'GOOD NEWS' for 29th Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

(Luke 18:1-8)

The reflection is part of Fr Richard Leonard's homily for 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.

… There is a long and venerable tradition in the Church that prayer can influence God's will. Our belief in the power of intercession is predicated on it. This tradition holds that God regularly and actively intervenes to effect good outcomes in the world. In this school God is waiting to be asked or have us ask others to petition him.

The problem with this school is how much an all-knowing, unchanging God changes his mind in regard to our petitions. Furthermore God's interventions in the world are fine if all the decisions are running our way, but what happens when they run against us?

This approach can downplay free will. It can minimise our role, with God, to discern our options and choose carefully. If most of our petitions are focused on what God can do, it shifts all the responsibility (and the blame) on to God.

An equally long and venerable tradition in the Church, however, is that prayer changes us. This tradition has had less airplay. Fasting, abstinence and pilgrimages, for example, do not change God, but are meant to change the person who undertakes them. These things can enable us to be more responsive or receptive to whatever happens in life. I think this tradition needs to be reclaimed.

The idea of prayer changing us, changes our prayer - giving it greater dynamism and urgency. While we may not know the mind or will of God, we often know our own thoughts and desires. We can usually pinpoint what needs recrafting or reshaping in us so that we may live out the goodness and love of God more clearly. Confronting and converting these obstacles, with God, can see our prayer at its boldest and bravest. At these times we can enjoy God's healing and forgiveness. And because conversion is a lifetime process, Jesus encourages us not to lose heart but to pray always and hold on to faith even when the going gets tough.

John Powell once said, 'God knows what we want and need before we open our mouths. In prayer, then, he does not need a performance from us. He longs for an act of love.' May our shared Eucharist celebrations help us to move away from demanding that God change his mind or will to allowing his love to keep converting and changing us.

© Richard Leonard SJ


The College Sacrament Program, aligned with Archdiocesan policy, is 'Family-focused, Parish-based and Catholic School supported'.

Families of children in Years 3, 4 and 6 are preparing to celebrate, respectively, the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation in their own 'home' parish.

The knowledge component is also covered in the Religion Curriculum of those classes.

Local Parishes

Some parishes, located near the College, have supplied calendar details for their Sacrament Programs. This information can be accessed via the link to the College website.

Further Information?


All students, staff, parents and friends are welcome to the Community Mass each Friday. Singing is led by our own Chapel Choir and Primary Singers. For those able to stay, the celebration continues after Mass with coffee in the Café.

If you have any queries about Community Mass please contact Mary-Anne Lumley: or 9383 0513.

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