ANYONE WHO EATS MY BODY AND DRINKS MY BLOOD WILL LIVE
(Thursday, May 09 2019)
In the first reading of today, we see the effects of the disciples moving away from Jerusalem to other places caused by severe persecutions. The disciples continued in the great task of spreading the Good News beyond the shores of Jerusalem.
Today in the reading, it was an encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch who was interested in what he was reading but was not understanding it. Philip was sent through the help of the Holy Spirit to assist this man in his quest to understand the mystery behind what he was reading and through the process convert Him. Every now and then, God always provides an opportunity for us to be assisted by others and for us to assist others.
When an opportunity comes to us to be assisted by others, how do we make ourselves available or humble ourselves to maximize such opportunities? Like in the case of the Ethiopian Eunuch in the reading, when Philip approached him to help him, he made himself available. Philip put a little question to him in order to draw his attention saying "Do you understand what you are reading"? By this very question, Philip declared an interest to draw this man closer to himself.
By responding, The Eunuch also provided an answer that shows that he wants to be helped by saying "How can I know unless I have someone to guide me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side. We see here that an opportunity provided itself for the Eunuch, he used it because of his availability and secondly, Philip made himself available to help this man not only helping him to understand the said passage but also to use this opportunity to preach the Good News of salvation to Him. It was because of the approach and the availability that Philip rendered to this man that made him to demand for baptism and eventually he was baptized and then went about preaching the same Good News to others that he encountered. This boils down to the saying that no one who encounters God ever remained the same.
The Ethiopian Eunuch encountered Christ through Philip and his life automatically changed and he became a witness to the Good News. In our own case, how do we assist others when the opportunity comes for us to do that? Do we insult people or bring their reputation to the mud because we want to assist them with the gift we have? Many are doing that today and it is not good! Philip never insulted this man because he was reading something and was not understanding it. Instead, he approached him in a friendly manner and assisted him and this assistance and friendly treatment he showed him drew him to conversion. Let us there brothers and sisters learn how to approach people in a friendly manner if we want to render them help. Christian charity demands that we should see ourselves as brothers and sisters professing one faith.
Those who have should come to the aid of those who do not have. Having here does not necessarily mean money, or material resources though included. Having here also entails our God-given talents and gifts. Philip never offered the Eunuch money or material gifts but what this man received from Philip at the end of the encounter was worth more than money can buy! So it is not about money but our personalities and what we can offer to people when an opportunity provides itself.
What Christ said in the Gospel that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him is what exactly happened in the first reading. God indeed drew the Ethiopian Eunuch to Christ through the instrumentality of Philip who was pushed by the Holy Spirit. Let us like the Eunuch always make ourselves available to be drawn to Christ in season and out of season.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, help me to know you and to be willing and ready to serve you in others all the days of my life. Amen.