Thursday 27 April 2023 – Serving without cost!

1st Reading: 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.

Gospel: Jn 6:44-51

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. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven So, that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”

Serving without cost! The conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch is quite touching. By the promptings of the Spirit, Philip approached him and was invited to come on board and preach. This reminds us of what Jesus says in the Gospel today: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. Just as the key to understand the Old Testament is the New Testament, the key to understand the passage he did not understand was the Christ event. Once Philip supplied that, everything fell in place and he voluntarily asked for baptism. He was definitely a wealthy man. However, once the mission of conversion was over, Philip had no business remaining there for the Spirit had more mission for him. It is not like the preachers of the word who prey on the riches of the believers and have turned themselves into gods of men and of women, rather than men and women of God!

PRAYER: Lord, help us to serve you wholeheartedly without exploiting our position for worldly gains! Amen!


BE ATTRACTED TO JESUS: In the gospel of today Jesus says that no one can go to Him except if he is attracted by his Father. He has to learn from him in order to be a good follower. We are always attracted to God because we are his children, the sheep of his flock. Jesus is our friend who wishes us good. He accepted death so that we may be saved from our misery. What responsibility does Jesus want us to perform? There is no greater love than sacrificing one’s life for friends. We are also invited to offer our lives for our brothers and sisters. Being always ready to help and encourage those who are in trouble. Let us be the source of inspiration to them so that they are able to follow Christ faithfully.