The Holy Spirit is With Us
Anointed by the Holy Spirit
Relying on the Holy Spirit begins when we receive the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. With these sacraments we receive an anointing with Sacred Chrism on our forehead. In the Old and New Testaments, an anointing with oil was given to Kings, Priests and some Prophets. Anointing with oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The words “Messiah” and “Christ” and so “Christian” mean “anointed” by the Spirit. By Baptism and Confirmation, Christians — the anointed ones — share more fully in the mission of Jesus and in the fullness of the Spirit with whom He is filled.
When we are confirmed, we receive a spiritual mark or seal, and a seal indicates the owner of an object. Jesus was sealed by the Father. St. Paul writes:
“It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
2 Corinthians 1:21–22
“This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service forever, as well as the promise of divine protection”
CCC § 1296
Obviously this seal presumes that we want to belong completely to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
This anointing with the Holy Spirit gives Christians (anointed ones) power to carry out their God-given responsibilities. The Holy Spirit is the source of our power in serving God and His people. The anointing means that we are to be instruments of the Spirit. We must learn to be instruments, available to His leadings and power. We were not baptized and confirmed merely to strengthen our own efforts as we strive to live as mature Christians. Although we can accomplish much by our own efforts, it is not by our own efforts that we come to maturity as baptized and confirmed Christians. To live a divine life, a life in Christ like Jesus, we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. We mature by becoming instruments of Jesus and the Spirit. We become mature by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.
“But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1: 8
“For I (Paul) will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit [of God], so that from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the gospel of Christ.”
Romans 15: 18-19
God never intends that we live our lives by our own perceptions, resolve, perseverance and power. Then we, living in the kingdom of self, would take credit for our accomplishments. Rather, Jesus and the Spirit always intend that we live in the Kingdom of God, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, and so giving God the glory and credit for our accomplishments. We can live a Divine Life only with Divine Power, the power provided by the Holy Spirit.
“He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.’ These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.”
Mark 16: 15, 17-20
Our anointing and confirmation hinges on our becoming instruments of the Holy Spirit! This is not solely for our benefit but to carry out the works that God has intended for us. Today, we to have the same power from the Holy Spirit and the same mission from Christ — to go out into the world and proclaim the gospel. When we rely on the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit, we can do as Christ commanded.