Do We Truly Understand?

23 Apr

The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.” 
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?” 
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?” 
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.  (Acts 8:29-31)

In today’s first reading, Philip was charged to go to a eunuch’s chariot and ask him if he knew what it was he was reading.  It was quite apparent that the man did not understand the scriptures being perused.  Philip, for his part, opened the man’s mind to the meaning of the scriptures that he was reading and the eunuch became a believer.

Each person had a specific role to play.  The eunuch, for his part, needed to be open to the Word of God waiting for him.  Philip had to be open to explaining the Word at the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

In our own lives, we are often in each of the person’s shoes.  Some days we are like the man who had no idea what he was reading or what was going on.  Other days, we are like Philip, called to explain the faith to those who seek answers.  The problem lies in having the grace and courage to do what we need to do: to ask questions when we must and to explain to others who do not understand.

It takes a lot of grace to patiently explain the faith to people.  It takes a lot of courage to admit that we do not have all the answers.  That is why we need to rely on God to get us through.

FAITH ACTION:  Is there something about the faith with which you have struggled for a long time?  Find someone who can give you the answers you seek.  Do you know someone who is struggling with the faith and you are certain you can help?  If so, reach out to that person and provide them with the answers they seek.