2019 Term 2 Week 6

2019 Term 2 Week 6

From the Rector

We celebrate the Feast of Pentecost this week. It is one of the three major feasts in the Christian calendar – Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. These feasts represent God's gift of the incarnation at Christmas, Christ's triumph over death at Easter, and the Holy Spirit’s commissioning the faith-filled at Pentecost. A Greek word for fiftieth, Pentecost is celebrated fifty days after Easter.

In the Easter period, we journey with the apostles. Hiding behind closed doors after Jesus was executed, they gradually let go of fear and started again. At Christ's ascension, they were considering the mission left to them. With Jesus in their heart rather than by their side, they gathered for Pentecost.

A beautiful reflection by Teresa of Avila, a Spanish mystic in the 1500s, expresses something of what they might have considered:

Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,

yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

no hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Filled with the Holy Spirit, these men and women found a new confidence to love and serve God and others. They took up the invitation to transform lives, to give a voice to the voiceless, to listen and speak up for what is right and true, and to change the world for the better. This marked the birth of the Christian church. A season of great consolation and hope, Pentecost encourages us to look at our world as the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirt comes into our hearts and renews everything. It is as if it is the first day of the rest of our lives.

The Holy Spirit has some significance to the people of Australia. When Captain Pedro Fernandez de Quiros claimed Australia in the name of the King of Spain in May 1606, he declared, ‘It shall be called the Southern Land of the Holy Spirit.’

What are the signs of the Holy Spirit in our land today, or in our work situation, friendship groups, or families? Communities can be shaped by a bad spirit that is evident in anxiety, selfishness, bitterness, jealousy, anger, depression. Or they can be shaped by the gifts of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We contribute to both. We are affected by both. And we have much choice in what we do and feel about either.

Communities fall apart when relationships are harmed and we fail to reconcile. They flourish when we work with good will and hope. Reaching out when we feel aggrieved is not always natural to us but it is entirely natural to the Holy Spirit. Left to our own devices, we often fail, but inspired by the Holy Spirt, everything is possible. This requires some vigilance to sense and choose the good, to find God in all things.

Fr Peter Hosking SJ

OREMUS (Let us pray)

We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.

For those who have died:

  • Jan Minogue, mother of Sam Trenerry (staff) and grandmother of Lauren (OI ’18) and Ben (Year 8)

“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.”  (Matt 7:7)

If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Home Group Teacher, or Year Coordinator.

Fr Peter Hosking SJ