God’s Confirmation Gift to You

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Deacon Dick Kostner

From our first reading from Isaiah we hear from God our lesson for today: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” God is telling us to think above what the world teaches and we will find the Kingdom of God with all its treasures.

As we continue on in Ordinary Time, Jesus continues to educate us about experiencing the Kingdom of God here and now through parables. Remember parables are stories Jesus uses to move a preconceived thought we hold to the flip side so as to move our thoughts and life to a higher level; to the level all experience in the Kingdom of God. The story we are told is about a landowner who needs help harvesting his crops. So he goes out and asks for help and agrees with others the wage that will be paid for their help. He does this in the morning, noon, three o’clock, and at five. When evening comes he directs his foreman to pay the laborers starting with those who came to help last. The wage was the same for all the workers but the ones who came to help first thought they would receive a greater wage and when they received the same they grumbled and complained to the landowner because they had worked more and so they felt they should get more.

In our ordinary way of thinking we are taught that the more we work the more we should get paid, right? That’s the way things work in our world, right? We should be paid according to how much time we spend working for others because that’s only fair, right? Jesus is saying to us that although this is the way of the world it is not the way found in the Kingdom of God. God thinks differently. God rewards those who respond to his call for help when he asks for help. The workers were thinking only about themselves and what is in it for them. They failed to see their call from another for help and the joy that can be found in helping others not to better ourselves but to better the life of another.

This higher level of service is done not for ourselves but rather to elevate and help others who need our help. Our Catechism tells us that we were created to know, love, and serve God. To serve God is to serve others. The body of Christ consists of human bodies who consent to the call from God to help him serve other people by and through our actions. The reward is the same for all who answers God’s request for help it is not governed by the amount of time we spend accomplishing the call, or even if we are successful, but rather it is paid because we consenting to answering God’s call for help.

These last few months we have people who have answered God’s call for help. These people have or will be receiving the last of the three Sacraments of Initiation, that being Confirmation. It is their final great gift of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Initiation. The first was Baptism; the second is Holy Communion; the third, Confirmation. This is the final Sacrament which makes them full-fledged members of the Church of Jesus. It is the Church’s way of recognizing their importance and having reached the maturity level necessary to become active members of the Body of Christ. It is this maturity that allows them to speak to God and say, “Lord, I am ready and willing to help in any way I can to further the Kingdom of God in ways that I will be personally requested by you to accomplish.

But you may ask, “But how will I know what God wants me to do?” The answer is that God has given each and every one of His chosen people what I will call a personal pager powered by the Holy Spirit. That pager will go off and you will hear the call in your mind, when God desires your help. It will only go off when God has picked you personally to help. I will give you an example. A few years ago, I received a call from my best friend who told me that his dad was dying. I told him I was sorry to hear this and that I would pray for him and his family. In my mind I wondered whether I needed to do anything other than pray. One part of me said the family is going to want to be alone with their dad during this trying time. This made good sense to me and besides I felt uncomfortable experiencing death. And then the pager went off. And a voice screamed out to me and said, “Deacon, your friend was calling for support, if you can’t go to the aid of your best friend how will you ever go and help someone on my behalf that you might not even know?

Boy, how could I ever respond in a negative way to that kind of call? I grabbed my prayer book and took off for the hospital. When I entered the room and began praying with the family I witnessed the peace that came and I knew that I was indeed the Agent of Jesus to this family. I was to them the physical body of Christ present during this time of suffering.

Jesus tells us that the pay for helping him will be the same whether he calls once a month for help or once a year. The pay is not based on the number of calls he makes but the number of times we willingly agree to respond to the landowners request for help. The Kingdom of God exists now and forever for those who are willing to answer God’s call for assistance to those he loves. May you receive the peace of Christ today and every day and never refuse to answer His page to you for help!

One Response to “God’s Confirmation Gift to You”

  1. Mary Wolf Says:

    Beautiful homily.

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