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The assigned reading in Forward Day By Day today (John 9:18-41) is the rest of the story about Jesus curing the blind man on the Sabbath.  Because I like the African Model of Reflection method for studying the Bible, my own tendency is to find a word or phrase that captures my mind or touches my heart.  Today, it was "Ask him; he is of age; he will speak for himself".  In the context of this story, the blind man's parents were summoned by Jewish authorities to confirm the man was their son, that he had been blind since birth, and to question how he could now see.  Afraid of being banished from the synagogue, they suggested their son could speak for himself:

"Ask him; he is of age; he will speak for himself".    

We continue the journey through Lent, knowing the triumphal return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday is before us, and then the agony of the Passion which ultimately will lead us to Easter.  Spring is emerging from the cold, wet winter, with new life blooming all around us.  As Easter people, we offer thanksgiving for our New Life in Christ, and welcome others who acknowledge Him as their Lord and Savior.

For our Easter Vigil, our Diocesan Bishop will join us at Grace Church to preside at the Eucharist and to preach.  We will also have three Baptisms (including our newest goddaughter), Confirmations, Receptions, and Reaffirmations.  I, along with her parents and other godparents, will speak on behalf of Caroline Grace, hoping and praying that someday she will speak for herself.  But as I read this passage today and think of the Inquirers Class who will be confirmed, received or reaffirm, I am drawn especially to the young people of our Journey to Adulthood (J2A) group.  For most, but not all of them, are to be presented to the Bishop for Confirmation.

Ask them; he/she is of age; they will speak for themselves.

Those being confirmed have had much preparation, conscious thought and prayerful consideration.  Those who choose not to be confirmed are no less prepared, no less aware and have also considered prayerfully their decision.  I admire them all for their mature approach to what this sacramental rite means to each of them, and what they do at this time.  There are reasons to be confirmed.  There are other reasons why one may choose not to be confirmed.  Any and all are valid and must be respected and accepted.   

"Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil?"  "Do you renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?"

Ask them; they are of age; they will speak for themselves.