I hope you’ve been soaking in Pope Francis’ visit to the United States and using this moment to share your faith with your friends and family. Maybe you were not able to watch all of his speeches or wanted to see something again, you can find it on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website
As you continue in this time of personal preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation and a strengthening of the Holy Spirit, I want to encourage you to read and reflect on God’s word.You can start in many ways, but I would encourage you to either start by 1) reading one book of the bible or 2) read the Sunday Readings before you sit in the church this weekend.
If you choose to read a book of the bible, one of the Gospels is a great place to start, maybe the Gospel of Mark. it is the shortest and see how Jesus’s acted in this Gospel. He said/taught something and then immediately acted. Mark is also the shortest Gospel. Another book you might start with is Acts of the Apostles, the story of the early church, how they received the Holy Spirit and then shared it. Read one chapter per day. If you read one chapter of Acts per day, you will read the entire book by October 24, your Confirmation celebration! That is what I am doing… I have just started. Join me!
You may also choose to read the coming Sunday’s Gospel and other readings. You can read, and re-read these several times during the week. In reading and praying with these readings, when you hear them in Mass they will have more meaning. Reading the readings early will give you a chance to ask questions about what a particular phrase means. You can check out the footnotes and some of the other scriptures that are listed to the side, related to what you are reading. In doing this you will be able to understand (gift of the Holy Spirit) and apply it to what is happening in your life!
Like this weekend’s Old Testament Reading could be applied to Confirmation (kind of) as the Holy Spirit was shared with the elders and… “as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied” (Numbers 11:25). In just a few weeks, the Holy Spirit will come upon you with a strengthening and sealing of its presence upon you. Then maybe you too will have to courage to share with greater zeal God’s loving power with joy (prophesy)!
Start to intentionally put scripture in your life and let it start to change you!