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Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?
It is striking to me how the Lord tells us that we should not hide our light nor place it on the floor, but that we should lift it high on a lampstand for the entire world to see!
Am I doing my part to share the Good News?
Yesterday morning I spent four hours speaking to four different groups of 8th graders at a Catholic school. For me, it was a wonderful experience. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Why? Because I could see a real transformation (conversion) in their hearts and minds. I was sharing my Catholic faith with them in a no nonsense manner. Almost all the children asked the question, “Why did you choose to become a priest.” They were stunned when I told them, “It is not I who chose Christ, but Christ who chose me. I simply answered his call.” Another child asked, “Is faith a gift or a choice?” I told the kids, “It’s both. The Lord gives it, like you give a gift. Now, it is up to you to either accept it or reject it.”
Another child asked, “Why do I need to be Confirmed?” I answered, “The Sacrament of Confirmation gives you everything you need to live in this world, do battle in it and be successful. Remember, you will be receiving what the Apostles received (except for Judas) and what all the Saints received.”
By the look in their eyes, I could tell that they were having a hard time believing this or understanding what I was trying to saying, so I made a comparison they could all understand. Once child blurted out, “But sometimes it seems as though Confirmation doesn’t work!” Forgive me if I sound heretical here, but I told the kids that Confirmation was like receiving an iphone. PLEASE DO NOT HATE ME!!!
Before you stop reading this meditation or put an end to your free subscription to my blog (or tear your garments in disgust), let me explain. This is what I told the kids.
“Imagine for a moment receiving an iphone as a gift (n.b. they didn’t have to imagine it because most of them already have it!). You can do so many things with it, right? You can send and receive phone calls and text messages, listen to music and watch movies, record audio and get Internet access. These are just a few of the things you can do with an iphone. But now imagine if you only used your iphone to make phone calls. You would not be using it to its full potential, correct?
Well, the same can be said about Confirmation. When you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, you will be receiving everything you need for life! You will receive seven free apps (gifts) of the Holy Spirit. You will receive the gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, knowledge and fear of the Lord. But what you do with all these gifts will depend on whether or not you chose to use them. That is totally up to you. Confirmation does not take away your free will. In fact, you are free to turn off your Sacrament and not use it at all. But if you do choose to let loose the graces, then you will discover what the Lord can do for you! And believe me; he can do amazing things if you just let him!”
They seemed to like the analogy. I hope you can use this for your children and/or grandchildren that are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
May the Lord strengthen your commitment to Him and that of your children or grandchildren!
“A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.”