Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Memorial Feast: Saint George, Martyr (c.-+303) Patron Saint of Soldiers
Saint Adalbert, Bishop and Martyr (956-+997) Patron Saint of Poland
Acts of the Apostles: 9:1-20, Psalm 117:1, 2, & John 6:52-59
The Conversion of St. Paul by Jacopo Palma the younger, circa 1590-95.
In today's reading from Acts of the Apostles, we hear Saul of Tarsus's famous story on the road to Damascus. Saul possessed the cruel plans of hunting down and imprisoning (or worse) those men and women who belonged to the Way, the name for the earliest followers of Christ. As he nears Damascus, a light from the sky flashed around him, and he fell to the ground. At the same time, he heard the words, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Saul asked, "Who are you, sir?" The voice replied, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." Saul, blinded by the light, proceeded to the city to await further instructions. A disciple of Jesus, Ananias, came and laid his healing hands on Saul, who was cured of his blindness. After his recovery, he was baptized and, filled with the Holy Spirit, began his ministry of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus in the synagogues around the known world. He became Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Friends, what is in this story for us? It is a story that is packed with information and with understanding about God's ways. God's ways are not our ways is one of those pearls of wisdom that prove true to us at so many points in our lives, and this is one of those moments in Saint Paul's life. Saul was involved in persecuting the early Christian Church, and the impossible seemed to happen. He turned from a persecutor to the chief apostle of the message of Christ to the Gentile people.
Saul was given the opportunity to change his life of hate into a life of love and fellowship. A blinding light caused him to see that great Light— Jesus Christ. May we all experience the Light of Jesus and hear his voice as He calls us by name.
Question of the Day: How will you change from your "old ways" and turn to a life of love and kindness toward all?
Prayer: Loving God, come to us today and help us to be open to the ways that you come into our lives. Give us the courage to receive and accept whatever gift it is that you come to bring to us, whether that gift is a joyous or sorrowful event. Help us to be like Saul in terms of letting You be the center of our lives. Amen.