200x221-liturgy.jpg SACRAMENT PROGRAM

'Family focused, parish-based, Catholic school-supported'

"Your unique and indispensable role in your child's Catholic Christian formation is one that both school and parish endorse and support. It is your privilege and responsibility, which follows from your commitment when your child was baptised, to present your child for the sacraments."

John XXIII College prepares children for the various sacraments during the course of this year's religious education programs: Year 3 - Reconciliation, Year 4 - Eucharist, Year 6 - Confirmation.

Your family celebrates that sacrament in your home parish, the parish community in which you regularly participate.

Image © Tony Kiely, Emmaus Productions


"Master, grant that I may see…" (Mark 10:46-52)

The reflection for this Sunday's Gospel is by Jesuit theologian, Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ, and is reprinted here with his kind permission. Father Andrew is the Media Officer for Jesuit Social Services.

When we were little, we were often told, 'children should be seen and not heard'. Few of us took much notice - all children want urgently to be heard, and we were usually indulged. But as we grow older we can see the point of the proverb. Nothing breaks the flow of serious conversation among adults more effectively than the noisy arrival of a child or two.

It is the same with beggars. But in their case they are usually not even seen. Other people pass them without even seeing them - they are like fire hydrants, parking signs and statues that are there but not noticed. No one makes eye contact with them because they are not seen as people like ourselves. So people do not think that 'beggars should be seen and not heard', but that 'beggars should not be heard, because otherwise they might be seen'.

That was the way it was with blind beggar Bartimaeus. He was part of the village scenery, like the post box, the dogs on the verandahs and the blowflies on the rubbish. But he was not part of the cast - that comprised Jesus, the disciples and the crowds listening to him. When Bartimaeus kept shouting out, he was no longer content to be part of the scenery but was claiming a role in the play. So they told him to shut up. Beggars, especially blind ones, weren't wanted on the set.

But Jesus noticed him. He invited him to come forward and gave him a starring role in a new play. He asked him what was wrong and cured his blindness. Bartimaeus could now not only be seen, but could also see. At the end of the story he did not retire into the village background once again, not to be noticed. He joined Jesus' entourage, a follower like the other disciples.

In the story the joke is on Jesus' disciples. They are the ones who did not see. They did not notice in the beggar's dusty robes there was a human being whom God made and loved, and to whom Jesus had come to bring good news. It was only when Jesus noticed him, respected him and gave him sight that they could notice him as a person and welcome him as their companion.

The Gospel reminds us that people should be both seen and heard, especially when they are in distress, and that if they cannot be heard, we are to be their voice. The disciples should have shouted so Jesus knew Bartimaeus was there.

For Jesuit Social Services, where we work with the most vulnerable and unseen of people, to notice and to speak are a trust . We are called to welcome the people we work with as human beings who play leading parts in God's play. And we are called to be a voice for them when society neglects or mistreats them.Immediately, the choir fled, altar servers fled, and most of the congregation fled. Within a few minutes, out of the two hundred strong congregation only ten people remained where they were. The man who had spoken took off his hood, looked at the priest and said, 'OK Father, I got rid of all the fence sitters, how about we make a start'.

Jesus teaches them, and later all the other apostles, that for his Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, requires of us to drink a cup of suffering and be baptised in a river of sacrificial love. We can't dress this teaching up, or put a good spin on it. There is no resurrection without the cross. No gain without the pain.

For most of us this challenge means doing whatever we can politically and socially to bring the values of the Gospel to bear on our different spheres of influence. But Jesus also links this challenge to the act of service. The leadership Jesus advocates is not monarchical or tyrannical, it is being the least, and being a servant.

The Second Vatican Council taught that leaders in the Church should be outstanding in humility, charity and simplicity of lifestyle. Some leaders are just this. Others have domesticated the hard edge of the Gospel. Let's pray in our Eucharist that we recover a love for the hard teachings of Jesus, even though they demand so much of us, and that we have the courage to call our leaders to do likewise. These teachings are, after all, what makes us different from the Gentiles, and sort out who is actually sitting on the fence.


Next Friday is the Australian celebration of World Teachers' Day, and in our community celebration of the Eucharist, we will particularly acknowledge and pray for teachers in the College community.

Thank you to Year 7 students who prepared today's Mass, during Water Week and to families who were present with them.

Everyone is always welcome at Community Mass!

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