Mass Reading & Meditation for April 18, 2013
Meditation: Acts 8:26-40
3rd Week of Easter
He continued on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:39)
Just before ascending into heaven, Jesus told his disciples, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The Book of Acts is filled with exciting accounts of how Jesus’ followers—empowered by the Spirit—took up this commission. And each account reveals yet another aspect of the power that we all received when we were baptized.
When you see the word “power” in the New Testament, chances are that it is a translation of the Greek word dunamis—the same word at the root of the English word “dynamic.” Philip’s encounter with the treasurer of the court of the queen of Ethiopia is just one example of how dynamically the Spirit can work through believers. It was the Spirit who put Philip at the right place at the right time and energized him so that he could tell this Ethiopian official about Jesus and bring him to conversion.
Far from being just an exciting story, this account tells us that God wants to energize us as well. He wants to empower us to bring people to conversion. There are so many today who, like the Ethiopian, are just waiting for someone to explain Jesus to them. And as Pope Benedict XVI said, “The world needs people capable of proclaiming and bearing witness to God who is love… . The Church’s mission is the extension of Christ’s mission: to bring God’s love to all, proclaiming it with words and with the concrete testimony of charity.”
The Spirit is eager and ready to empower us just as he empowered Philip. And just as the heart of the Ethiopian treasurer was prepared to receive the gospel, so too is the Spirit still preparing the hearts of those who are seeking him today. Just look around you. God will bring people to you—all you have to do is to rely on the Holy Spirit and follow his guidance.
“Lord, open my eyes to see the depth of your love for the people around me. Open my mind to the guidance of your Spirit. Open my mouth to proclaim your word wherever you ask me to go.”
Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20; John 6:44-51