11th Sunday Year B - Homily 2


Homily 2 - 2015

[A talk given to children celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation]

Have you ever noticed what it is like when someone you love a lot loves you too, perhaps mum or dad or grandmother or grandfather? It may be when you do something special, like give each other a hug, or go for a walk together, or play a game together. It makes you feel good inside, happy and joyful. There is more. That joy seems to put you in a good mood. It gives you a new energy. You may even find that you feel a bit kinder about your brother or sister, or have the energy to do something good for someone else. When two people love each other, it is precious

Today you are being confirmed. There will be a lot of mention of the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? I’ll tell how I think about the Holy Spirit, and what the Holy Spirit does. You know that in the Blessed Trinity, the First Person, whom we call God the Father, loves the Second Person, whom we call God the Son. [It was God the Son who became human in Jesus.] Well, those first two persons in God love each other so much, so totally, that their love produces a tremendous joy, so great, so real, that it is personal just like them. Only God the Father and God the Son could love that much. That third person we call the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the joyful energy that comes from the love of the Father and the Son for each other. That is the one who comes to you and works in a special way in you through Confirmation.

Now that you are getting a bit older, you begin to share in what we call the Mission of the Church – God relies on you to make a difference to the world. You know about that time when Jesus appeared to his disciples just after he had risen from the dead? He said to them, Peace be with you. And then, As the Father sent me, I now send you. Then he added, Receive the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit is God loving you. Remember how, when you are loved and know it and want it, that love puts you in a good mood, and gives you the energy to be kind to others? That is what God’s Holy Spirit does to you. In fact, God sends you out to love people, and to make the world a better place. If everyone at school loved each other, all the time, what a wonderful, happy place it would be – if everyone respected each other, listened to each other, helped each other, all the time. That is why Jesus gives you the Holy Spirit. 

Will you feel different today? You may; you may not. Did you hear the Gospel, that first story where Jesus spoke about the seed sown in the ground? When the farmer sows the seed, nothing much seems to happen for a few months. But then, as the rains fall over winter and the ground warms up with springtime, the crop suddenly seems to get a great spurt on and in no time is ready to be harvested. Noticing the Holy Spirit can be a bit like that. It may take a while. It may need some nourishing, but, if we really want the joyful love energy of the Spirit, it will come. Hang in!