Bengaluru, Sep 13: Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore called upon 124 candidates who were conferred Confirmation on September 12 to get strength on receiving the Sacrament. Dr Machado who was the chief celebrant spoke In his homily on the Holy Spirit saying “we need the holy spirit to strengthen us and also to fight against Satan, against Self (Ego) and against the world.
The prelate explaining the meaning of the sacrament and the importance of the day said “Today is a special day for you like your birthday” as it comes only once a year. It is similar with the exams or results that come once a year. Whereas, Confirmation happens once in a life time. This is true with regard to baptism as well. During Confirmation candidates receive the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop asked the boys and girls some questions. Firmong is the word used in German for Confirmation and it is also used for signature. ‘Holy Spirit signs upon you and it is indelible as nobody can remove it.
Holy Spirit signs upon the candidates who receive confirmation. Holy Spirit makes a covenant with them on the day. Candidates were well prepared to answer the Archbishop’s questions. To the query Who is Holy Spirit, one of them said He is the third Person of the Holy Trinity. The signs of the Holy Spirit included Fire (on Pentecost day) and dove when Jesus was baptized. The word ‘you are my beloved son/daughter’ is still relevant even today as he protects them and all who receive the holy spirit.
Another aspect of the confirmation was anointing with the holy oil. Oil is the sign of strength. ‘Why you need strength, the Archbishop enquired of them. The Holy Spirit strengthens their faith and helps to fight their enemies - Satan, self or ego (Aham in Sanskrit) and the world (with its attractions). The candidates are smeared with oil to receive strength.
The third enemy is the world which is the TV or mobile. It misleads all. ‘We have two altars in the homes – Sacred Heart, Jesus, Cross and Mary on one altar. The other is TV altar with people addicted to serials..
We need to fight against the three enemies. Oil is to strengthen us. And the candle, another sign, is the sign or symbol of Christ. and the world represents Satan which makes people the slave of drugs.
Referring to the day’s gospel what do people say “who I am”, some came up with the answer that he was a prophet, Elijah or John the Baptist. However, it is imperative for us to say Who is Jesus for us. When Jesus asked the disciples, What you think, Peter answered ‘You are Christ, the Son of the living God.
Archbishop Machado urged the candidates to believe in Jesus imbibing the example of Peter.
When we go down, the Holy Spirit lifts us up. When asked about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, one of the students replied and enumerated the seven gifts (of the Holy Spirit).- wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord Wisdom is to do the right thing at the right time. The Innate wisdom is to be used like that of Solomon who solved the predicament when two women claimed possession of a child without cutting it into two.
Archbishop Peter Machado lauded and appreciated the Parish Priest, Fr Aloysius Santiago, for all that he had been doing not only for the parish but for all people in need around the parish. He also eulogized other Fathers, students and the choir for their roles in the celebrations.
Others present on the occasion included the concelebrants and the parents of the candidates besides others
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