Plenary Document Reflection
18. Novo Millennio Ineunte was written to guide the Church as it entered into the third millennium.
We put the question with trusting optimism, but without underestimating the problems we face. We are certainly not seduced by the naive expectation that, faced with the great challenges of our time, we shall find some magic formula. No, we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which he gives us: I am with you! 
193. The fifth Plenary Council in Australia, convened to discern what God is asking of us in Australia at this time, is a unique opportunity to embrace more fully this practical spirituality of St Mary MacKillop. Throughout the pages of this Instrumentum Laboris, and through the various stages of consultation and discernment, the whole Catholic community in Australia, in an exercise in synodality, has sought to identify the needs to which the Church today is called to respond. As has been mentioned throughout this document, it is the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties, of the people of our age, and of our country, which are the joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. As people of faith we believe that, through the gift of his Church, the Lord has equipped us, and continues to equip us, to recognise the needs of our time and set ourselves to doing something about them.
194. In the prayer composed for the Year of Grace, we speak of Mary MacKillop as one “who showed us new ways of living the Gospel”.
196. These challenges are, at the same time, real opportunities for the Church. We ask ourselves today, as did those who listened to Peter speak in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, “What should we do?” (Acts 2:37). As Pope John Paul II reminds us in Novo Millennio Ineunte, “we put the question with trusting optimism, but without underestimating the problems we face”. The Pope goes on to remind us that ultimately, we put our trust not in formulas, but in Jesus himself who assures us that he is always with us.
198. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit at work in us, as individuals and as the community of disciples which we call the Church, which can guide us as we step bravely into the future, always in the footsteps of the Good Shepherd who is our Way, our Truth and our Life. This is what we have been praying for since our journey towards the Plenary Council began: “Come Holy Spirit of Pentecost, come Holy Spirit of the great South Land, bless and unite all your people in Australia”.
Lead your Church into a hope-filled future, that we may live the joy of the Gospel. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, bread for the journey from age to age. Amen.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
St Mary MacKillop, pray for us.
Universal Prayer Petition
The Plenary Council calls us to be a joyful, hope-filled servant community. We pray that the spirit of joy and hope will fill our hearts and overflow to all we meet.
(Pause for silent prayer)
Lord, hear us.