The Conversion of St. Paul-January 25th


As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

— Acts 9:3–9, NIV
Saul was born into a strict Jewish family descended from the tribe of Benjamin. He was a Roman citizen. Before his conversion he was a zealous Pharisee, who intensely persecuted  the followers of Christ. He took part in the stoning of Saint Stephen, the Church’s first martyr, and the terrible Christian persecutions that followed.
Then one day on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus, he was struck off his horse by a powerful light coming down from heaven. As he fell to the ground he heard a loud voice speak to him.

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” It was the voice of Jesus.

An immediate transformation was made by Saul and he converted to the Christian faith and changed his name to Paul at his baptism. He then continued to travel around preaching the Faith until he was martyred in Rome in 65 AD.

St. Paul and his conversion are a great witness to the love our Lord has for each one of us. Saints and sinners alike. We are shown by this conversion, that each one of us…with all of our sins and damages are loved by God. He is constantly seeking us out of our sinfulness. But most of the time we do not listen. We fill our minds and hearts with worldly things. We fall into the snares of the devil, thinking that maybe God does  love everyone, but not me...I’ve done things…said things…thought things…that no God could love. But that is not the case! How easy it is to convince ourselves that we are out of reach of His love, His mercy. And when we are trapped with these feelings of sinfulness; whether we want to admit it or not; it keeps us separate from our Holy Mother; the Church. It keeps us separate from the true greatness that God intends for each one of us! We are all called to greatness! How awesome is that thought…(gives me goosebumps.)..God created each of us to do great things. Maybe not big GREAT things but great things nonetheless.

So whatever your state in life at this particular moment, remember how Jesus sought after Saul, a most terrible sinner, and brought him to the Faith. And if God can convert a murderer, just imagine what He can do with each one of us; sins and all! Each of us has a capacity to attain sainthood. Of course we must repent and open our hearts to God and His grace…but then; just imagine the possibilities! They are really out of this world.

O God, who taught the whole world through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul, draw us, we pray, nearer to you through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today, and so make us witnesses to your truth in the world. Through Christ Our Lord.”Amen

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