Thursday, Third Week of Easter
Today’s readings remind me of the need for both, openness to the Spirit and adherence to the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid), in order to minister most effectively, especially to those who are outside society’s gates.
Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. (John 6: 47)
Today’s readings remind me of the need for both, openness to the Spirit and adherence to the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Stupid), in order to minister most effectively, especially to those who are outside society’s gates. Philip’s willingness to leave Jerusalem makes his meeting with the Ethiopian possible. He appreciates the journey, physical and spiritual, that this foreigner is already on. Philip doesn’t try to qualify the desire of his fellow traveler or have preconditions for accepting his invitation to join him. He listens before he speaks.
Even though the Ethiopian in the story may not have been able even to worship with the Jewish community, Philip recognizes in him what is most important, his hunger for Jesus. So, Philip sees fit to baptize him without delay.
How does Philip’s approach to evangelization compare with ours? Certainly, there is always a need for catechesis, for forming disciples, for preparation to receive the sacraments, and for programs that advance these goals. But when was the last time we examined a barrier that arose when engaged in a ministry and considered whether there was a bigger picture, something of larger importance to that person or God? Are there opportunities for us to be more open to the Spirit of simplicity? Can we accept that it is the Father who is leading all who are seeking Jesus, no matter who they are or how they’re doing it?
Rev. Patrick Gilmurray, C.PP.S. (Atlantic)