Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

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
Honored Guests
My Dear Friends in Christ

    I wish to welcome Austin, Christian, and Justin to this most special time in your lives.

    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. Mt. 25:21).

    My children, through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother, may Almighty God bless you always.


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