These reflections are written by Sister Janet Schaeffler, O.P.
There are several options for the Scripture readings for the celebration of the sacrament of Confirmation. These are only a few of them.
Because Confirmation is an initiation sacrament – a beginning sacrament – of our journey of faith, it is appropriate that these Scripture readings be used for reflection by parents (and families) for prayer and reflection for months and years to come. The journey never ends.
This is the first of four “Servant Songs” in the book of Isaiah. The Lord sings to honor the servant.
Hear the Lord say to you: “My chosen, in whom my soul delights.” How does that make you feel? Why does God say that to you?
God’s servant is compassionate and gentle with the “bruised reeds” and the “dimly burning wicks” – the broken and the weak of the world. How have you / how can you care for those around you who are hurting? What about those that you don’t know who are hurting? How can you reach out to them?
This Old Testament reading reminds us that God will remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh.
What shape is your heart in right now?
When does your heart become like a stone?
How do you keep your heart soft, loving, and open to the Spirit, so that it reaches out in respect, care, and kindness to God’s people, to all you meet?
The Holy Spirit gives us a new relationship with God: adopted children. We can address God intimately (“Abba”) and we are heirs with Christ.
Would you describe your relationship with God as a close friendship? What is your favorite name for God? Your favorite adjective to describe God?
Is your relationship with God different today than it was two months ago? Two years ago? Four years ago? How? What did you do to cause it to change?
Would you like your relationship with God to be closer? What might you do for this to happen?
When you experience hard times, do these bring you closer to God or cause you to drift away?
This passage reminds us of another passage: Ephesians 1:18 in which Paul tells us the Spirit enlightens the “eyes of our heart.” Without the Holy Spirit we cannot see with God’s perspective.
Was there a time when you wanted to pray, but weren’t sure how or why to do it? What did you do? What could you have done?
Take time to write about something that is bothering you — a difficult moment at home, in school, or at work, or something happening in our world. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you an insight about what you have written.
Paul reminds us that unity amid our differences is central to who we are. He sees in the community different gifts but always the same Spirit; different works and deeds but always the same God working through them; many people to be baptized – Greeks and Jews, slaves and free – but all part of the same body.
What are your gifts? How does God work through you to touch others with his love and courage?
Tell your spouse and your children about the spiritual gifts and Christ-like qualities you notice in them.
How did you experience God this week through someone’s gift?
This passage begins with our being chosen by God and then moves into a thanksgiving prayer, followed by prayers of intercession that the disciples come to a deeper understanding of the Christian faith, and because of those insights, live in God’s ways.
When did you first realize that God had called you personally, by name?
What helps, supports, gifts do you need to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, in your everyday life?
Who are the people who support you in your family? in your faith community? Do you need to reach out and find others who share your Catholic values, so you have a wider circle of support (at school, at work, in your neighborhood, at your parish)?
Following Jesus always calls us to growth, to be a little more than we are. A disciple shares the cross of Jesus by self-denial.
When are you a disciple, following in Jesus’ footsteps, in your everyday life?
Have you ever found your life by loosing it, by giving it up, by putting others first?
As Jesus came out of the water after he was baptized, he heard a voice from heaven saying, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
What would you like to hear God say to you?
Who in your life has said supporting, encouraging things to you that have called you to be your best self? Is this God talking to you?
How have you felt supported by God’s love throughout your life?
When have you really felt God’s love and care with you?
Jesus begins his ministry — having been baptized and receiving the Spirit of God — by reading the text from the prophet Isaiah.
What is your image of Jesus? How does Jesus describe himself in this passage?
Jesus was anointed. You have been anointed by God in Baptism; what do you feel called to do in your world?
Jesus is the Source of Living Water – and this living water of Jesus’ life and love comes to us through the hearts of all believers.
Who are the people who have brought Jesus’ love to you?
Who have you touched with the love of Jesus because of the way you care, the way you live generously, patiently, kindly?
Jesus’ love doesn’t stop with one kind of people. How can you reach out to people different from yourself?
Pray a prayer of thanks at the end of each day for the living water of Jesus that flows through you and the lives of people who have touched you.
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