Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch


Today’s first reading from Acts of the Apostles is about the Holy Spirit sending one of our first bishops to a certain spot to intercept the eunuch on his way back to Ethiopia in order to teach him the meaning of scripture. Phillip asks him if he understands what he’s reading, to which the eunuch says “How can I understand if noone explains it to me?”

This brings out a key point of Catholic teaching-noone can interpret scripture on his own. They must have guidance by bishops in communion with the Pope (in this case, Peter himself) who are endowed by the Holy Spirit to teach.

The eunuch understands the teaching of Phillip, and asks to be baptised.

Explaining scriptures to people with the guidance of the magisterium (magister = teacher), teaching what has always been taught, for God and his Word never change, is a key office for us as Catholic Christians. It’s getting hard to do that, because so many terms have changed meaning, and so many aren’t concerned about their souls. But teach we must, with charity.

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