May 17, 2020frjohnma

Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep

“The reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For ‘by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

The Lord has done marvelous things for us, let them be made known. The gifts of the Holy Spirit must be made known to the whole world and our lives should reflect the gifts through prayer, our association with the word of God, inspiration and guidance, repentance and transformation in our hearts, peace in times of suffering, service to the poor and humanity, working with the Holy Spirit and discernment of the spirits. I renew my prayer intention that says, “I wish I have the gifts of the mystics to deliver into our hearts one of the core secrets of the Holy Spirit: the reality of how we have been empowered at confirmation to partner with the Holy Spirit. There are two great points of our testimony about things of the Spirit: we are chosen and empowered. We are chosen by Jesus Christ as confirmed by Him: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide” (John 15:16). We are not only chosen but empowered to live through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.

Today, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, we see how the Holy Spirit empowers Philip the deacon to preach and heal the people of Samaria, the Holy Spirit also helps Peter and John to administer the sacrament of confirmation on the new converts (Acts 8:5-8, 14-17). The sacrament of confirmation after the reception of baptism is usually a special event to refresh in us the anointing of the Holy Spirit. From the gospel of John 14:15-21, Jesus Christ in His last discourse with the Apostles, describes how we are empowered with the gift of the Holy Spirit. He says, “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever, that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you. I will not leave you orphans.”

Friends in Christ, the message is very clear, we have received the Holy Spirit at baptism and confirmation and the same Spirit is nourished and renewed daily through our reception of the Holy Eucharist. But sometimes we live and easily forget that we have the Holy Spirit in us and start chasing for some other spirits in the world. Signs abound that speak of our insensitivity and weak response to the Spirit of God in us. The crave for anointing and breakthroughs, which leads many of us to questionable prayer houses and men of God that we are more empowered than them, poor sacramental life (living a Christian life without Holy Communion for instance), unnecessary fear and anxiety, timidity before other brethren and lack of courage to defend the faith (1Pet. 3:15-18), dullness and joyless life. Holy Spirit please renew us!

Therefore, let us start now to welcome the Holy Spirit in us by renewing our memories of confirmation. Let us activate the Holy Spirit in us so that we can conquer temptations; remove spiritual blocks of addictions, evil habits and unforgiveness. Let us also become friends and partners of the Holy Spirit in teaching, preaching and healing.

Reflective questions

  1. The Holy Spirit is all over doing greatly in our world. How have I been in partnership with the Holy Spirit in expanding the reign of Jesus Christ in our world?
  2. I am a baptized and confirmed Catholic. Thanks be to God! What are the signs and fruits to show that the Holy Spirit is active in my life?

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Amen.

Comments (9)

  • Juliana-Mary Ukeje

    May 17, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Now I know why some of my relatives that didn’t receive the holy Sacrament of Confirmation are not “perfectly bound to the Church”, even though they are still in the Church. But again, there are some confirmed ones that have now totally left the Church! So Father, your prayer for us to realize how we have been empowered at confirmation to partner with the Holy Spirit is so very timely; Thank you very much and may God grant to those who are yet to receive this empowering Sacrament, the grace to do so. It is also gratifying to know we are chosen by our Lord; may we live up to it and partner with His Spirit in reaching & empowering many Souls too.

    1. frjohnma

      May 17, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks so much for your generosity of insights. In truth, the sacraments are not magical in nature but they are informed by the grace of God. Hence the theological saying, grace builds on nature. So, we have many not confirmed in the Church and it is worrisome but more worrisome is the pain of those who are confirmed but they are inactive in the life of the Spirit or not fired for God. The remote cause of such challenge is hasty catechetical formation or no formation at all before confirmation. Here comes the wake up call for us to insist on sound and holistic formation before the reception of every Sacrament. God bless you through the intercession of St. Julian. Amen.

  • sunday mary Ameh.

    May 17, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you fr, for this thought provoking explanation. I pray for the renewal of the holy spirit in my life. Remain richly blessed.

    1. frjohnma

      May 17, 2020 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks be to God and remain blessed always with the grace of God and Our Lady in your life. Amen

  • Ben Mary Ameh

    May 17, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Always great stuff. Thank you Fr. I will begin live with more hope and joy.

    1. frjohnma

      May 17, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks so much

  • Francis-Mary

    May 17, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    “Holy Spirit, please renew us.” Amen🙏
    Thanks bro for charging us up about the place of the Holy Spirit in our Christian life. More grace always.

  • AndyMarie

    May 17, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    May the Holy Spirit fall afresh on me to rekindle my weak zeal for God and my neighbors. Amen
    Thanks alot Fada

  • Louis Mathias

    May 18, 2020 at 8:56 am

    May the Holy Spirit continue to melt, mold, fill and use us to do great exploit for God as we strive to witness to the power of the Resurrection through Christ Our Lord Amen 🙏. Thanks so much Fr

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