Recently we celebrated again with our young people the Sacrament of Confirmation. Something I like to ask those preparing for that sacrament is, ‘What do you expect from God when you receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?’ You see, we really do believe that something, well more accurately, Someone, is communicated to us in the sacraments. Unfortunately, we too often approach the sacraments distractedly, with little expectation of encounter.
A good question to reflect on for those of us who have long ago received the Sacrament of Confirmation might be, ‘In what ways do I experience the Holy Spirit active in my life, in the life of the Church, in the world?’ Though we wouldn’t respond as the folks in today’s first reading, “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” some of us might say, unfortunately, “We have never even experienced the Holy Spirit?”
If we haven’t, it might very well be that we simply haven’t reflected deeply enough on it. Where have I experienced God in my life? Have I felt courage and strength to do what is right in the midst of a hardship? Was there a time when ‘the light went on’ and suddenly the solution to a difficult, personal problem came to me? Did I ever say ‘I am sorry’ or have I said ‘I forgive you’ for a very significant hurt done to me? When have I been motivated to give to another of myself, my time or something I have? What are ways that I serve my community, my parish? Have I ever felt calm even when things were crazy around me? All these experiences are indications of the activity of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life.
And so, I state the question again for you and in a different way: What do you need the Holy Spirit to do in your life today? What ways do you need the Holy Spirit to direct your relationship with God, with another person, with something you need to do?
Let us pray:
O God, who by the mystery of Pentecost
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out the gifts of your Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and in my life,
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen
(adapted from the Roman Missal)