Thursday, May 04, 2017

Hearts Burning with the Word

Philip Teaches the Eunuch

By Beth DeCristofaro

Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him. As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?" Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more but continued on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:35-39)

(Jesus said) It is written in the prophets:They shall all be taught by God.” (John 6:45)

Jesus my Brother, Lord and Savior, help me who is weak, sinful and limited to see in every other person whom I meet who is also weak, sinful and limited not only as a mirror of myself but as an image of your divine self. May I hear her/his potential for Grace and offer my mercy and love, graced by you.

Sunday’s Gospel was the story of Emmaus when two of Jesus’ friends who heard the Good News proclaimed by the Risen Christ realized that “were not our hearts burning”! Today’s story from Acts is about an unbeliever whose heart became aflame with Philip’s witness of Jesus’ Good News. “What is to prevent my being baptized?" the foreigner asks in a delightful proclamation of “My heart is burning!” Both he and Philip (albeit in a mysterious manner) left this encounter to continue spreading this Joyful Good news. The Eunuch continued rejoicing in his newfound conversion while Philip preached from Azotus to Caesarea.

The first movie I remember seeing at a theater was Disney’s 101 Dalmatians with my siblings and father. It was so exciting that I remember coming home and regaling my mother, who was ironing, with every thrilling and funny detail! How well I have learned to tamp down that exuberance so that evangelizing – sharing my closest moments to Christ and conversion – are mostly quiet and controlled. Thanks be to DeColores and Arky Arky for giving me the permission to sing out loudly when my heart burns. Whether softly or loudly (and off-key) God’s Word can allow us to live life to the fullest because we share God’s animating, guiding, enlivening life within. God teaches us through prayer and by acknowledging that every other being is created in God’s image so that if we look, listen, and expect, we might encounter the divine. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in expectation of "What is to prevent my (seeing God today) on the road?"

Pope Francis said in Evangelii [i]Gaudium: In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, … Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”.

We Cursillistas start evangelizing with ourselves being aware each day that God is in our hearts. Then we look for God in others. How might God surprise you with an appearance in someone whom you least expect? What will you do to evangelize today? Can you be open to being “re-baptized” (with heart aflame) today?

No comments: