Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. So there was great joy in that city.
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In years past it was not uncommon to be accosted on the street by someone asking if you knew Jesus. I always wondered if they had read Peter’s first letter. Jesus invited his followers to witness to him through acts of kindness: visiting the sick and imprisoned, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry.
Our Catholic tradition is largely institutionalized in organizations like Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Poor, St. Vincent de Paul Society. But, since Vatican II, many Catholics have followed the call of the Spirit to step out of their comfort zone and become personally involved. Now many of these, when asked “Do you know Jesus?” will answer “I have met Him.” Jesus reveals himself in a most wonderful way to those who serve him in the poor.
—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.
Show your ways to me, O Lord, and teach me your paths.
Direct me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my Saviour.
—St. Peter Faber, S.J.