Bearers of the Holy Spirit – Called to be living witnesses in a community of faith
Archbishop Costelloe shared his understanding of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early Church through a community gathering of everyday people and invited the audience to reflect on their place in today’s Church in the face of contemporary challenges. Photo: Supplied.
By Josh Low
Being bearers of the Holy Spirit as living witnesses of God’s love in the world was the message of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB for Pentecost Sunday.
In his homily at Floreat Wembley Parish on 4 June, Archbishop Costelloe referenced the writings of St Paul on the presence and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“In one of Saint Paul’s letters he gives us some advice as to how we can recognise the presence of the Holy Spirit within us and among us,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“He explains to us what the Holy Spirit’s coming into our lives will mean: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control,” he said.
The Archbishop expressed that these gifts are certainly worth having and called for reflection on how much our lives and the lives of those around us would be changed if we received these gifts more fully.
“The kinds of things which the Holy Spirit brings are the very things which could make our lives richer and more loving and more deeply human,” he said.
He emphasised that all who are baptised are already bearers of the Holy Spirit, with those confirmed being filled with the fullness of the Spirit’s gifts, strengthened and commissioned to be living signs of God’s love.
The Victoria Park branch of MenALIVE meets four times a year for a shared meal and conducts weekly small group scripture meetings. Photo: Supplied.
The Archbishop added that through receiving the Eucharist, the presence of Jesus ‘enters into the deepest reality of our lives, transforming us slowly but surely into living images of his own loving presence to the world.’
His comments were related to the message given the previous day at a MenALIVE Pentecost Breakfast and Reflection Morning at Victoria Park Parish on 3 June.
In his address to some 30 men gathered, Archbishop Costelloe shared his understanding of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early Church through a community gathering of everyday people and invited the men to reflect on their place in today’s church in the face of contemporary challenges.
Assistant coordinator of Victoria Park MenALIVE group, Tony Dean, said coming together in fellowship, hearing the shared experiences of others and reflecting on the Lord’s purpose for their lives was of great benefit.
“I particularly enjoyed the Archbishop’s understanding of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early Church and how the first disciples were not yet saints but just ordinary men with the same flaws and failings as ours.
“The Holy Spirit gave them a new purpose and empowered them to create a new community of faith.
“While we need to acknowledge our own flaws, and the failings of others in the Church, especially in recent times, we must not forget, as the Archbishop reminded us, that ‘Jesus never fails his constantly failing disciples’,” Mr Dean said.
MenALIVE is a national Catholic men’s ministry, with different groups throughout both the state and country, with the Victoria Park branch of MenALIVE meeting four times a year for a shared meal and conducting weekly small group scripture journaling meetings.