Now that the candidates have committed themselves to deepen their experience of Jesus and prepare for the special coming of the Holy Spirit into their hearts at confirmation, it's important that they, and all of us, try to listen now deeply to the word of God to try to understand what this word of God means today as we celebrate this ceremony that begins the program of preparation for confirmation for these parish members.
The Peace Pulpit
The Peace Pulpit: The way to peace is only through love. There are many examples in history of people following Jesus by rejecting violence and following this path.
The Peace Pulpit: It is important to reflect on the fact that we have been baptized, to remind ourselves that we accepted a change.
The Peace Pulpit: When we live that good news, then we will draw people to God, and gradually our whole world will be changed.
Change our lives so that we reach out, and then we will come to know the deep peace that Jesus has brought into our world, into our lives.
I think it's possible to be a little bit frustrated when we first hear the message from St. Paul this morning: "Rejoice! Again, I say rejoice!" See, be filled with joy. Most of us probably have discovered that being joyful isn't something you can suddenly be by sort of pushing a button. You know, if you're really discouraged and frustrated and upset and things are going badly, how do you suddenly be joyful?
We have given ourselves over to a culture of abundance, having not just enough, but more than enough. It's important to think about how we might simplify our lives.
If we want to honor Jesus as our king, we should act like Jesus. We should take in the oppressed, the hungry, the thirsty and the sick.
We've heard that parable many times, and I'm sure many times we've interpreted it for ourselves or heard someone explain it as a parable about receiving gifts from God -- talents, abilities -- and how important it is to use them. Not to waste them, not to let them be dormant, but to be energetic in using what God has given to us, using all our talents for good purposes so that we will hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come enjoy the blessings of God's kingdom."
Editor's note: Bishop Gumbleton gave this homily at the consecration of the altar at the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart Of Mary Motherhouse in Monroe, Mich.