Deacon Anthony Cincotta
The Conversion of Saint Paul the Apostle
Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22, Psalm 117, & Mark 16:15-18
The 'Conversion of St. Paul on the Road to Damascus' by Hans Spreckaert, circa 1540-77.
Saint Paul's life can be explained in terms of one incredible experience— his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He instantly saw that all of his former talents were a waste. Perhaps, he had never met or even seen Jesus, who was only a few years older than him. However, he had a zealot's hatred of all that Jesus embodied. Then, he became a "slave of Christ in an instant." In one sentence, he determined his theology: "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9:5).
Paul's life became an inexhaustible proclamation as he lived out of the message of the cross. Christians' sin dies baptismally and is squashed through Christ. They are made into a new creation, already sharing Christ's victory and someday rising from the dead, like Him. Through the Risen Christ, the Father pours the Spirit on them, making them completely new. We, too, can be saved from all that is sinful and unredeemed in the world.
Saint Paul's great message to the world is essential as we are all saved entirely by God, not by anything we do on our own. Our saving faith is the gift of a totally free and loving commitment to Christ.
Question of the Day: Are you a "slave of Christ?"
Prayer: "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News." (Psalm 117)