Have you ever considered the fact that you have been blessed even more powerfully with a very deep gift of faith, hope and love? Thomas wouldn’t believe, without seeing some concrete sign in which he could believe. Yet we believe, without having “seen” any signs of power - - and as Jesus told St. Thomas, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20:29).
Our faith and the teaching of the official Magisterium tells us that we receive this same “Spirit of power” when we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We may not be aware of receiving compelling gifts, such as the “gift of praying in tongues” (Acts 2:4), and we may not see “tongues as of fire” or hear a “mighty wind” (Acts 2:2-3). But be assured, when we receive this Sacrament, the Holy Spirit does indeed bestow gifts upon everyone being confirmed.
St. Paul teaches us in the Second Reading that there are different gifts, different works, and different ministries. Nevertheless, it is the same God who bestows them, and they all have one purpose: to be used to help others, to build up the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:3-7). If you have been confirmed, no matter what your age at the time, you were empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry on the work and mission of Jesus Christ. This you do, as we all do, with the gifts we have received -- not envying the gifts of others, but simply being faithful in the little that we have.
“Fire” has a special significance in the New Testament. It is the sign of the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit. The “tongues as of fire” on that first Pentecost were predicted in the Old Testament through Elijah (1 K 18), and proclaimed by John the Baptist as he pointed to the Messiah who would “baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Lk 3:16). The Sacrament of Confirmation makes us obligated to spread and defend the faith more strictly; and this then leaves us to ask have you been fulfilling your obligation?