“Following Jesus means to forgo materialism and ensure our loved ones”, Archbishop Benny Travas
Karachi (Leticia Ali): On Saturday, June 25th, 2022, thirty-one young adults from St. Anthony’s Parish Karachi received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The Church and the premises were exquisitely decorated by the candidate’s parents. On arrival, His Grace Archbishop Benny Mario Travas was warmly welcomed by the Parish Priest Fr. Arthur Charles, Fr. Benjamin Mushtaq and the Confirmands at the Church entrance.
The lively singing by St. Anthony’s English Junior Choir led by Ms. Bella Coelho and Mr. Aloysious Soares marked the solemnity of the occasion. The first reading from 1 Kings 19:16, 19-21 was delivered by Phoebe Daniel and the second from St. Paul in his letter to the Galatians 5:1, 13-18 by Amanda D’souza. The Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation were excellently sung by Cymone D’silva. The Gospel of St Luke 9: 51-62 was proclaimed by Fr. Benjamin Mushtaq.
In his homily, the Archbishop mirrored the Life of Jesus, who was determined to journey to Jerusalem on his way to his crucifixion providing us Christians with Eternal life. Similarly, we are all on a journey. The core message derived from the scriptures was “Come Follow Me”. Following Jesus means: leaving behind materialistic articles, providing a prompt response and lastly ensuring our closeness with our family and friends does not hinder our way of following Jesus; following Jesus means following the Cross.
Subsequent to the homily, Ursula Almeida, one of the teachers, stood witness to this journey of faith taken by the candidates over the period of one year involving their learning, fellowship and their spiritual growth. She concluded by presenting the candidates for the Rite of Confirmation. His Grace Archbishop announced his acceptance of the Confirmands. Their Baptismal promises were then renewed.
The Sacrament of Confirmation was administered. Beginning with the laying of hands by the Archbishop and the con-celebrating Priests symbolizing the gesture of invoking the Holy Spirit and His gifts upon the candidates, followed by the Anointment with the Oil of Chrism with the recitation of the words “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” implying for them to go forth in life as a Catholic, a disciple of Jesus and as a person of the Spirit with confidence and strength.
Before the Final Blessings, His Grace Archbishop relayed a short message to the newly confirmed. The first is to keep smiling, the second is to study the Word of God- to stay close to the Holy Bible and the third is to be part of the Christian Community.
(This article was initially published in the Christian Voice, Karachi on July 03, 2022)