Acts of the Apostles 8:26-40

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Be ready to set out at noon along the road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.” So he set off on his journey. Now it happened that an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he was a eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia, and was in fact her chief treasurer. He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and meet the chariot.” When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” “How can I,” he replied, “unless I have someone to guide me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side. Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this:

Like a sheep that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a lamb that is dumb in front of its shearers,
like these he never opens his mouth.
He has been humiliated and has no one to defend him.
Who will ever talk about his descendants,
since his life on earth has been cut short!

The eunuch turned to Philip and said, “Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?” Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the Good News of Jesus to him.

Further along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is some water here; is there anything to stop me being baptised?” He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down to the water and and Philip baptised him. But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Philip found that he had reached Azotus and continued his journey proclaiming the Good News in every town as far as Caesarea.

John 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowd:

“No one can come to me
unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me,
and I will raise him up at the last day.
It is written in the prophets:
They will all be taught by God,
and to hear the teaching of the Father,
and learn from it,
is to come to me.
Not that anybody has seen the Father,
except the one who comes from God:
he has seen the Father.
I tell you most solemnly,
everybody who believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your fathers ate the manna in the desert
and they are dead;
but this is the bread that comes down from heaven,
so that a man may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give
is my flesh, for the life of the world.”


In yesterday’s reflection, I wrote about humility, and how when one should remain silent rather than stir up a fuss during an argument, especially when the other party is as determined as you are to remain unconvinced.

In today’s readings we see that the lamb is dumb before its shearers. Jesus does not speak in his defense, but Philip speaks for Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit, the message of Jesus Christ gets through. Likewise for us, when others are determined to win us over by arguments and such, we should remain silent and not react in a likewise manner. If what we are doing is for God, then our actions speak for God and we can count on God to send others to speak out for us. 

In the gospel reading, which is taken from the gospel of John, we see the meaning of Christianity come out on reflection. The gospel of John is not written as a narrative like the other three synoptics. It’s not written with everything that Jesus said and did. Rather, it’s written to bring out the meaning of what Jesus said and did.

In today’s gospel reading, we see that everything that Jesus did is for the Father, and everything the Father does is for Jesus. This shows the special relationship of love between the Father and the Son. And Jesus also did what he did for us - by giving his body as food for us to eat. When we eat his body, we become one with him, and therefore, what we do must also be for others.

Therefore speak not for yourself, but for others and for Jesus, and God will make sure that others will speak for you. Give yourself to others, and others will give themselves to you. That is what love is all about.

Dear Lord, help us to give of ourselves for others as you gave yourself totally for us. Grant us the grace to trust that when we give of ourselves totally for others, you will send others to give totally of themselves for us. Amen.

Give Thanks to the Lord for: Those who speak up for us.

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