“Verb!” A Confirmation Sermon

ConfirmationYour mom yells out to you from across the room, “Did you get to Mass today?” You reply, “Ya, Mom, I went to church this morning.”

The older woman tells you that she said the rosary. She says it four times every day. Hasn’t missed a day in forty years.

What’s wrong with those two scenarios?

It’s the verbs! It’s always about the verbs in our lives. What’s the definition of a verb? “A word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence” or the last word of a sentence.

You can “do” the dishes, but you can’t “do” Mass or “do” relationships or “do your personal life.

I “prayed” today at Mass for our family. Now, doesn’t that sound much better than that dead verb, “went?” Or how about this? “I slowly recited the rosary thinking about one person for each bead. And I only did it once a day because sometimes I forget to do it.” Now, doesn’t that sound much better than that dead verb, “said?” And isn’t one time sincerely prayed better than four repeating repetitions in a single day?

“Went” and, “said” are verbs that describe an event that’s been started and ended. It’s finished. I did it. It’s over now. It describes an event, not an experience. It’s like “seeing” a movie. So you sat there for two hours. Big deal. An experience brings out the response, “That movie moved me in several ways” and then proceed to explain what you mean to your friend.

Like any sacrament, confirmation is not an event, it’s an experience. It’s one that is unfolding and unpacked your whole life; just like marriage may be for you or as ordination has been to me. It’s the unfolding of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit that will sometimes surprise you and other times expected. That’s one dynamic verb. I just made the Holy Spirit a verb! Good for me!

At the end of April, don’t you dare come up to me and tell me that you “got confirmed.” I’ll just walk away from you. You “receive” the sacrament of Confirmation from the Church for it to be unpacked, unraveled, unveiled, mysteriously present, shared, forgotten but then retrieved for the rest of your lives.

It’s the verb. It’s never “went” and, “said.” It’s always “touched,” “affected,” “scared,” “comforted,” “humbled,” and “honored.”

A verb. To paraphrase the definition, a verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence that makes the predicate of a sentence meaningful, worthwhile, and purposeful in your life.

Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.
All available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.com
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons of
Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
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