18.04.2024 — Directed to Conversion

Posted under Reflections on April 18th, 2024 by

3rd week in Easter Time, Thursday – 18th April 2024 – Acts 8,26-40; Jn 6,44-51

Directed to Conversion

Philip is one of the first deacons of the church (Acts 6,5) and the first significant Christian missionary to Samaria (Acts 8,5-25). Philip was not only a faithful preacher, also an obedient personal worker. An angel has directed him to a road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. At the commission of an angel, he was willing to leave the crowds and deal with one lost soul. The Holy Spirit chose him to guide and explain the Scriptures to the Ethiopian eunuch, the finance minister of the Queen of Ethiopia. As an evangelist, Philip explained the suffering servant in Isaiah as referring to Jesus, the Messiah, who quietly suffered for the salvation of humanity. Once Philip has shared the Good News of Jesus with the Ethiopian and brought him into closer relationship with Jesus through baptism, Philip is taken by the Holy Spirit to another place to continue the ministry of spreading the Gospel. Through his baptism, the eunuch becomes an adapted son of God, a member of Christ’s body and a temple of the Holy Spirit. On coming out of the waters, he goes out to spread the Gospel in his native land.

17.04.2024 — Spreading Joy in Persecution

Posted under Reflections on April 17th, 2024 by

3rd week in Easter Time, Wednesday – 17th April 2024 – Acts 8,1-8; Jn 6,35-40

Spreading Joy in Persecution

In the first reading, after the death of Stephen, the early church faces persecution. The focus now shifts from Jerusalem to the other towns of Judea and into Samaria. The Spirit is moving the church outward and causes an increase in numbers. While the Apostles remained in Jerusalem during the persecution, Philip, one of the Seven Hellenist deacons, took the Word of God to the region of Samaria and proclaimed the good news about the Messiah-Christ. He worked great signs: he drove out the evil spirits and healed the paralyzed and crippled. Signs like these were done by Jesus to bring the people to faith in him as the Messiah. In like manner, Philip accomplished similar works and sought to bring people to encounter Jesus. He became a full-blown evangelist. The result was that the people, who heard the good news and witnessed the miracles, were filled with great joy. The Spirit causes joy as the church spreads out in the midst of persecution.

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