I am often recruited to speak at Confirmation events around the Midwest and, in the past, I would offer a “test” to check the candidates’ understanding of Confirmation. Unfortunately, nearly every student provided an incorrect definition. What is worse, sometimes priests and catechists could not provide a correct definition either. What is the sacrament of Confirmation?
Today’s gospel serves as a powerful lesson—admonishment—against Catholics who have been entrusted with the fullness of divine revelation and the treasury of the Christian faith in Christ, yet have nevertheless squandered it through acts of injustice, apostasy, and heresy toward the Tripersonal God.
Although most of Jesus’ contemporaries either did not recognize his divinity or rejected it, the demons were well aware of the fact that he was God. Today, we find a similar situation: there’s no shortage of people who are either ignorant of who Jesus is, or reject his divinity outright.
Material heresy is often driven by popular films. It’s no secret that people frequently, even though they know a particular film is fiction, pick up on some of its ideas and absorb them as their own. The fact is—and it is a particularly disturbing one—Hollywood has often become the unwary’s instructor.
Today, Christians often take the meaning of Christmas for granted. Unfortunately, the wonder and magnificence of the Incarnation and the subsequent birth of the humble little Christ Child, including study and reflection on these singularly unique and pivotal events in human history, are often displaced by other concerns. Often unrecognized or forgotten is the struggle, the bloodshed, and the extreme labor of the Church over the centuries to guard and transmit the truth of Jesus of Nazareth in its full purity to the entire world.