Twenty six students received the sacrament of Confirmation Wednesday night at Holy Name. This seemed to be a rather timid group, so hopefully, the Holy Spirit will inspire them to be courageous in living their faith!
I was captured by the Psalm refrain, which said: Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. This is not some miraculous, anonymous action on the part of God. True, this is the same Spirit that hovered over the earth in creation, the ‘giver of life’ as we say in our creed. However, it is the same Spirit that God sends to each individual, and as St. Paul tells us, the Spirit is always given ‘for some benefit.’ (1 Corinthians 12:7)
This is the Holy Spirit that was upon the Prophet Isaiah and inspired the him to call the Israelite people to greater fidelity in their covenant with God. This is the Holy Spirit that descended upon Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan. This is the same Holy Spirit that led Jesus during His public ministry. This is the same Holy Spirit that descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost and inspired their ministry.
This is the same Holy Spirit given to us in Confirmation to inspire and impel us to live our faith coherently and consistently, making no separation between faith in our private life and faith in our public life. This is the Holy Spirit that compels us to live in life the faith we profess with our lips. The challenge made to the Confirmation class last night is the challenge faced by all Christians: Live the Faith!