The other morning during my devotions, I came across the story of St. Philip as he encountered the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26–40), following the resurrection of Jesus and his subsequent appearances to the disciples. First, while I’m familiar with this story, I surprised myself with how little I could recall ever reflecting on it. I think this passage can help us engage in the New Evangelization.
My reflection did not center on Philip’s sharing of the Good News with the eunuch, but on how he got there in the first place. You see, Philip was in tune with the Holy Spirit. So much so that the Scriptures state the Spirit prompted him to go share the Good News, but not in some preplanned or programmed way. On the contrary, it all seems rather spontaneous.
Here’s Philip on his way to wherever, and he gets a sense inside—kind of a inner whisper if you will—”Pssst! Philip, it’s me, God. Go over there and share the Good News with that total stranger. Listen to his needs and help him understand how Jesus will meet them.” Philip did what we may consider kind of crazy and followed this inner prompting to share Jesus. The eunuch converted right there, even asking Philip to baptize him!
Rather than talk about plans and programs for evangelization, if we spent more time getting in tune with the Holy Spirit and the promptings of the Spirit, wouldn’t the New Evangelization have more impact in our lives and in the Church?
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