Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great. And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8: 9-12)

Both Simon the Sorcerer and the Apostle Philip worked certain, miraculous acts in Samaria, impressing the people of Samaria. But all Simon’s magic offered them was the thrill of spectators, observing a “man,” Simon, whom they equated with “the power of God.” There is no clear direction, nor message of any consequence for the people’s lives in Simon’s powers, except “that he was someone great.” Philip, on the other hand, proclaims to them a kingdom, and a name not his own, of Jesus Christ, and offers them rebirth in baptism.

The truly amazing sacramental life of the Church does not reduce me to a passive spectator. Because it’s not “magic.” I am called to a new direction, a new life, in which I participate, engaging and internalizing “the good news about the kingdom of God” on a daily basis. I have a God Whose name I know, and Who knows mine, as He calls me daily not to empty thrills, but to the productive adventure of a relationship with Him. So today let me call, once again, on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, as I begin a new day with Him and in Him.

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