Bible Reading (8:26-40)

If you believe with all your heart, you may be baptised.

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Be ready to set out at noon along the road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza, the desert road.” So he set off on his journey. Now it happened that an Ethiopian had been on pilgrimage to Jerusalem; he was an eunuch and an officer at the court of the kandake, or queen, of Ethiopia, and was in fact her chief treasurer. He was now on his way home; and as he sat in his chariot he was reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and meet that chariot.” When Philip ran up, he heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” “How can I,” he replied, “unless I have someone to guide me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit by his side. Now the passage of scripture he was reading was this:

Like a sheep that is led to the slaughter-house,
like a lamb that is dumb in front of its shearers,
like these he never opens his mouth.
He has been humiliated and has no one to defend him.
Who will ever talk about his descendants,
since his life on earth has been cut short!

The eunuch turned to Philip and said, “Tell me, is the prophet referring to himself or someone else?” Starting, therefore, with this text of scripture Philip proceeded to explain the Good News of Jesus to him.

Farther along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is some water here; is there anything to stop me being baptised?” He ordered the chariot to stop, then Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water and Philip baptised him. But after they had come up out of the water again Philip was taken away by the Spirit of the Lord, and the eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Philip found that he had reached Azotus and continued his journey proclaiming the Good News in every town as far as Caesarea.

The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.


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