News & Bulletin

“Receive the Holy Spirit!” (John 20:19-23)

Last week I wrote about allowing the Spirit to be in charge of us. This weekend on the feast of Pentecost the same theme is emphasized. And Jesus gave the example of himself. We know from the Gospel that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was baptized in the Jordan River: “And John offered testimony, saying: ‘For I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove; and he remained upon him. ….this is the one who baptized with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:32, 33). The same Spirit which I believe the Spirit of Jesus as well prepared him before going to the dessert where he was tested by the devil for forty days. It was a preparation for him to do his public ministry (Luke 4:1, 14).

When Jesus was ascending to heaven he promised to give the same Spirit to his disciples. And as Jesus prepared his mission by going through his own baptism and trial before put to death, he wanted his disciples also to go through the same pattern. They have to be “baptized” (called to be with Jesus) and put to the test by witnessing their master’s crucifixion. To complete their joy of resurrection, he urged them to wait for the advocate. They have to receive ‘new baptism in spirit’ before beginning their public ministry. He asked them “to wait in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

Today when we are celebrating the Feast of the Pentecost we may gather together around the Eucharistic table and with a silent heart we are calling and waiting with great desire for the coming of the Spirit within us. We may
have known that there are Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. We may ask God to give a few or one of them for the benefit of our own spiritual growth or for our “public ministry” in serving others. May I refresh our minds with those seven gifts: WISDOM (ability to value spiritual things over worldly ones, UNDERSTANDING (helps us to grasp the truths of the faith), COUNSEL (right judgment – acknowledging the difference between right and wrong), COURAGE (sustain our decision to follow the will of God), KNOWLEDGE (awareness of God’s plan), REVERENCE (obedience to God and willingness to serve him) and WONDER AND AWE (makes us aware of the Glory and majesty of God).

I was a little late in writing this reflection this week as I have been traveling the whole day (back and forth) from Monte Negro to Macedonia. I was hoping to have some historical and spiritual meaning in my travel, knowing
that St. Paul the apostle, once traveled to Macedonia. However, I was disappointed because the part of Macedonia that I visited was not the place where he went. He went to the other part of Macedonia that belongs to Greece now. Apart from my disappointment, I came to realize that the Spirit is working not always from outside. He works mostly from within. We are asked to trust the Spirit that works from within our hearts.


‘The Good Lie’ Starring Reese Witherspoon. An inspirational film about a group of Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America, where their encounter with an employment agency counsellor forever changes all of their lives. At The Mustard Seed Bookshop, 3 Keating Street Lidcombe – on Thursday, 4 June at 7.30pm. Book your tickets ($5 each) by phone on 9646 9000. Tickets are strictly limited!


The Funeral of Colin Ashelford, son of Peter and Anne Ashelford will be held at St Agatha’s Catholic Church – 20 Boundary Rd Pennant Hills on Monday 25th May at 11.30am.


The Parishioners of OLR wish to extend a warm welcome to our Confirmation Candidates and their families this weekend who will be attending the 9.30am Pentecost Sunday Mass. This will be followed by their orientation and first preparation session. Parents are asked to take their children straight to the hall after Mass.


An 80 minute audio-visual presentation by Peter Kearney about a 700km pilgrimage walk in Spain. Q&A session at conclusion. Three locations: North Sydney. Saturday, 30 May 11.00am (nearly full) and 2.00pm, Tenison Room, Mary MacKillop Place,80 William Street; Winston Hills. Sunday, 31 May 11.00am, Fr. David Scott Parish Centre, St. Paul the Apostle Parish, 40 Buckleys Road; Strathfield. Saturday, 27 June 12.30pm. St. Martha’s Hall, Churchill Avenue. Suggested donation $10 / $8 concession. Limited seating. Registration essential: Please specify event location, session time and number of seats needed.