Following is the homily given by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, at the intercollegiate confirmation Mass celebrated Feb. 19 at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Church in San Antonio.
There are times in our lives when we experience a tension, an alienation, not being at home with ourselves. Often these are times of transition — teens becoming adults, moving to a new location or getting a new job, or adults entering a new spiritual experience. Today, we celebrate the firm belief that the Holy Spirit is always with us, within us — guiding us, leading us, accompanying us on our pilgrim way.
Today, I will lay my hands on you and call down the Holy Spirit upon you, the same Spirit whom you received in baptism. Today, the Spirit will come into your lives in a new and powerful way. God calls you to your true self and will give you whatever you need to carry out your responsibilities as disciples of the risen Lord Jesus.
The Holy Spirit will give you special gifts that are to be shared with others. This is a new, blessed moment in your lives. You are going through a transformation — not just on this day of sacramental celebration, but for the rest of your lives.
Jesus and his heavenly Father love us with an enduring, unconditional love. The Holy Spirit is a gift to help us understand and remember what Jesus has said and done. The Holy Trinity dwells within us if we open our minds, our hearts, our entire being to God.
We live in difficult, challenging times. You may have many fears and anxieties about your lives and the future. The sacrament of confirmation will strengthen you in living a life of discipleship, faithful to the word of God. The Holy Spirit will empower you to proclaim the Lord Jesus and his Gospel to others in every situation. In conferring the sacrament of confirmation, Pope Francis told candidates to “swim against the tide!” He said, “To go against the current is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage!”
We are called to trust God and accept the gift of hope that God gives us. With God’s mercy and compassion, Jesus’ walking at our side, and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we can face anything with courage, God-given strength, and unfailing hope. Ven, Holy Spirit, Ven!
“To go against the current is good for the heart, but we need courage to swim against the tide. Jesus gives us this courage!” Pope Francis