Reading 1 ACTS 8:26-40
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, “Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” So, he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, that is, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and join up with that chariot.” Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So, he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. This was the Scripture passage he was reading: Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who will tell of his posterity? For his life is taken from the earth. Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply, “I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this? About himself, or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him. As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said,
“Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing. Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Like Philip, do we obediently discern with the Holy Spirit and act according to God’s will? Philip was an effective instrument to the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch. He was instructed to go to the Ethiopian, and the Ethiopian was prompted by the Holy Spirit to learn about Jesus. This was affirmed in today’s gospel;
Jesus said to the crowds: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me”. (JN 6:44-45) So, when we proclaim about God, we must humble ourselves so that the Holy Spirit can inspire us to work and speak according to God’s will. When the Father draws someone to us, we must put Jesus first and allow the greatest Teacher to teach as He will do a better job than us. That way, when people have an encounter with us, they can continue their journey rejoicing.
Let us always remember the 11 words prayer by Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo: “O Jesus, I abandon myself to You. Jesus, You take over”