Confirmation – Something new for this priest to ponder!
Confirmation is something new for me to ponder! Sunday for the first time as the presider, I had the privilege to confirm 57 young people. I have had the bad luck to hear some of the worst confirmation homilies of all time. I’ve watched bishops warn young people about the dangers of sex, masturbation and porn in a way that gives them a road map to all these things.
Where my family lives was among the worst. My brother even sent me a list of gifts of the holy spirit and social justice issues to help prepare my homily. He did this having had to sit through some of the same, ick. I reminded him that I only had 45 minutes for this. I better would stick with the tried and true.
After our laugh, I started to think, what the heck can I say that will reach these sophomores on a hot Sunday afternoon. After some thought and prayer, I left the readings behind and went with the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God. I talked about my struggles and leave of absence and told them life can get hard, but with the gifts of Grace from the Sacraments, we can conquer anything. I reminded them that God made them exactly as they were on purpose! Each created to show a different aspect of who our God is to the world. It was a good B+ homily, but nothing compared to what came next.
Renewing our baptismal promises, every question met with a strong response of, I DO! The confirmation followed. I had always wondered how Archbishop Gustavo could preside at over 120 confirmations a year and be so good at it. Looking up for the first time, no more, mission accomplished, 57 newly confirmed, wow. I figured we were half way, but we were finished! What an amazingly intimate moment of grace with our youth.
Until yesterday, there was nothing about being a dean that I would miss. Now when this job is finished, I will greatly miss the privilege of confirming our youth. From the beginning to the end, it was amazing.