Acts of the Apostles 8:1-8
That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem, and everyone except the apostles fled to the country districts of Judaea and Samaria.
There were some devout people, however, who buried Stephen and made great mourning for him.
Saul then worked for the total destruction of the Church; he went from house to house arresting both men and women and sending them to prison.
Those who had escaped went from place to place preaching the Good News. One of them was Philip who went to a Samaritan town and proclaimed the Christ to them. The people united in welcoming the message Philip preached, either because they had heard of the miracles he worked or because they saw them for themselves. There were, for example, unclean spirits that came shrieking out of many who were possessed, and several paralytics and cripples were cured. As a result there was great rejoicing in that town.
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the bread of life.
He who comes to me will never be hungry;
he who believes in me will never thirst.
But, as I have told you,
you can see me and still you do not believe.
All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me I shall not turn him away;
because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will,
but to do the will of the one who sent me.
Now the will of him who sent me
is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me,
and that I should raise it up on the last day.
Yes, it is my Father’s will
that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life,
and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’
Saw them for themselves
Many at times when someone tells us about something quite unbelievable, we actually would prefer to see it for ourselves and witness it. It is part of our nature to doubt what we do not see, and it requires a lot of faith and trust for us to be convinced. For us to determine a fact, a truth, it requires evidence; something substantial and proof of its existence. What more than to see it and experienced it for ourselves? When we have discovered the truth, we will then try to share and translate the experience to someone else, and we will probably feel the uphill task of convincing the other, the truth in which you have come across.
The apostles, witnesses to Jesus crucifixion, began to spread the good news of his death and resurrection. In today’s reading, Phillip worked miracles, casting out evils and curing the sick. The people were convinced and believed in the power of God and Holy Spirit. Two thousand over years have passed since the death of Jesus, the act of sharing the good news remains. Our priests are the front line of Jesus’ disciples who continually help renew our faith in Christ. However, we seldom see the works like Phillip’s today. We have put our faith in the bible and believe in our Father Lord. Miracles could happen in our lives in a very obvious manner, or very subtle that we sometimes could not even notice.
Jesus understood our current struggles in the faith and our frustration of not seeing results, the way we want to see so as to believe. Jesus said, “Happy are those who have not seen but yet believed.” Have the faith my brothers and sisters, all goodness comes from God and these are the miracles in your life. Our Lord God makes us see with our hearts and mind, but not with our eyes, and we are always being guided by the Holy Spirit to lead us through such blindness.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Austin Leong)
Prayer: I am blind O Lord, lead me through the difficulties in my life and open up my heart to see the hope and eternal goodness you have for us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you dear Lord, for those who provide care and service to us, doctors who provides healthcare, farmers who grows our food, priests who provide spiritual care. I see the love and necessities which you have provided for us.
Thu, 12 May – Acts of the Apostles 8:26-40; John 6:44-51; Memorial for Ss Nereus & Archilleus, Martyrs
Fri, 13 May – Acts of the Apostles 9:1-20; John 6:52-59; Memorial for Our Lady of Fatimah
Sat, 14 May – Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17.20-26; John 15:9-17; Feast of St Matthias, Apostle
Sun, 15 May – Acts of the Apostles 2:14.36-41; 1 Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10; Fourth Sunday of Easter