("In the days to come I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind")
(Joel 2:27-32; Acts 2:1-27)
FOCUS OF THE LESSON
It is through the Sacrament of Confirmation that we receive a special strengthening gift of the Holy Spirit which enables us to become full members of the Church Community.
The 1st Sacrament of Initiation into the Church Community is Baptism.
The 2nd Sacrament of Initiation is Holy Eucharist and
The 3rd is Confirmation by The Holy Spirit.
1. Baptism: Jesus said, "Unless you be 'born again of water and the Holy Spirit' you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." (John 3:5) And, this is exactly what happens at our baptism; we are 'born again' of water and the Holy Spirit with God's own Holy Spirit pouring Himself into us to give us His own Eternal Living Spirit to live within us and make us "one Spirit with Himself". (1 Corinthians 6:17) (See also: Baptised into Christ's Death and Resurrection)
2. The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist nourishes our faith by which Christ lives in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17) and sustains the life of the Holy Spirit in us on our journey. (The Holy Spirit being the Spirit of both the Father and the Son which issues simultaneously from them both, as One; the Son being the eternally generated total Self-Image of the Father-Source by which operation the Father knows Himself. As the Son-Image said, "No-one knows the Son but the Father; neither does anyone know the Father but the Son. The Father and I are One. The Father is in Me and I am in the Father." (Matthew 11:27; John 10:30,38) The two are One. One does not exist without the other. And the Holy Spirit is their One Holy Spirit which issues the same from them both as, One. So, these are the Trinity of persons, the Father, the Son and their One Holy Spirit Who together comprise the Communal Life of the One Tri-une Godhead.)
The Holy Eucharist is the Living Body of the Son (Christ-Who can appear in different forms - Mark 16:12) Who now manifests Himself in this form of Living Bread to tangibly unite Himself with us, His creatures, as our sustaining Life-Source and Spiritual Food. (John 1:1-16) He is our life. He is the Living Bread and centre of our faith, uniting all believing people throughout the world into one body (Colossians 1:18) and Community of Faith, in the One Holy Spirit of God given to live now in us all at our Baptism, our Holy Communion, and at our Confirmation and.....forever.
(Read John, chapter 6.)
(Try typing in 'Miracles of the Living Holy Eucharist' on your computer, and see what comes up...)
3. At Confirmation, when we personally commit and confirm our trust and our lives to and in Him, He acts to increase in us the strength of His Holy Spirit given and received by us at our Baptism. This added strength enables sincere hearts to grow even stronger in His Seven Gifts of: Knowledge, Reverence, Understanding, Courage, Wisdom, Right Judgement and overflowing Wonder and Awe.
This added strengthening of us by His Holy Spirit enables us to more naturally bear witness to the presence of God's life in us as we seek to bring the Good News of Jesus, as the World's only Saviour given by God to all of His children throughout the world, until the end of time. (Acts 4:12; 1 John 4:14)
So, when we have received our own Sacrament of Confirmation, the 3rd Sacrament of Initiation, we have thereby become fully initiated into the faith community of the One, Holy, Catholic (Universal) and Apostolic Church founded by Christ to be 'the pillar and ground of the truth' (1 Timothy 3:15) through all of the ages until the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)
But, we must remember, that just as the faith of the Church, of which we are part, is constantly tested through the many conflicts it faces, and shall continue to face through all of the ages until the end of the world, so shall our faith, the faith of each of its members shall not cease to be tested throughout each one's own passage in and through time. (1 Peter 1:7)
Question: Who is eligible to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Answer: Those who have been baptised, and who have not yet been confirmed.
Note: The sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation may be received only once.