Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: April 22, Lectionary # 276. Acts 8:26-40. Psalm 66:8-9,16-17,20.
John 6:44-51.

Earlier in our reading of Acts we were given the names of seven deacons who
would tend to the needs of the poor at table and make sure things were
equally distributed among the Hebrew widows as well as among the Hellenist
ones. Both groups were those who had embraced the recent emerging community
that was following the teachings and actions of Jesus of Nazareth.  Now in
the Acts only Stephen and Philip are mentioned; we have read of Stephen's
martyrdom.  Philip, the second deacon to be named, now takes the initiative
to preach both to the Samaritans and now to an Ethiopian servant of Queen
Candace of Ethiopia. He is riding in a chariot and is reading from Isaiah's
suffering servant songs, but he does not understand the meaning of the
texts.  Philip who is led by the Spirit catches up with the chariot and
asks the servant if he can help him see the meaning fo the passages he is
reading. This leads to the man being baptized while Philip again led by the
Spirit moves on to Azotus.  This is a remarkable and colorful account of
Luke and we see how the mission of the first followers of Jesus are now
being led by the Spirit--a Person who is very important to Luke in his
Gospel as well as in the Acts of the Apostles, his twofold work.

Jesus is finishing the wisdom discourse on the Bread of Life.  Fr. McPolin
comments, "Coming to Jesus in faith is not only the will of the Father
(v38) but it is also his work, for the Father draws believers to faith in
Jesus (v34)." (New Testament Message, John, p.105).  Both Jesus and the
Father are "working" to help us believe in Jesus, that is, to have absolute
trust in him.  This will lead us to the final part of the discourse in
tomorrow's reading where the reality of Jesus' giving of himself totally to
us for food and drink.  Many will stop following Jesus because of their
literal understanding of these words making them think of canabalism!  We,
however, understanding the meaning of the sacrament of the Eucharist are
called to an even deeper appreciation of Jesus words in chapter six.  It
would be a good spiritual reading of fifteen minutes to reread the whole of
chapter six.  Amen. Alleluia.