Daily Office Readings for Tuesday Proper 8 of Year 1
“Philip went down to the city* of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:5 – 8)
Let’s follow Philip the Deacon for a day or two. Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed the Risen Jesus to them and they were thrilled to hear it. This is amazing because just last Sunday in our Eucharistic Reading we saw where the Samaritans would not receive Jesus. (Luke 9:52 – 59)
But now things have changed. A man named Simon who was promoting his own agenda was impressed by what Philip was doing in the Name of Jesus. So Simon stayed near Philip and was baptized by him along with many of the Samaritans. The power of Jesus working through Philip got rid of demons and made the lame walk. Simon, upon seeing this, was beside himself with jealousy.
The big point here is that because a person or persons did not accept Jesus at first does not mean that they will never accept him. The other part to ponder is that while Simon was promoting himself, Philip was promoting Jesus. Philip, in many ways was like John the Baptist. John spoke of Jesus as the one who is coming after him and is greater than him. Philip spoke of the Good News of the kingdom of heaven and how it has come near to us and as the Samaritans accepted this Good News, they begin to be healed.
Even today, letting our friends and community know that the Kingdom of God is covering us more and more with goodness will still have a healing effect. The coming Kingdom of God is like two spheres merging together (kind of looks like the Master Card logo). In this case, the gold moving left is covering the red. This is like the kingdom of heaven covering the earth.
As this happens more and more, God’s desire for humanity becomes fulfilled. You and I have choices. We can resist this movement of the Kingdom of God or we can help ease it in by letting people know it’s happening already. It’s not really a choice. We know the final outcome: God Wins. It’s just nice that we have this wonderful opportunity to escort it in. Despite all the bad news we hear today I believe we are becoming a better people more and more.
Thank You Jesus. John+