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Bishop confirms over 100 on Pentecost Sunday

05-16-2016

On Pentecost Sunday, more than 100 adults from 24 parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh received the sacrament of Confirmation at Saint Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Apex. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge concelebrated Mass with Reverend Chul Ho Lee, Pastor of St. Ha-Sang Paul Jung Church in New Hill; Reverend Edward Wolanski, Vice Rector of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh; and Reverend Jack Kelly, O.S.F.S., Pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Fayetteville. Also in attendance was Reverend Brendan Buckler, Pastor of Mother of Mercy Church in Washington.

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge told the candidates, “You are confirmed on the beautiful Solemnity of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. Just like those on the first Pentecost, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit. You will be sealed with the Spirit and strengthened in a new way to be His witness. You leave church looking the same, but, in reality, you will become a radically new creation in Christ Jesus.”

Burbidge explained, “And as new creations, filled with the Holy Spirit, you must go forth and live as witnesses of the Risen Lord, the same Lord who appeared to His disciples today and said: 'Peace be with you.'” He continued, “That is the same gift Jesus wishes for each one of us: the gift of His peace. It is that gift, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that allows us to live in right relationship with God, ourselves and others.”

A reception was held following Mass.

Bishop Burbidge’s homily

Dear candidates, all of you to be confirmed on this joyful day have varied stories to tell as it relates to your faith journey. Yet, you all share some things in common: you are here at this particular time in your life to be confirmed and fully initiated into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church as part of God’s divine plan for you. It was He who has chosen you, led you and guided you.

All of you, dear candidates, have also been blessed with the witness and example of the special people God has placed in your lives as His instruments: your parents, spouses, and those in your family and parishes and others who have inspired you in the faith that unites us. I join you, dear candidates, in giving thanks to God for all of them. 

You are confirmed on the beautiful Solemnity of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. Just like those on the first Pentecost, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit as I soon outstretch my hands and anoint you with the sacred chrism. You will be sealed with the Spirit and strengthened in a new way to be His witness. You leave church looking the same, but, in reality, you will become a radically new creation in Christ Jesus.

And as new creations, filled with the Holy Spirit, you must go forth and live as witnesses of the Risen Lord, the same Lord who appeared to His disciples today and said: "Peace be with you." That is the same gift Jesus wishes for each one of us: the gift of His peace. It is that gift, with the help of the Holy Spirit, that allows us to live in right relationship with God, ourselves and others.

Filled with the Spirit, witnesses of the Risen Lord live in right relationship with God as they remain faithful to His ways and commands, even though that will often separate us from the crowd and bring a share of suffering. Come, Holy Spirit, give me courage.

Filled with the Spirit, witnesses of the Risen Lord live in right relationship with self. They recognize themselves as “temples of the Holy Spirit” and live chastely and honorably and avoid behaviors that might destroy the temple. Come, Holy Spirit, give me perseverance.

Filled with the Spirit, witnesses of the Risen Lord live in right relationship with others. They understand, as Saint Paul tells us today, that the Spirit of God is one that unites us as brothers and sisters so that nothing divides us. Thus, we must strive to let go of any bitterness or hatred in our hearts and forgive others, even those who have hurt us. Come, Holy Spirit, give me strength.

We witness again today another miracle, as we will soon invoke the Holy Spirit, and bread wine will be transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ in fulfillment of His promise to be with us always. Strengthened with this precious gift and filled with the Holy Spirit, may we be witnesses of our Risen Lord and live in right relationship with God, self and others. For then, His peace will be with us today and always.