St. Dominic Catholic Church

2002 Merton Ave | Los Angeles, CA 90041 | (323) 254-2519


Our Deepest Hunger 2020-8-2 18th Sun. Yr. A Fr. Roberto



Homily for Confirmation
St. Dominic Church
July 30, 2020
Title: The Potter and the Clay
Theme: God’s Holy Spirit molds us throughout our lives.

First reading: Jeremiah 18:1-6

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message. I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. 
Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done? says the LORD. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.

I have never made pottery in my life. But I watched a YouTube video about it recently, and now I am an expert…just kidding. But actually, the idea of pottery in our first reading from Jeremiah is a great image for what God does in all our lives, and especially what God is doing in the lives of you candidates who are going to receive your Confirmation today. First of all, as Jeremiah says in the reading, God is the potter and we are the clay in his hands. That means that you and I are not the potter, God is. So often, we want to take control of our own lives, and so we tell God: “Hey, Lord, I’ll take care of this situation, of my future, of this relationship, etc. I’ll let you know when I need your help. See you later.” It doesn’t work that way! God is the potter, and he’s a hands-on God who gently and patiently works with us to form us, to mold us into the shape that is best for us. God uses everything that happens in our lives – the good and the bad, our joys and our sorrows, our successes and our failures, our virtues and our sins – to make us into the people he wants us to be. I don’t know about you, but that is great news to me because that means that even when I screw up in major ways, God does not give up on me. He just says, “Okay, that did not work out very well, did it? So, let’s see what we can do together to help you learn from your mistake and move on.” And then he continues to mold us.

The primary way God molds us is through his Spirit working in our lives. That is one of the reasons this sacrament you are receiving today is so important. All those gifts of the Holy Spirit that you hopefully learned about in your two years of preparation for this sacrament –
wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – are powerful tools that will enable God to continue to bless you and mold you throughout your life.

To get a clue about how God can do this in your life, let’s go back to our second reading from the Acts of the Apostles. It should be a very familiar reading because it is read every year at Pentecost. The apostles had been with Jesus for three years; they had experienced his love and his miracles and his teachings. But still something was missing in their lives. Even after Easter, they knew in their heads that Jesus had risen from the dead and that he was alive, and yet they were still filled with doubts, uncertainty and fear. They still did not know why they were here in this world and what they were supposed to do with their lives. Then, Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost and it changed everything for them. The Holy Spirit gave them the gift of fortitude: the courage, power and confidence to overcome their fears. The Holy Spirit gave them the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel and knowledge to overcome their doubts and uncertainties and to know why they were here and what their lives needed to be all about. The Holy Spirit gave them the gifts of piety and fear of the Lord, i.e., a deep and powerful love for Jesus that made him the center of their lives. The Holy Spirit made all the difference! After Pentecost they were unstoppable!

My brothers and sisters, that is what is available to you tonight! That is what Jesus wants to give you tonight: the courage, power and confidence to overcome your fears. the wisdom, understanding, counsel and knowledge to overcome your doubts, uncertainties and to know why you are here in this world and what your lives need to be all about, and the love to make Jesus the center of your life.

But the Holy Spirit cannot give you all that unless you ask him to, unless you open your heart to receive him in all his fullness and power. He will not force himself on you; you have to invite him in. 

Now, tonight you will receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, but this is not a one-shot deal. You’re not done. You have finished with your Confirmation classes, but God is going to continue to work with you and mold you for the rest of your lives.

You were created for a reason; God has a plan for your life that will bring you happiness and a deep sense of purpose and meaning, whatever you end up doing in your life. God will continue to work with you and mold you through everything that happens in your life through the Holy Spirit that will come upon you this evening. Just keep on opening your heart to the Holy Spirit and keep on listening to his voice.