This story about Philips encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch is very instructive to us of the nature of the life of a disciple of Jesus. The first thing we note is that Philip hears the Holy Spirit tell him to go up and approach the eunuch. This indicates to us a number of things including the fact that Philip must in the very least have been attentive to the voice of the Spirit at that time. Thus we learn that we should also be attentive to the Spirit of God no matter what we are doing at the time.

Secondly, Philip is obedient to the voice of the Spirit. Thirdly, he is able to explain to the eunuch the Scripture passage that he is reflecting upon. Philip does not question the command of the Spirit to approach the eunuch. This indicates that he is used to such instruction or, if this is the first time it has occurred, that he has the faith to believe that such a thing is possible. Do we? Also, he has obviously reflected upon the nature of his faith to the point that he is knowledgeable enough to be able to explain it to the eunuch. This is evident in that the Spirit inspires the eunuch to ask for baptism.

Philip is them willing to take the initiative to baptize the eunuch there and then! While this may not be advisable to any of us but priests in this day and age, in emergency circumstances, that is particularly where there is danger of death intervening before baptism can be administered, anyone can baptize someone as long as they use the right words and pour water over them.

In summary, Philip is obviously a man of the Spirit, who is open to the Spirit leading him at any time to share the Gospel with complete strangers. Here is a great example to us of how we too should be cultivating within our lives an awareness of and commitment to the mission of the Church. We cannot leave the evangelizing of the world up to the priests and religious. We all must do what we can to ensure every man and woman on earth gets top hear the Gospel.

When was the last time I shared the Gospel with someone who was far away from the Lord? Are there times when I have failed to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to do this?

Lord Jesus, open my heart more fully to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and make me more willing to be obedient to it.