Philip was one of the seven chosen to take care of the distribution of goods for those in need in the community. Like the rest, he was filled with the Spirit. In carrying out his ministry among the Samaritans, Philip remained open to the Holy Spirit. It turned out that he not only offered the Samaritans food for their bodily needs, but he also proclaimed the Gospel message to which many were receptive, “and many possessed people, many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.” (Acts 8:7) As one of the deacons who served the early Church, Philip was filled with the Spirit, a quality that required self-awareness and the willingness to respond to the Spirit’s promptings. That awareness of the Spirit of God in a person’s life strengthens one’s relationship with God. It helps one to be opened to the workings of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Philip shows us how we too could respond to the Spirit’s promptings as God manifests His plan through us. And because salvation is by the grace of God, not our own human effort, the Samaritans became receptive of Philip’s message which offered them the hope of new life as it encouraged them to embrace Christ our life. Being opened to the Spirit is the awareness of our baptismal calling and allowing the Spirit of God within us to truly transform our lives, not holding back in fear, but letting ourselves be free in God in order to be fulfilled in Him who is our life.
Father Ben Faneye