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Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul
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Feast (1969 Calendar): January 25
Greater Double (1955 Calendar): January 25

Today the Church celebrates its only feast that is centered on someone's conversion. Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. We remember and also realize how extraordinary it was. Through God's divine light on the Road to Damascus, St. Paul came not only to believe in Jesus but serve Him until his death. Through St. Paul's preaching, the Church was formed. His conversion was fundamental but others have in our time experienced this same conversion. Remember, God hasn't ascended to Heaven and left us alone. He cares about everyone of us so much that He willing gave up His life in atonement for your sins.

Acts of the Apostles 9:1-22

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to Him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight." But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon thy name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine to carry My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of My name." So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized, and took food and was strengthened.

For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, "He is the Son of God." And all who heard him were amazed, and said, "Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests." But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

St. Paul's conversion is "The Example" of how anyone can come to believe and follow our Savior. While we may not be struck by a blinding light on the Road to Damascus as St. Paul was, we too must experience the light of the Gospel changing our hearts.

Remember too, that St. Paul persecuted Christians as is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. The first martyr, St. Stephen, was sentenced to death by St. Paul. But, through God's love each of us can be converted. Conversion is a life-long process where the end result of a true conversion is Heaven. Just like St. Paul, anyone can find God, and likewise, we must pray for unbelievers.

Prayer:

O God, Who hast taught the whole world by the preaching of blessed Paul the Apostle: grant, we beseech Thee, that we who this day celebrate his conversion, may through his example draw nearer to Thee.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Also, please join me in the Litany in Honor of St. Paul

Image Source: Believed to be in the Public Domain, Title Unknown

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