Thursday of the Third Week of Easter
(Acts 8:26-40; John 6:44-51)
Coincidence means that two events happen at the same time and place without being planned. When two friends meet on an airplane, one of the two may say their meeting was coincidental. The other might opine that God’s Providence arranged the meeting. In the first reading today there is such an apparent coincidence.
Some might think that Philip’s meeting the Ethiopian official on the road to Gaza happens entirely by chance. After all, neither knew of the other when they started out that day. But the author of Acts believes that God planned the meeting, albeit without informing either party beforehand, since His angel tells Philip to travel that road on that day.
Coincidence has significant ramifications today in the field of evolutionary biology. Did God cause the emergence of land animals precisely when plants were evolving which use animals to spread their seeds? Or are the two happenings entirely coincidental? Our best answer to the conundrum is that yes God is behind all evolutionary developments but He acts without leaving a trace of planning.