The Most Reverend Richard J. Euler, DD, DPM
9 December AD 2007—Second Sunday after Advent
On Conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation
Rite of Confirmation
The Mass in Latin and English
Second Sunday of Advent
Dominica Secunda Adventus
Reverend Father Brusca
My Dear Confirmandi
Sponsors of the Candidates
My Dear Friends in Christ
I wish to welcome Austin, Christian, and Justin to this most special time in
Today, through the sacrament of Confirmation you have been commissioned to be
a witness to God in the world. Along with your family and friends and good
priest and pastor, Father Brusca, I take great pleasure and satisfaction in being
with you today—and I take a humble type of pride in being able to confer this
awesome Sacrament on each of you.
You know, when Jesus was with His disciples at the Last Supper—before He
was about to die for us—He spoke to those at table with Him. He told
them that He would be leaving them soon. They were sad. The were
worried. They were afraid. They did not understand. They
wanted to go with Him. They were used to having Him around. They
felt safe when He was with them, as you feel safe with your parents. They
felt safe when Jesus was with them when they were challenged by those around
them who would disagree with them. He was not afraid to challenge the
people who were not truthful. He would challenge those who would lead
people astray. But now He was leaving, and they expected His disciples to
continue as He had done, to be a light in the darkness of the world.
When I was a child and television was viewable, there was
a program that I watched called “The Christophers.” The Christophers
was—and still is—and organization founded to spread a message of hope to
people of all faiths and especially to people of no faith. It was founded
by Father James Keller in 1945. I will never forget their motto, “It is
better to light one candle, than to curse the darkness.” I can still
remember Father Keller and how he would light a candle as I watched on a 12 inch
TV screen. Things have come a long way.
When you walk on a road in the dark of night you can't see
what's ahead of you. But if you were to light a candle and hold it in your
hand, you would be able to see where you are going. You could see all the
potholes and you would be made aware of the dangers ahead.
You see, there would be many storms ahead for the
disciples. There would be many times when the light of Christ they would
carry would be in danger of being blown out by the unbelievers they would
encounter. Jesus knew how worried His disciples were, and so He told them,
“I shall ask the Father and He will give you another advocate to be with you
forever” (Jn. 14:16).
What did this mean? What is an advocate? An
advocate is a person who takes your side. One who defends you. One
who pleads your cause. You all have had many advocates in our lives,
including your parents, your teachers as a child. Perhaps your friend has “gone
to bat for you.” Father Brusca has been your advocate in presenting you
for Confirmation. Advocates are all people who stand up for you, support
you, and give you good solid advice.
Today you have been given the responsibility for the light
of faith in your life. And this light that you hold is a precious one in
the darkness of today's world.
There is a struggle today between good and evil. It
is apparent to everyone, everywhere. No matter where you look there is
evil. You can see it on television and radio and motion pictures.
You see it in newspapers, in music especially for youth. You see it in the
courtrooms. People are actually getting away with murder.
Pornography is everywhere. The internet is being used in some cases to
provide evil. You see evil creeping into many faiths. In a small
number of cases evil has even penetrated the ministerial priesthood and the
media has a field day with it. There is free access to abortion in just
about every city and town in this nation and Planned Parenthood brags about the
fact that they performed 255,000 abortions in their clinics alone last year. And
that is just in THEIR clinics. My friends—if you think international
terrorism is a threat—and it IS a very great threat indeed—my dear
confirmnandi the entire world is now living under a reign of terror from
Satan himself. The prince of darkness has attacked and continues to attack
every possible ray of the light of Christ in the world. He seems to be
winning over our souls like never before. The attitude of the world has
changed and it has changed rapidly. The world does not recognize truth
anymore. What used to be right is now wrong and what used to be wrong is
now right. There is no black and white. Everything is now gray in
the world, because the prince of lies is muddying our waters. We are
drowning in murky waters.
But the picture is not totally bleak. Today, through
YOUR Confirmation, you have become a soldier of Christ. Oh, you have been
a member of this army for some time. But now you have been given your
commission. It is time for you to hold your lighted candle of faith high
AND curse the darkness of the world.
It is not going to be that easy. Unfortunately, you
may feel alone at times in this venture given you by God. Not everyone
will agree with your faith, and your moral stance, and your hope,, and your
belief in Christ. Today it is politically incorrect even to mention or
show any sign of faith, or mention the name of Jesus Christ in public.
Jesus told us that it would be like this.
Jesus told us that there would be those who would hate you
because you love Him. And you DO love Him, otherwise you would not have
taken this very important step forward in your faith today. Love is a
conscious decision, and by your Confirmation you have declared your love and
faith in Christ.
