by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
I’m sure sometimes people wonder, why do I do that? Because, after all, they have prepared over a period of time and they’re dressed up in their confirmation robes and everybody’s here to celebrate with them, and so why would I ask the question, “Do you want to be confirmed?” Well, the reason I do — and this is important for the candidates especially, but for all of us because we can remember our own confirmation and what it means.
When you say, “Yes, I want to be confirmed,” think about it: What are you saying yes to? You might think, Well, it’s a ceremony, and we’ll go through a ritual — the ceremony — and it’ll be all over in 45 minutes or so. Then we leave and that’s it. But that’s not it, is it? When you say, “I want to be confirmed,” you’re really saying yes, not to a ceremony, but to Jesus. You’re saying, “I want to follow Jesus Christ. I want to be his disciple just like those first disciples who dropped everything and followed Jesus.”
That’s what you’re saying, “I want to follow Jesus.” That means you have to live in a certain way because Jesus taught us values that were very special to him — very important in making us the best people we can be. When you say, “I want to follow Jesus,” you mean, “I want to follow his teachings, I want to live according to his way, his values.” That means something very important for all of us. It means we have to be very serious about trying to listen to God’s word — when Jesus speaks to us — watch how we act so we follow his example.