May 05, 2017
In his homily at Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 4, Pope Francis reflected on Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40).
An angel commanded Philip to “get up and go,” and this is “a sign of evangelization,” the Pope preached, adding:
But in order to evangelize: ‘Get up and go!’ One doesn’t say: ‘Stay seated, calm, in your house’: No! In order to be faithful to the Lord, the Church should always be on its feet and on the journey: ‘Get up and go.’ A Church that does not rise up, that is not on the journey, is sick.
The Pope preached that Philip, when he joined the eunuch in his chariot, listened to him:
All men, all women have a restlessness in their hearts—[they may be] good or bad, but there is a restlessness. Listen to that restlessness. It’s not saying: ‘Go out and proselytize.’ No, no! ‘Go and listen.’ Listening is the second step. The first: ‘Get up and go’; the second: ‘Listen.’
That ability to listen: What do people feel? What does the heart of the people feel? What does it think? But do they think mistaken things? But I want to hear these mistaken things, in order to understand where the restlessness is. We all have this restlessness within. The second step for the Church is to find the restlessness of the people.
Because Philip entered the eunuch’s chariot and listened to him, Philip was then able to preach “with meekness,” the Pope continued. Philip baptized the eunuch, who then experienced the “joy of the Christian.”
“May the Lord give to all of us the grace to live the Church in this way: on our feet and going out, listening to the restlessness of the people, and always in joy,” the Pope concluded.