Wednesday, 10 April 2013
On Monday night at the Suburban Vicariate Confirmation, Archbishop Joseph Harris challenged the Confirmation Candidates and others present to come to church 'not to receive but to give because in giving, you will receive'. He stated that each person has a 'hidden talent' and he urged them to use that talent to build up the church whether it is through art (creating banners for the church), song (joining the choir) or even through academic expertise (managing the parish's website). All these are numerous ways of giving back to the church and becoming a fond member of the household.
It is unfortunate that many people, both adults and young adults believe that after they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation it is their departure ticket from church. If you have that mindset, please change. After receiving all the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Communion & Confirmation) we are now considered to be living a 'Life in the Spirit'; Which means, on that day when the Bishop says 'Receive the Holy Spirit', we are no longer the same; that same Holy Spirit must become the Core factor of our lives. The Holy Spirit now becomes a 'best friend'.
So as you will realize, there is actually a life after Confirmation, that means you now have added responsibilities. So when people 'exit' the church after they take off that nice white shirt and black pants or that nice white dress, they are depriving themselves from doing God's work. Our main responsibility is to be witnesses of God's truth! God tells us in his word, "I have appointed you sentry to the nations" - Ezek 3:16. What is a sentry? A sentry is a guard, watchman, a solider and God is telling us, not asking us, to be that guard, but yet many retire from that job before even making an attempt.
As mentioned earlier, it is in giving that we receive and when we give God our all, we receive so much more because God's blessings does not come in 5-fold or 10-fold, it comes in 100-fold. "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" - 2 Cor. 9:8. So why do we treat God so badly? Why do we allow His kingdom to fall apart bit by bit when there is something we can do about it? Let us not just say that we are Catholics but let us act like we are Catholics! When we make that promise to God, sure we will experience some hardships but He promises that "My yoke is easy and my burden light" - Matt. 11:30.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us take up that mantle that God has given us and let him reign in our lives by making the gosepl become a practice not just a story! To God be the Glory!