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Father Muench Says...

Considering our confirmations

May 1, 2024

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to continue to write about the Sacrament of Confirmation. Last week, I mentioned to you that our parish had our confirmation ceremony recently. Our bishop came to confirm the high school students who have been preparing to receive the sacrament this year. It was a great ceremony.

On the next Sunday, I described this confirmation ceremony to the congregation. I was inspired to tell them that I believed that each time the bishop comes for confirmation, we should consider this the anniversary of our own confirmation. I must say that for many of us, that was years ago. Yet, we believe that this Sacrament of Confirmation, this coming of the Holy Spirit is for a lifetime. The reception of confirmation is the beginning of the action of the Holy Spirit that continues throughout our entire lives.

Each year, as a new class of students prepares to receive this important Sacrament of Confirmation, we emphasize that the Holy Spirit comes to lead them to live well in the way of the Lord Jesus. Our Church hopes that those to be confirmed will become spectacular disciples of the Lord Jesus. We pray that they will live holy, dedicated lives as Christians, always witnessing to their love for others in the spirit of Jesus. Our constant hope is that these young people are confirmed to make a difference by their lives here and now.

Now, for us, we, who have celebrated our confirmation, now celebrating our anniversaries, this is the time to consider in prayer how we are doing. Have our lives demonstrated the constant action of the Holy Spirit each day. Have we brought Jesus’ love and peace into our own lives and the way we treat others? As confirmed Catholics, have we lived as good Christians, as good disciples of the Lord Jesus?

Recently, our Church celebrated Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus wanted an image to show us his spirit. This Good Shepherd was perfect for Jesus’ time. A Good Shepherd, then and now, is dedicated to taking care of his flock. He is protective and loving – ever ready even to lay down his life to protect his sheep.

Jesus challenges us, confirmed Catholics, to live in this very same image, the image of the Good Shepherd. He challenges us to be dedicated and loving, always ready to love our neighbor as ourselves, ever ready to lay down our lives. Few of us will never be challenged to risk our own lives for another. The image of laying down our life for another also requires of us a readiness to live for another – dedicated, caring, helping and working for others.
We, Catholics, use the word, vocation. We believe our Lord calls us, leads us, guides us, so we can make our world better than ever before. Jesus calls us in many wonderful ways to be his dedicated disciples. This call for some is a religious vocation – to be a priest, a deacon, a religious sister. There are so many who realized that they recognized a special call from the Lord, and they find a peace and joy at becoming a priest, a deacon, a sister. And we certainly need them in our Church – to be leaders, to strengthen the life of our Catholic Church.

In addition, I believe there is a special call, a special vocation for all others who are touched by the Holy Spirit to bring new life to themselves and to bring new life to our Church. They may find their vocation as a married person through their families or as a single person – again specially called by the Lord. Truly this is a vocation. God’s is preparing them to live the Lord’s love and peace, to find joy and happiness by serving the Lord in his Church. So, I believe the Lord reaches out to all of us with a call – truly he calls us by name. May we be aware and listen when the Lord reaches out to us.

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