Once again, we come to celebrate with the youth of our parish as they head towards Confirmation. Last week we had a wonderful retreat day together, listening to music, modern and ancient parables, the Eucharist, Reconciliation, witness talks from adults in the parish … all punctuated by pizza, ice-cream and candy. Not a bad way to spend Sunday. Bodily and spiritual nourishment.

A week from now, these candidates will confirm their belief in Jesus Christ and His place in their lives. If we could send one message from those it is one of grace-filled love which will imbibe them with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and love.

While they will be confirmed as a group, each teen takes up the challenge of being a Christian in a world not always practicing Christian virtues. They will be called to be a Christian, often alone, making the care of others more important than their own. For it is in helping the stranger we find God.

God will tug us all at times, and this “holy longing” is great when we feel it, but is also is a call to respond. How many times do with sit silently when we should have spoken up? Why should I defend this person being treated unfairly? … After all I hardly know them. How many people have I made a stranger?

As we respond to the stranger, we answer the call. For when we do things for the stranger we find God there waiting for us. We can all respond to the same call our teens are going to make next week.

And if God calls me through a stranger, is my response from my head or my heart?



Think with your heart,

Easily said,

But then I remain hidden in the crowd.

Think with your heart,

I feel the tugging yet I remain silent,


Think with your heart,

Too much, I will respond,

And do the uncomfortable thing.

And suddenly,

Find others following.


Photography by Michael Cunningham

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