Thursday, April 14, 2016

Philip's Rejoicing Eunuch

"When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing."  ~from Acts 8:26-40


Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch


"Every new beginning is some other beginning's end." ~Seneca

Each year during the Easter season, when this joyful reading about Philip explaining a passage of Isaiah to an Ethiopian eunuch is proclaimed at daily Mass, my heart always feels a little pang of sorrow for Philip and the eunuch at the fact that their encounter was so brief,  I tend to focus on their sudden separation rather than the fact that the eunuch was rejoicing over his new faith and baptism.  He wasn't crying for sorrow when Philip was snatched away.  I pray that God could give me that same spirit of rejoicing at the life passages and changes that come my way.  Yet, my melancholy spirit rarely finds joy in letting go, even when that letting go is a natural consequence of new and beautiful life joys.

"Keep silent:  smile quietly when a treasured trifle is taken from you and causes you pain.  When things go of themselves, let them go-they leave you God." ~a Carthusian

I suppose my sorrow is natural, after all change is never easy whether it be a close friend moving far away to start a fresh and exciting life, a child growing up, marrying and starting a family of their own, a decline in our health and our ability to be as productive as we would like, or any other number of life changes and losses both minor and significant. But God is doing something new and wonderful in those times when someone or something is snatched away from us, even though, in our limited human minds and hearts, we might not be able to see or understand what it might be.  He is all we need cling to when what we are comfortable with and enjoy is snatched away from us, and in His time He will lead us to new life; He will mercifully show us His plans for our prosperity and eternal happiness.  

"There is resurrection everywhere." Caryll Houselander

I want to take the rejoicing eunuch as a role model and look for comfort in the little resurrections of daily life-the sunrise, a bird singing in the early morning, a new baby cooing, and daffodils unfolding as they push their way through the hard winter ground. There is always something new and fresh with God.  His ways of revealing Himself to us are many and varied.  May all our eyes be open to the new life that God wishes to bless us with as we let go of what was and accept what is with grace and joy like Philip's rejoicing eunuch.


source

"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"~Isaiah 43:19

1 comment:

  1. The image is not a eunuch unless he was fixed at a later age. Otherwise he looks too male.
    Also it looks hot and the eunuch looks to be wearing maybe a thick clothes?? It's very hot in the summer being a eunuch. I've been hot all day. Back then there was no hormone replacement.

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