Reflection for Thursday, April 22, 1999: 3rd week in Easter.

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Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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In today's first reading, we hear a wonderful story from the Gospel of the Holy Spirit, which we call The Acts of the apostles. The early Christian community was formed by the lives and preachings of its first leaders, whom we call Apostles.||Philip is lead by the Holy Spirit to intrude himself into the carriage and life of an Ethiopian man making his way along in the desert. The man just happens to be reading a section from the Prophet Isaiah, which we call the "Suffering Servant Song." The man asks Philip of whom does this prophesy speak. Philip launched out with this scripture passage as his starting point, telling him the good news of Jesus.|The Holy Spirit, as recorded in these readings we are hearing these days, was working over-time and doing marvelous works. This man had his carriage stopped and Philip baptized him in some convenient water. This Holy Spirit, we wonder, is it still working to bring about life and recovery from our world's blindness and indifference? That man went on his way rejoicing and this is our invitation today to rejoice in our having been baptized.|To be baptized is more than an entry into a congregation or social movement. We are immersed into the person of Jesus and thereby begin to orient our lives toward making Him present; we are born anew in Him Who has risen to give rebirth and sight to this world.|Jesus, in the gospel for today says that "They shall all be taught by God." This God has not stopped working and intruding into our carriages and lives to bring us and the whole world, to the acceptance of Jesus as the fulfillment of our needs to see and know God.|God wants to be seen, but not in such ways as to satisfy or convince our minds. "Everyone who has heard the Father and has learned from Him, comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, only the One Who is from God has seen the Father."|The "Working-God" has invited us through our baptism, to enter into a way of seeing God. We are invited to be cleansed from an arrogance which demands clarity, exactness and explanations. This orientation allows us to preach as apostles of this later Christian community. We preach by the deeds, attitudes and spirit which intrudes into the carriages and lives of others as they make their way through one desert or other. He is the Bread of Life Who has given life to us that we might be bread for the lives in the carriages into which we are sent every day. Have a holy ride.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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