Begging to be Taught

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Illustration by Frank Kacmarcik, OblSB, Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota. Used with permission.

In the eyes of his contemporaries, the Ethiopian eunuch is a double outcast, both a foreigner and a mutilated person. He is in Jerusalem for worship but is forbidden to enter the temple. Financially he may be rich, but spiritually he is hungry, seeking understanding. As Philip opens the Scripture to him, the eunuch is overjoyed to recognize Jesus as Good News for his life: God wishes to gather all people into the Body of Christ, including him. 

No matter where we are, we matter to God. We don’t have to be stuck. The life of grace is a dance of God’s initiative, a kindling of our desire, God’s generous offer, and our response. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,” Jesus says. We may wish to know God, to understand, to be forgiven, to love and be loved properly, but ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who draws our hearts. Christ offers him-self to us as living bread, as flesh for the life of the world. But only when we are already in Christ can we begin to comprehend the great gift being offered us. Only in God’s good time can our hearts and minds be opened to receiving that gift.  

Like the Ethiopian eunuch, let us beg to be taught, that we might know Jesus as Good News for our own lives—and that we may come to love him more completely. 

© Liturgical Press.

Sr. Jeana Visel

Jeana Visel, OSB, is a Benedictine sister of Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana. She works at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology and is author of Icons in the Western Church.

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