But in that regard Jesus says to you today: “Do not be
afraid for I have asked My Father to give you an Advocate to be by your side
forever. He will speak in your name. He will be your helper and
guide. He will give you wisdom and understanding. He will help you
make right judgements and be courageous in sticking to them. He will give
you the spirit of knowledge and reverence. He will give you the gifts of
the Holy Ghost which will bear the fruits thereof. You will be a light to
the world for His sake.”
He will give you all of this if you simply use the moral
code you have been handed on by your mentors and teachers. No, it won't
always be easy. You will confronted constantly by circumstances in your
life that will make it look like you should “stretch the rules,” or be
tempted to convince yourself to totally disregard them because—“they really
don't apply to me.” You will have to make tough choices to make your
personal light shine in the darkness. But you will do it because you are a
representative of Jesus Christ. HIS light will shine through YOU.
One of the most beautiful of gifts one can have in this
world is having a sense of wonder and awe. In this advanced world of ours,
technology has dulled our senses to the point that we think nothing of sending a
fax from one state to another. We think nothing of sending an instant
message from here to a foreign country on your computer in a few seconds.
These are marvels, but it creates a “ho hum” attitude regarding the things
around us which are truly awesome—Almighty God and His creation. And
this makes our society all the poorer for the lack of the wonder of God.
We just don't think about it. WE take it for granted. But let me
tell you that the Advocate that Jesus gives you will fill you with this
extraordinary gif, if you will just be open to it.
By now you know that this Advocate that Jesus asks His
father to send you is the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Blessed
Trinity. When the disciples of Jesus received this Advocate, they became
very strong in professing their belief in Jesus and His teaching. They
were no longer afraid as they grew in the wonder and the awe at the marvelous
things they were able to do in His name. They realized that without the
help of this special Advocate, without the gifts he gave them, they would not
be able to hand on the teaching of Jesus. They would not be able to be His
light in the darkness of the world. And two thousand years later we still
remember their message because the message they spread, the truth they
proclaimed, was not their own but Jesus', And through His Holy Spirit, His
Holy Ghost, He enables people of every generation to walk in the light of faith,
to stand up for His teaching and truth. He raises up disciples for every
age and He works through them. He wants them—through the gifts of the
Holy Ghost—to be His representatives in the world of their day. I am
sure you have met some of these people here in your church, at your school, and
in your home. Your good priest is one of these people. They are the
people who stand up for truth and justice, for purity and peace in a world that
is sadly lacking in these virtues. They are the disciples of today that
ensure that our tomorrows are times of peace and love because the God of eternal
love is working through them. That's what God wants of YOU today my
friends. That's what God wants of me. He wants to work through us.
Today you received the gifts of the Spirit, and through
each one of us God wants to be present in and to the world. He wants His
light to shine in the world. He wants the world to be a place of peace and
love. He can do this through you—but only if you accept the gifts you have
been given and use them. These gifts will give you strength to know the
right thing to do, and you only have to ask for His help. And the way you
ask for help is by praying. Don't ever let a day go by when you don't stop
all activity and spend some time in prayer—simply taking time to talk to
God. When someone is in love they want to spend as much time as possible
with their beloved, so be sure to heed my advice on that. Prayer is
important because it opens you to the Holy Ghost, Who will make you realize how
you are being transformed in this Sacrament.
And also pray to your Advocate the Holy Ghost, before
reading Scripture, to help you understand God's message—and read it
often. The answer to everything in life is right there. Saint Jerome
told us, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Jesus.” Frequent
Confession is imperative so that you can receive our Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament worthily and often. That will give you strength. And don't
forget about Holy Mass, not just on Sundays but daily. And finally visits
to the Blessed Sacrament. There have been many Saints who said that visits
to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is what sustained them through difficult time
as well as good times. It is all very simple. It is all laid out for
you. That is the way God intended it. And the closer you get to
Jesus, the closer you will want to get.
My friends, enjoy this day, enjoy this memory. Make
it one of your fondest. Always remember that you took this important step
and received this Sacrament during the season of Advent. The season of the
expectation of the coming of Christ, Whose Spirit you possess today because of
your Confirmation in His Faith and Love.
And remember too, that at the end of our life's journey on
earth, that will come for each one of us, we will come face to face with Him Who
is responsible for leaving us not only this Sacrament, but all seven of
them. That is our goal, after all. To meet Him face to face, and
hear Him say the words that we should all want to hear—“Well done, My child—you
were a good and faithful servant—you may now enter into my kingdom” (cf.
My children, through the intercession of Our Blessed
Mother, may Almighty God bless you always.