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Confirmed in the Spirit

At Sunday’s 9:00 a.m. Mass, our 8th grade PSR students will renew their baptismal promises and officially begin their journey toward Confirmation. Why baptismal promises? At Baptism, the Holy Spirit roots himself in our hearts, wipes away the stain of original sin, and makes possible the reception of God’s divinity within us. Essentially, we are initiated into a life dedicated to Christ. Confirmation is closely linked to Baptism as it is the final sacrament of Christian initiation during which we are transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Today, we read of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River. Did Jesus really need to be baptised? Yes, but not for the same reasons that we do. Jesus’ immersion in the Jordan sanctifies the waters of Baptism, as it is then that he takes on the burden of our sins and begins his ministry. We hear in today’s gospel, “...he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying,...“This is my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” Mt 3: 13-17. After his Baptism Jesus was recognized as the Messiah by his disciples.

During his ministry, Jesus taught by the grace of the Holy Spirit. He taught by example. Everything he taught us is rooted in love. God is love. As our Confirmandi journey toward full initiation into the Church, they will learn that in unity with the Holy Spirit the indelible mark of his teachings manifest in the virtues of faith, hope and love, and in gifts like wisdom, understanding, fortitude, knowledge and piety. A life where God reigns is a life generous in the fruits of the Holy Spirit: charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. These fruits guard against fear, anxiety, pride, anger, depression, and confusion, allowing us to live out God’s perfect plan for us: a life of love lived in the Spirit of the Father.

Please pray for our 8th grade PSR students as they begin their journey toward Confirmation.