I love Pentecost Sunday and the readings that reveal to us the coming of the Spirit as wind and fire. We can imagine being with the disciples in a locked room, filled with fear, and hearing the sound and seeing the presence of ‘God with us’ as spirit.
Yesterday, Sunday 15 May, I attended the opening and consecration of the new St Francis Xavier’s Church, at Belmont. It was the third time that I have witnessed the consecration and commissioning of a place of worship for a Catholic community.
Jesus’ going at his Ascension was one of expectation, where he was lifted up while the apostles looked on. Jesus had appeared to them in many settings during the forty days after his rising and told them that while John had baptised with water, they would be baptised with the Spirit. The promise was that Jesus would return.
This last weekend we celebrated the feast of The Ascension, marking Jesus leaving his disciples and ascending to the Father. He left behind a rather puzzled and confused group of disciples who had just asked him “Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel?”.
Recently I remarked on the “extra special care” we need to show for each other as we react to the landscape of sexual abuse that has been heightened since the commencement of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RC). Aurora has invited me to consider how this might be done, attitudinally and practically. Finding answers is much tougher than acknowledging a need! All of us, but particularly those in Church communities, so close to the intensity of clerical abuse and individual and public pain, are reeling. Initially, it seemed impossible to believe − now it seems impossible to know what to do.
Jesuit Richard Leonard introduces his latest book, “What are we doing on earth for Christ’s sake?”
Flying is both a joy and a risk for a priest. I have been blessed − or cursed − to fly often. Generally I enjoy it, but I choose to fly under the radar (pardon the pun). I rarely wear clerical dress on a plane, mainly because clerical collars are uncomfortable. Secondly, these days, it repels as many as it attracts.