Conversion of St. Paul 2022
Acts 22:3-16 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/012522.cfm
St. Paul’s conversion is a fascinating story of how God works in our lives. He was in a murderous state of mind. His persecution of Jesus’ followers brought him into an encounter with our Lord. I am tempted to think that St. Paul had it easy because the blinding Light of Jesus knocked him off his horse and threw him a curve ball he couldn’t hit or manage. He heard Jesus say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me.”
It wasn’t the Light of Jesus or His voice that changed the heart and direction of Paul’s life. Manifestations like these just get our attention. They can’t change our hearts. Once Jesus had his attention, however, Paul experienced something in the core of his being. It was the merciful presence of Jesus.
The mercy of the Lord took away all the shame and guilt Paul was carrying in his heart. He made excuses for murdering innocent followers of Jesus and thought he was doing good. Awesome, isn’t it, the power of the Lord’s love for us, how it can break our illusions.
We need the Light of Jesus’ gentle but persuasive Truth to remove the scales from our eyes that keep us from seeing what we do to Jesus when we sin against each other. “Rick, Rick, why are you persecuting me with your thoughts, your words and actions? I love these people. You can too.”
It’s amazing how you can see Jesus in others, even how He suffers with them when we sin against them. “Lord, I pray you remove the scales on my eyes that I may see You in my neighbor. Amen.”
IGNITE THE FIRE
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC