Mass Times

Watch Us Live


Jesuit’s Sacred Space

Parish News & Events


You are warmly invited to join once again with every parish in the diocese in a Novena to the Holy Spirit – our dedicated period of prayer, reflection and planning for the renewal of the Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The Novena will take place in the nine days...

Young Adult Camino 2024

We are delighted to launch our Young Adult trip to the Camino June 2024. Completing the last 110km of the Camino from Sarria to Santiago, this is a pilgrimage not to miss! Places are limited and all details, including preparation days, can be found in the poster. If...

Year of Prayer 2024

Year of Prayer 2024: The first offering for this special year at the Monastery of St Alphonsus took place on January 29, based on the wisdom tradition of the Desert Mothers and Fathers. The full resource is attached for reflection and prayer. You can also watch the...


Please find attached to this email the Vocations Newsletter and prayer intercessions for Lent as well as information about an upcoming webinar The webinar is entitled ‘The Last Priest in Ireland? It Depends on You’. It is a follow-up to the RTÉ documentary broadcast...

Reflection on Today’s

Gospel Reading

Pentecost Sunday

There is a story told about a conversation between an Archbishop and a learned Japanese writer who wasn’t a Christian. The writer said to the Archbishop, ‘I think I understand about the Father and the Son, but I can never understand the significance of the honourable bird’. He was thinking of the many images he has seen of the Holy Spirit as a dove. Perhaps, like the Japanese writer, we can all struggle to understand the Holy Spirit. Yet, the Holy Spirit is at the heart of our faith. It is the Holy Spirit that brings us together at this Mass on the feast of Pentecost.

Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and he encouraged us to pray to God his Father for the coming of the Holy Spirit into our lives. He said on one occasion, ‘If you… know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ In the gospels, Jesus is referred to as ‘full of the Holy Spirit’. When he stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth, he said, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me’. His whole life was shaped by the Holy Spirit and he wanted the lives of his disciples to be shaped by the Holy Spirit too. That is why he promised to send us the Holy Spirit. In today’s gospel reading he speaks of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, ‘whom I shall send to you from the Father’. Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to empower us to live in the same loving way as he did. The Act of Sorrow that the children learn at school concludes with the words, ‘Help me to live like Jesus and not sin again’. It is the Holy Spirit who helps us to live like Jesus. One of the most profound statements about God in the New Testament has three words, ‘God is Love’. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love. Because the Holy Spirit completely filled the life of Jesus, he was the most loving human being that ever lived. The Holy Spirit inspires us to live loving lives, lives that reflect the life of Jesus and reveal the God of Love today.

That is why Saint Paul says in today’s second reading, ‘What the Spirit brings is… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control’. Another, more familiar, translation is, ‘The fruit of the Spirit is…’. Our candidates for Confirmation learn about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul doesn’t speak about fruits of the Spirit but fruit of the Spirit, in the singular. It is as if he is saying that the Holy Spirit produces one fruit in our lives, a fruit that is so rich it needs several words to do it justice, the words, ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness or faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’. Paul is saying that this is what a life filled with the Spirit, guided by the Spirit, shaped by the Spirit, looks like. This is what it means to be ‘spiritual’, alive with the Spirit. Whenever we find these qualities in a human life, there the Holy Spirit is to be found. It can be hard to imagine the Holy Spirit, but it is not hard to imagine the kind of life that Paul describes in that reading. We have all known people whose lives display the qualities of love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. Our own lives will have displayed those qualities, at least from time to time. At the end of that second reading, Saint Paul, says, ‘Since the Spirit is our life, let us be directed by the Spirit’. The Spirit is our life. Those whose lives are shaped and directed by the Holy Spirit are fully alive as human beings; they live fully human lives. Because Jesus was totally filled with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God’s love, he shows us what it means to be fully human.

The role of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to make us more like Jesus, to lead us to Jesus. In today’s gospel reading, Jesus says that the Holy Spirit, ‘will lead you to the complete truth’. The complete truth is not so much a teaching but a person, the person of Jesus who said of himself, ‘I am the truth’. Just as Jesus leads us to the Father, by revealing God the Father to us, so the Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus, reveals Jesus to us, helps us to grow in our relationship with Jesus, so that Jesus can live in us and his love flow through us. When Jesus lives in us through the Spirit we witness to Jesus. As Jesus says in the gospel reading, ‘The Spirit of Truth will be my witness… and you too will be witnesses’. We witness to Jesus not so much by what we say but by how we live, by living lives that are full of the fruit of the Spirit. That is why the very ancient prayer to the Holy Spirit never goes out of date, ‘Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love’.