This weekend I would like to congratulate both our Graduating Seniors (the Class of 2019) who will be receiving their diplomas in the coming weeks and our Confirmation Students who will be receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit this weekend! You know, God touches us at very important points in our life. When we are born, there is the Sacrament of Baptism. When we reach the age of reason there is Reconciliation and Eucharist. When we are at (or near) the point of leaving home and venturing out into the world, there is the Sacrament of Confirmation which is there to give our young people the wisdom and knowledge etc. to make the right choices and be guided by the Holy Spirit. When we mature to the age and ability to make life-long commitments, there is the Sacrament of Marriage or Vocations to priesthood or religious life. Finally, when our time here on earth is up and our work is done, there is the Anointing of the Sick (or Last Rites) which prepares us for death and eternity with God.
Speaking of Confirmation, we should know that Confirmation is not to be confused with High School graduation! At Confirmation we don’t just leave our Catholic Faith or Jesus and are done. Rather, Confirmation is really the beginning as it complete our full initiation into the Church. Now these Conferments are able to be fully engaged in the life of the Church as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, acolytes, volunteers, etc. not to mention being teachers in our Faith Formation program or doing charity work sponsored by our parish events.
With regard to our Graduating Seniors who are actually leaving home and moving onto new adventures, this is the real test for them of striking out on their own. These students have already been confirmed and with the help of their parents, they are fully equipped to meet life’s challenges and make right decisions for their future life. Some will go onto college or trade school. Others will find new, full-time jobs and learn what it means to make a living and pay their own bills. If our Seniors keep God in their life and come to church regularly, they will certainly be guided in good ways by the Lord himself.
So, today let’s not only congratulate these fine young people, but especially pray for them in the community of the Church. Let them know they are not alone, but have the love and support of us all, and especially the love of Jesus himself! May God bless them on their journeys, and in the month of May, may Mary the Mother of God, embrace them all with her prayers and protection as well!