The Pentecost Gospel tells us that the apostles were traumatized by the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus and bewildered by His post-Resurrection appearances and his command to prepare for the coming of his Holy Spirit. Many of us would have felt the same and, perhaps, often do, especially, when we experience ups and downs in our lives and in the lives of our family and friends. These events can traumatize us and make us wonder what is going on and where God is in the midst of the trauma. We lose our way and, like the Apostles, need the anointing of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to reassure us, guide us and, through us, bring the message of God’s loving presence into the world of today.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord” Luke 4:18-19
Already we have been anointed - at Baptism and Confirmation! And so, today, it is we who are God’s anointed apostles, sharing in Christ’s mission. Let us ponder the words of the Catechism and of our recent popes so that we may remember our own Pentecost events and deepen our commitment to spreading the Good News, thus bringing renewed direction, peace and joy to those who hear it.
In Confirmation, we renew our baptismal promises and receive in a new way the gift of the Holy Spirit, which strengthens our “bond” with the Church and its members.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1316, and Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (On the Permanent Validity of the Church’s Missionary Mandate), no. 26
The Holy Spirit pours love into our hearts so that we can become “instruments of grace” in order to “pour forth God’s charity and to weave networks of charity” in the world.
Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate
At Confirmation, we receive diverse spiritual gifts that work together for the “common good” and “the building up of the Church, to the well-being of humanity and to the needs of the world.”
Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici (The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World), no. 24
None of this, however, is possible without praying to the Holy Spirit for an outpouring of his grace, his supernatural strength and his spiritual fire, to confirm, direct and transform our love in every situation.
Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), no. 164
What does it mean to be a part of the Body of Christ?
What gifts have you been given? How are you called to use those gifts to benefit others?
Who are you called to be? What are you called to do with your life?
What is the mission of the Church? What is your role in carrying it out? To what are you commissioned?
Reflection Questions Source: http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-human-development/upload/Confirmation-handout.pdf