'GOOD NEWS' for Feast of Pentecost

"The Holy Spirit will teach you everything." (John 14:15-16, 23-26)

The reflection is from Fr Richard Leonard's homily on this Sunday's gospel and is printed here, with kind permission. Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting, is a member of the Australian Catholic Media Council and is author of Preaching to the Converted, Paulist Press, New York, 2006.

We know from the first Pentecost and from our own experience that the Spirit works in unpredictable AND ordinary ways. From the Acts of the Apostles we learn that where the Spirit of God is active all sorts of gifts are present:

- boldness to stand up for what we believe;
- the ability to hear and listen;
- an end to fear that locks us in on ourselves;
- confidence in the salvation won for us in Christ;
- fidelity to Jesus' commandment to love;
- clarity about what's true; and
- an 'at homeness' with God.

The problem for many of us is working out where the Holy Spirit is leading us. This requires the gift of the discernment of spirits.

St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, left the church a guide for working out how we can tell if and where the Holy Spirit is leading us. One summary of them goes like this:

  1. Don't make a decision when you're down. Let the crisis pass and take time to weigh all the options.
  2. The Holy Spirit enables us to let go of our unhealed past and not live in the unknown future. The Holy Spirit draws us to deal with the here and now, as it is, not as we may like it to be.
  3. The Holy Spirit frees us up to bring out into the open anything we keep buried in the dark. There is nothing that has ever happened to us that is beyond the Spirit's healing.
  4. The Holy Spirit breaks down isolation and draws us into community with other people.
  5. Be careful of things that appear too perfect, they sometimes have a sting in the tail and can be destructive.
  6. Be guarded about all things that are urgent. The Holy Spirit brings a sense of perspective to problems.
  7. The Holy Spirit is always present where compassion and forgiveness are demonstrated.

Not bad for a guy who died in 1556!

So Pentecost … is God's promise to abide with us come what may. And living in the power and love of the Spirit and claiming her direction is an intensely practical affair.

It is with this type of confidence that can sing the ancient chant,

'Come O Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your spirit and we will be recreated and you will renew the face of the earth.'

© Richard Leonard SJ



Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost and a number of students in Year 6 will celebrate receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation. The students will celebrate the sacrament with their families, within their parish communities, having been well-prepared by their parents and teachers.

Image: Emmaus Productions

Congratulations to the following students:


Chantal Briede
Owen Lilleyman
Jenna Martin
Tayla Vivian


Jorja Knowles


Next Friday's Community Eucharist will be prepared by Year 9 students. Families of Year 9 students are particularly welcome. For those able to stay, the celebration continues after Mass with coffee in the Café.

When: Fridays in Term Time
Time: 8:00-8:30am
Where: College Chapel