'GOOD NEWS' for 30th Sunday in 'Ordinary Time'

"The publican returned to his home justified; the Pharisee did not". (Luke 18:9-14)

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.

…One of the pitfalls of personal success is the arrogance that sometimes comes with it. The Pharisee was, no doubt, a very good-living, devout man, but he made himself feel important by putting others down. He even did this in his prayer, reminding God of just how good he was in comparison to others. It's a wonder he went to the Temple at all because he does not seem to need God.

On the other hand, it is a wonder that the tax collector turned up at the Temple too, but for very different reasons. Tax collectors were despised in Palestine. They were Jewish functionaries used by the Roman occupying army to extort the ferocious Imperial taxes from the local community. No wonder he stays close to the back door of the Temple. He might have to beat a hasty retreat. But here he is in prayer recognising the brokenness of his life and his need for God. This tax collector becomes the model of right behaviour for Luke's community.

There is nothing wrong with being devout and successful. Conversely, there are plenty of dangers in doing a job that demands constant moral compromises, like being a tax collector for the Romans. What Jesus notices is what the life situations of both these men do to them. Hence the social outcast's humility shows up the haughty Pharisee.

For far too long we have thought humility meant putting ourselves down, pretending we were nobodies, worthy of nothing. This is not Christian humility. Being humble does not mean we hide or minimise our God-given gifts, talents or resources. It means we honour others by sharing them, enabling them to benefit from the goodness of God. Humility comes from the Latin word, humus, meaning 'close to the earth'. The tax collector lived close to the earth and so he was open to conversion, to being lifted up by God. The Pharisee was so successful at being religious he was closed to it. He had altitude sickness from taking the high moral ground.

Most of us find ourselves in between these extremes.

[Our weekly Eucharistic celebration can] ground us enough that we open ourselves to being converted again to put all our gifts and talents at the service of Christ's Kingdom.

© 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?


Next Friday our Community Mass will be prepared by Year 8 students. All students, staff, parents and friends are welcome to our community liturgy 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