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326

Part Two

completion of baptismal grace.

89

For “by the sacrament of Confir-

mation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and

are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they

are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and

defend the faith by word and deed.”

90

I.

C

onfirmation

in

the

E

conomy of

S

alvation

1286

In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the

Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his

saving mission.

91

The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his

baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come,

the Messiah, the Son of God.

92

He was conceived of the Holy Spirit;

his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total com-

munion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without

measure.”

93

1287

This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the

Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to

the whole messianic

people.

94

On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of

the Spirit,

95

a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and

then more strikingly at Pentecost.

96

Filled with the Holy Spirit the

apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter

declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic

age.

97

Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were

baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.

98

1288

“From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s

will, imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the

gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism. For this reason

in the

Letter to the Hebrews

the doctrine concerning Baptism and the

laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian

instruction. The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the

Catholic tradition as the origin of the sacrament of Confirmation,

which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the

Church.”

99

89 Cf.

Roman Ritual,

Rite of Confirmation (

OC

), Introduction 1.

90

LG

11; cf.

OC,

Introduction 2.

91 Cf.

Isa

11:2; 61:1;

Lk

4:16-22.

92 Cf.

Mt

3:13-17;

Jn

1:33-34.

93

Jn

3:34.

94 Cf.

Ezek

36:25-27;

Joel

3:1-2.

95 Cf.

Lk

12:12;

Jn

3:5-8; 7:37-39; 16:7-15;

Acts

1:8.

96 Cf.

Jn

20:22;

Acts

2:1-4.

97

Acts

2:11; cf. 2:17-18.

98 Cf.

Acts

2:38.

99 Paul VI,

Divinae consortium naturae,

659; cf.

Acts

8:15-17; 19:5-6;

Heb

6:2.

702-716

739

699