Spring is almost here, and for many parishes, that means celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation. I know that here at Holy Family Parish we have already started Confirmation classes even though we won’t celebrate Confirmation until November. Having started working here only two months ago, I have observed only two of the classes which the Confirmation team had already all planned out. I immediately noticed the first time I walked into the class that the majority of the students seemed uninterested in what was being taught. Major problem.
I’m not going to lie and say I found my Confirmation classes interesting when I was a freshman in high school either. I mean, come on, I had WAY better things to do on a Sunday afternoon than sit in meetings where they were talking about the Holy Spirit, these “gifts” we were going to receive, the Bishop, etc…besides, I already went to youth group, what more did they want of me? Then, one day towards Confirmation, it hit me. This truly is one of the coolest sacraments we have in the Catholic Church!
Now for those of you who still may not be excited to be sitting in those Confirmation classes, I will ask you the same question I asked my students yesterday: Why are you NOT excited to receive this amazing sacrament?
The sacrament of Confirmation comes to us from Acts 2:1-13, which is the story of the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles at Pentecost. We read that “…and suddenly from Heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” (Acts 2:2-4)
If that isn’t cool enough, it is one of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, the Eucharist, and Confirmation) and once you receive it, you are a full-fledged member of the Catholic Church! The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the Sacraments of Initiation “lay the foundations of every Christian life…by means of these sacraments of Christian Initiation, they [us] thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” (CCC #1212) WOW.
Okay, so at this point, now you are probably wondering what the heck does chocolate milk have to do with Confirmation? It is a bit of a stretch, but whoever explained this to me many years ago was right– you’ll never forget it! Close your eyes and picture a nice cold glass of plain milk. Now picture yourself squeezing chocolate syrup into the milk–it sinks, right? Okay, YOU are the glass of milk. The Holy Spirit and the gifts you will receive at Confirmation are the chocolate syrup. Now, the actual sacrament of Confirmation is the stirring process to make the chocolate milk! All of these wonderful things mixed together make something even better.
(Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)