THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH
Today’s reading: Acts 8:26-40
The incident of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch instructs
us about the nature of the work of LCSC.
Ethiopian eunuch did not know Jesus, but was mindful of God.
He “had come to Jerusalem to worship” (v.27b).
The situation of many Catholics today is that they are nominal,
lapsed, non-practicing. They are not pagans, for they know
God, and might even go to Church to worship. But they have
not really met Jesus and have no personal relationship with
Ethiopian eunuch was into the scriptures, and “was reading
the prophet Isaiah.” (v.28b). But he did not understand
what he was reading. Philip asked him, “Do you understand
what you are reading?” (v.30b). He replied, “How
can I, unless someone instructs me?” (v.31a). Most Catholics
do not know the Bible and do not even read the Bible. They
are worse off than the eunuch, who at least was reading scripture.
St Jerome says that ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance
of Christ. Thus it is crucial that Catholics read the Bible
and apply what they learn to their lives. This is one reason
why the LCS is replete with Bible passages. Often, most Catholics
would only truly encounter the scriptures through the LCS.
Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture
passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him.” (v.35). Philip
evangelized the eunuch. He introduced Jesus to him. Philip
shared Christ, and thus the eunuch met
Christ. This is what happens in the LCS. Then, upon
the desire of the eunuch, Philip “baptized him.”
(v.38). The eunuch put his faith in Jesus and became a Christian.
He would now start to live Christ.
Now notice that this whole episode happened within less than
a day. We have different ways of mounting the LCSC LCS, but
one day or one weekend is an option. In one day, one can indeed
meet Christ and start to live Christ based on the proclamation
of the gospel and intensive inputs about the faith, about
the full gospel, based especially on the scriptures.
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.” (v.39). We can presume that the
eunuch, with joy in his new-found faith, connected with a
local church. After the LCS, the LCS graduates “see
us no more,” that is, we do not bring them into a continuing
life in CFC-FFL, but rather leave them to live Christ in the
parish environment. Like Philip in relation to the eunuch,
we do not give extensive formation or personal pastoral support
to LCS graduates, which they should find in their parishes.
then “went about proclaiming the good news to all the
towns” (v.40). This is the basic task of LCSC, to do
the initial first step in evangelization, which is to proclaim
the gospel. This actually is what is missing in the Church,
which has so many activities and ministries and programs,
but is unable to do enough to reach the lapsed Catholics,
who are a majority in the Church. LCSC does a massive work
of trying to reach those lapsed Catholics and bring them back
to God and back to the Church. Like Philip with the eunuch,
we do not stay to work on the long (lifelong) process of transformation
in Christ, but we focus on massive evangelization, in particular
on the initial proclamation of the gospel. Like the work of
Philip, LCSC too intends to proclaim the good news of Jesus
to all the towns.