Acts 8: 5-8. 14-17

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.

The Field Hospital Receives the Holy Spirit

Philip preaches outside of Judea as the Church begins its missionary outreach to the world.  Through Philip, the Risen Lord in and through the Church continues to accomplish what Jesus of Nazareth did in his earthly life. He performed signs: unclean spirits are driven out, paralyzed and crippled people are cured. Through Peter and John, the Risen Lord in and through the Church continues to send the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis described the Church as a field hospital for the broken and the hurting of the world. Those who are crippled or paralyzed in body, mind, or spirit must be welcomed to the Church to experience healing and the gift of God’s Spirit.

How welcoming am I to those in need of the field hospital?  Where am I paralyzed or crippled and in need of healing?  How does the Holy Spirit move me to reach out to those in need?

—Fr. Robert Flack, S.J. is a retreat director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington IL.


Your Spirit, Lord, renews the face of the earth: may it renew the depths of our hearts. Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!

Your Spirit, Lord, is life: may it raise us up on the last day. Come to us, Spirit of the Lord!

—Lucien Deiss