Today, the Church presents us with a wonderful vision of life in the early Church. We have to use our imaginations a little bit and try to visualize how the followers of Jesus were struggling trying to straighten things out between their religious roots and the teachings and actions of Jesus, and put the two together in a harmonious whole. The first reading describes Philip being extraordinarily effective as a missionary north in Samaria, where the people had Jewish roots and blood, but had not been faithful to the Mosaic Law. Nevertheless, converts to Jesus came in large numbers. The sick were cured. All in all, it was a happy scene.
Next, the leaders in Jerusalem hear about conversion in Samaria and they send Peter and John north to sort of examine the condition of the Church. They seem to have been surprised that these new converts had been baptized but had not as yet received the Holy Spirit. Then, you see the first implication of the Sacrament of Confirmation – the giving of the Holy Spirit to those already baptized.
The text states that, “The pair (Peter and John) imposed hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” We need to be constantly reminded that Confirmation is not a one-time event, but it establishes a new relationship between ourselves and our commitment to spread the message of Jesus Christ.