Our brief reading from Acts of the Apostles reads like a high definition short film about faith in Our Resurrected Lord. Saint Philip is clearly someone who has grown nimble in life in the Spirit, and he is so spiritually in tune that he acts immediately. He sees and understands the needs of another person just by observing. And his testimony is so compelling that the man wants to stop their moving vehicle in order to be baptized.
Our society frowns more and more on sharing faith. We can share about anything else we cherish, but the Christian-take on the meaning of life is often unwelcome. Yet believers of all time know that what the writer of the book of Hebrews says is true: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is why we will always have people like Saint Philip around us, if we have eyes to see.
When I think of Saint Philip, I always think of my first youth minister. After fifteen years in my religious community, I am more and more grateful for how that youth minister allowed the Spirit to lead and transform him. Like Saint Philip, he has staked everything on Christ Jesus. Like Saint Philip, he is a radiant example of faith and joy in Our Resurrected Savior.
The thing is, my youth minister is so humble he only laughs when I try to express how inspiring his life of faith is to me. I bet Saint Philip was the same way. I bet he shifted the focus back on the power of the Spirit.
Sisters, we often do not know the impact our lives have on the world around us. This is probably for the best. God works best with humble, agile instruments. But sometimes we allow ourselves to get discouraged because we are trying to compare ourselves or to measure success.
Our First Reading today ends with the Spirit snatching Saint Philip away after his mission is fulfilled. No balloons or an appreciation plaque. This is God’s way. And God’s way is beautiful.
So let’s look to Saint Philip and to those who are like him around us. Let’s continue to give everything to Christ. Then let us allow the Spirit to give us everything we need for the journey. He is sure to give us peace, courage, and joy in the Resurrected One.
Don’t give in to the temptation of comparison of your friend’s talents or your sister’s gifts. God made you for your own mission: to give Him honor and glory. Let’s stay focused on that.
Sister Maria Kim Bui is a Daughter of Saint Paul, women religious dedicated to evangelization in and through the media. She is originally from Tempe, AZ, spent most of her fourteen years in religious life in the northeast, and is part of a bilingual evangelization team of sisters serving in Texas. Find out more about her here.