Do you understand what you are reading
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK
Acts 8:26-40, Jn 6:44-51. God was already drawing the Ethiopian eunuch to Himself, before ever he met with Philip on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza. This wealthy Ethiopian civil servant was a God-fearing Gentile who worshiped God and followed whatever Torah rules he could, in his actual situation. Today's first reading records how the Spirit attracted the Ethiopian eunuch to a deeper understanding of life, through reading the prophet Isaiah’s Songs of the Suffering Servant. When the cheerful Deacon Philip chose to travel the same road as the Ethiopian, Divine providence was clearly at work. The foreigner was grappling with the Scriptures, but was unable to understand their mysterious message. Listening to this man reading aloud from Isaiah, Philip asked him: “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian pilgrim replied politely: “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” When he heard how the words of the Suffering Servant pointed to Jesus’ death on the cross, he found faith in Jesus and asked to be baptised. Let us consider the steps of his conversion, not really a move from sin to grace, but taking an opportunity offered by grace and wanting its full impact in his life.
Like the Ethiopian officer, we are called to be “God-fearers” who draw near to God and seek to know what life expects of us. Like this pilgrim, we should join in worship, as he did in the Temple in Jerusalem. On his way back home, he was still hoping for God to enlighten him. After his leap of understanding, he was baptised and was saved in Christ. That was how the Apostles continued to reach out and touched the lives of those who came from the distant, foreign lands and from there, brought forth the truth of the Lord to more people. They revealed the truth about Christ, "the Bread of Life", who has delivered His truth into the world as recorded in today's Gospel. Christ is the Bread of Life, the Son of God who laid down His life for us, obeying the will of His Father for our sake, so that by His suffering, death and resurrection, we may have new life and be reconciled to God.
May the Lord who reconcile and create a new spirit within us, end the conflicts which divide our world! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!