Homily for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Easter
Over the last few days, not including Tuesday when we celebrated the Feast of Sts. Philip and James, our Gospel readings have come from John 6, also known as the Bread of Life discourse. It is the chapter where Jesus gives His disciples the teaching on the Eucharist.
For those of us who attend daily Mass regularly, we know that this section of the Gospel of John is read every year during the Easter season. It is meant to remind us that Jesus continues to be present with us in the Eucharist. But it is also an invitation for us to continue to ask the Lord to allow the reception of His Body and Blood to transform us from within.
Whenever we allow the Lord to work within us, it can lead us to become living witnesses to just how transformative a life in Christ can be. It can make us evangelizers, people who share what Jesus has done for us. It can bring others to an encounter with the living God. It can lead others to a conversion of heart in their own lives. That’s exactly what we see happen in our first reading this morning from the Acts of the Apostles.
As one of the Apostles, Philip was taught by Jesus; he was taught by God; he heard everything the Lord had spoken; he witnessed the miracles and healings that Jesus performed; he knew of Jesus’ Passion and Resurrection; he received the Spirit in the Upper Room; he had seen the Risen Lord. Now, Philip is called by the Spirit to share his experience with Jesus with this Ethiopian eunuch and it leads to the man’s conversion.
That’s exactly what we are called to do as Christians. We are called to go out and share with others how Jesus has changed our lives. We are called to go out and share our own experiences with the Lord, to share with others how Jesus is real, Jesus is alive, that the Living God who created the universe wants to have a relationship with us, that He cares about us, that He loves us. And, quite honestly, with everything we have experienced and witnessed over the last couple of years, that’s something our world needs a little more of.
Today, as we come forward to receive the Eucharist, let’s ask the Lord for the grace of courage to go out and be those witnesses that share His love and His presence with the world. The world needs to hear the message of the Gospel. The only way that happens is through us. Let’s go do it.
Image: The Angel Orders Saint Philip to Accompany the Ethiopian Eunuch by Philip Galle after Maerten van Heemskerck. Public Domain.