There is a story told about a young salesman assigned to a rural area in the South. One day he came upon a farmer sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of a rundown house. After introducing himself, the salesman launched into his pitch: "Sir, I've got a book for you that is worth its weight in
gold. It tells how you can farm your land ten times better than you're doing now." The farmer kept rocking back and forth. Then, after a long pause, he said, "Young feller, I already know how to farm my land ten times better than I am now doing. My problem isn't knowing what to do. My problem is doing it." In today's readings from Mass, we find the answer to the need we all have to do what we know we should do, but have a hard time doing. The answer is the Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit of God to empower us, to breathe into us the courage to live as we should as disciples of Christ.
At this time of year, many young men and women around the Diocese are receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. The seven-fold gift of the Spirit is poured forth into their hearts to make it possible for them to live out their desire to truly make Christ the Lord of their lives. Each of us who have been confirmed have received that same assurance that we can call on the Spirit as we face the challenges of life. But the Spirit never is forced on us. Perhaps if we feel powerless, it is because we never pray for what we need, we never ask in faith for what God promises us.