirmation.
By baptism, we were immersed into the Spirit-filled, resurrected Jesus Christ. Confirmation confirms that immersion by giving us the gifts of the Holy Spirit – gifts that strengthen and empower us to carry on the mission of Christ for the life of the world. Jesus was raised from the dead “by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Is there any reason to suspect that we, too, cannot be empowered by the Holy Spirit as we face today’s world?
Our faith and our life in Christ are not private matters. We see that when we reflect on what happened to the apostles on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As they waited fear-filled and locked behind the closed doors of the Upper Room, where Christ gave us his body and blood at the Last Supper, the Holy Spirit came down on them in a mighty wind and tongues of fire. When that happened, the apostles burst out of that room into the public square, where they proclaimed the Good News. They proclaimed what had happened to Jesus Christ, and what he taught them about God our Father and the purpose and meaning of life.
Go forth and do the same.