Monday evening 59 young people received the Sacrament of Confirmation at the Cathedral and last night, 11 more from St. Paul in Pine Bluff stepped up to be Confirmed in the fullness of the faith.
I find these celebrations to be invigorating as it is so encouraging to see so many young people desiring to continue their life of faith in Jesus Christ.
I believe this is what the New Evangelization is truly all about, people living their faith with greater enthusiasm and joy. We are called to discover or perhaps re-discover the joy of being known by Jesus, called by Him, renewed and redeemed in His love. To a large extent, this is the work of the Spirit, to hold us close to Christ and to know the joy of laboring along side of Christ and leading others to know and follow Him.
Look how the Holy Spirit worked in the Apostles at the moment of Pentecost to be renewed in their vocation as Apostles to immediately begin to accomplish their work of proclaiming Christ to the world. In the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 2) we hear that it was the Spirit that both enabled them to proclaim and impelled them to speak of Jesus Christ.
The same Holy Spirit leads each of us to live our universal call of holiness, and more personally, leads us to both discover and live our unique vocation in life. The Holy Spirit gives us the maturity of faith to realize that being a disciple of the Lord entails hardship and the perseverance to weather these storms of life (and at times of faith.)
It is the same Holy Spirit that accomopanies us on the journey of life and faith giving us an abiding sense of peace. At the same time, we are not only accompanied by the Spirit, but drawn by the Spirit into deeper and deeper realities of life in the Trinity. Jesus promised that if we keep His word (commandments) He and the Father will come and make their dwelling within us. (John 14: 23-26)
May each of us continue to grow in holiness. May each of us be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit who leads us to deeper understanding of our vocation and greater capacity for living it. May each of us know the abiding presence of Jesus Christ. Let us live fully the fullness of our faith as we both live in Christ and demonstrate our love for Him in practically loving others, especially those most in need.