Baptism welcomes us into a family of people who believe in living as Jesus did.
This family is all around the world, welcoming others.
In Baptism we acknowledge the gift of the Holy Spirit in each of us. It is a gift given to us from God that guides, supports, strengthens and forms us into people that are able to live joyful lives full of love.
Confirmation asks us to consciously nurture the gifts we have and use them for others. We are asked to serve those around us and are guided in our actions by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. (The fruits of the Spirit Gal. 5:22-23)
Eucharist or First Holy Communion is a regular event that nourishes us to continue our personal growth and live in community.
It is a time of gathering with others and acknowledging that none of us is perfect, but we are perfectly created.
It is a time when we acknowledge the sacrifice that Jesus gave his life for us, while at the same time we gather around a table, like the first apostles, and commit our lives to Jesus.
Reconciliation or Penance is a Sacrament which we can participate in regularly.
In Reconciliation we recognise that God loves us so much, Te Atua wants us to live a life free from the things that hurt ourselves and others, and that break our relationships down. God wants us to live a life full of loving, healthy, merciful and supportive relationships.
Through Reconciliation God wants to help us become the best people we can be and to use the gifts we have been given to make our world a wonderful place to be.
God wants you to know you are never alone and that with a relationship with Te Atua you can find peace.
You are more than your last mistake!
Anointing of the Sick:
This sacrament is for people who are not well, and is a healing Sacrament ministered by a priest. It enables people to tune into the gifts of the Holy Spirit that bring peace and courage to help deal with the challenges of serious illness, and the difficulties of growing older. People are able to receive this Sacrament more than once.
“I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full”
‘I have called you by name,
you are mine.’
During the sacrament ceremony the Church takes material things (water, oil, bread, wine) and uses human actions (washing, anointing, blessing, eating, drinking) to communicate God’s deep presence - God's Love.
Through Te Wairua Tapu/The Holy Spirit these material things and human actions become outward, visible signs of God's inward, invisible Grace.
Discuss some things that represent new beginnings for you:
daffodils, new year's resolutions, spring, birth, seedlings, contacts, blossoms, ducklings
Perfumed oil – called chrism
We are blessed with oil at Baptism. We call this blessing anointing. This means to pour or rub oil or ointment on people to strengthen and protect them, as a sign of God’s grace.
Traditionally priests, prophets and kings were anointed as a sign of their special roles and to make them strong. We are anointed for the same reasons - to recognise how wonderful it is to be in God's family and to be strong followers of Jesus.
Water – Holy water which has been blessed
In everyday life water is life giving, and in Baptism it symbolises God giving life to us. It symbolises washing away our sins, making us holy and giving us a new life. It unites us with the Trinity, as we are blessed in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
A reading from the Gospel of Matthew 3:13;16
'Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. As soon as Jesus was baptised he came up from the water and suddenly heaven opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down upon him. And a voice spoke from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. My favour rests on him.’
Jesus told the apostles Matthew 28:19
‘Go out to all nations. Baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…’
"I will never forget you, I will never leave you lonely, I will hold you in the palm of my hand and I will always love you. Jesus is your brother and friend, and our Holy Spirit will be with your forever, in you, around you everywhere, all day everyday. All you need do is be open to my love."
(Taken from various passages of the Holy Bible.)
This week spend time in daily prayer, begin with the prayer above and then talk to God about what it is you need to be doing in your life to live out your unique call to mission.
Remember that being Catholic is often counter-cultural, it means living a life for others with God at the centre, rather than a life for me with me at the centre.
Perfumed oil – called chrism
In earlier times we sealed precious and important things to protect them. To preserve something is to show that we love and care for it.
In confirmation we are sealed in faith and love.
The oil used symbolises soothing, and healing, strength and safe keeping.
This anointing shows that you are special and that you have a special purpose.
Laying on of Hands
The laying on of hands is a powerful yet everyday event. Through touch we welcome, say goodbye, show love, comfort and forgive.
Jesus often laid his hands on others, giving them power and strength. He laid his hands on children and blessed them. Laying on of hands shows someone is precious and loved. In the celebration of most sacraments, there is a laying on of hands through which God makes us God’s own and transforms us by the power of love.
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind … and love others as you love yourself.’
Jesus said ‘The spirit will teach you everything and remind you of what I said when I was with you..’
Pope Francis said
'To be Saints is not a privilege for the few, but a vocation for everyone.'
"I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one
another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
"The Eucharist although it is the fullness of sacramental life, is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak."
The first two are human responses:
Community and relationships, through choices, can be built up or be pulled down.
2. Saying Sorry:
This is a way of life that has to be learned and continually relearned. It is vital to mean the words when you say them.
For reconciliation to really be effective you need to understand that forgiveness is not a ‘churchy’ thing it is a life skill.
Forgiveness in our lives allows Jesus to make our lives richer and better.
Real forgiveness is sometimes really hard to achieve!
The next part is where God/Jesus steps in: