Weekend Reflection for 5/23/14
Proclaiming Jesus Christ
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city. (Acts 8:5-8)
One of the signs of the Spirit in our lives is what might be called a “holy and humble boldness.” I think of this today as I hear about Philip going to a city which might not be considered prime mission territory, since the Samaritans and the Jews were not on the best of terms, to say the least.
These are the same disciples who were hiding in an upper room not too long ago — and yet here they are now, proclaiming Christ to all the various peoples. Something happened. Something happened to “compel” them to tell others about Jesus. They had experienced the risen Christ and they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This boldness they had was not arrogance but the boldness which comes when I have received something so great that I cannot keep the message from you.
Have I experienced the risen Christ? Have I received the Spirit? If so, what is holding me back from being a true evangelist, speaking about Jesus and his love to all those around me? Too often I go only so far in my witnessing to Christ or I speak only what I feel is “safe” to those whom I think are “safe.” I remember also that much of my witnessing to Christ is not in what I say but in what I do.
Like Philip, like the apostles, I pray for the gift to speak the message of Christ crucified and risen for us “whether convenient or inconvenient.” Only when I do this will I be following Christ’s command to “love one another as I have loved you.”