6th Sunday in Easter
Acts 8:5-8; 14-15;1Pt 3:15=18; Jn 14:16-21
“Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.” These words from Acts mark a significant moment in the history of the early Church. For the first time, the Church is reaching out beyond the cradle of its’ origins – Jerusalem and its’ environs – into a new culture. And not just any culture, but that of the Samaritans, a people who were close to the Jews geographically bur far away in their hearts. To quote John’s gospel, Jews and Samaritans “use nothing in common” because they viewed one another as enemies.
Yet the Holy Spirit is so powerful that the deacon Philip, who is Jewish, is compelled to go right to the capital city of the Samaritan people and proclaim the good news.
This story offers great hope in our polarized times. There is no animosity or division within or outside of the Church that the Holy Spirit cannot seal and heal. Do we want to open ourselves up to this power that will enable us to truly love our enemies?
Perhaps this Sunday we can pray for this grace.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
To find my book-length reflections on the scriptures, go to www.twentythirdpublications.com)