Reflection for 15 Sunday of Ordinary Time, week beginning 11 July 2021.
On Friday of the coming week, 26 young members of our parish will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Confirmation derives from its link with Baptism – it literally firms up the Baptism. (Mostly, Baptism is administered to babies – Confirmation, mostly, is administered on entry to the teenage years).
Confirmation represents a fresh infusion of the Holy Spirit, who was first received at Baptism. The great mutual love between God the Father and God the Son is the Holy Spirit – for God is Trinity – one God in 3 Persons.
At Confirmation, the Holy Spirit who is absolute Spirit is received into our individual spirit. He descends with his 7 Gifts: Wisdom; Knowledge; Understanding; Fortitude; Counsel; Piety; Fear of the Lord (“fear” here means reverence and awe. It is a holy fear, a fear founded upon love).
He descends also with his “fruits” – these are the virtues. A virtue is basically a strength – a strong characteristic.
In our modern-day world, “character” is too often viewed as something “to be”, but surely “character” is more truly something “to have”.
In the public eye, right now, a shining example of someone who has character is the England football manager Gareth Southgate.