The Conversion of St. Paul

The Conversion of St. Paul
Posted on 01/25/2018
The Conversion of St. Paul
To read the Bible in the Spirit is always to be set free, for, as Paul again remarks the index of  God’s Spirit is freedom. (Fr. Brendan Byrne, S.J.)

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples…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 to do.’” (Acts 9:1,3-7)

Today the Christian community recalls one of the key events in its early history, namely, the conversion of St. Paul.  The change in Paul’s life was so significant that his name was changed:  as Saul he was involved in the death of the first Christian martyr, St. Stephen.  As Paul,  he became a powerful witness to the life of the risen Jesus.  Paul had a remarkable ability to articulate the message of Jesus and a great deal of our theology rests on his letters, which were actually written before the gospels.  Yet he was also aware of his own limitations.  Paul never denied his past, and it says a lot about the freedom of the early Christians that he was accepted among them.  On the road to Damascus, Paul’s life was turned around.  None of us can say when we might be travelling a similar road ourselves. – Fr. Michael McGirr, S.J. 

Our prayers are requested for our St. John’s Jesuit Board Chairman, Mr. Geoff Lyden.  Mr. Lyden is battling cancer and welcomes our praying with him and his family.  Lord, we give you thanks for life.  All that we have and all that we are comes from Your love.  Help us to love this world, and ourselves, as You love all Your Creation. St. Paul, pray for us.  St. John Berchmans, pray for us.  St. Ignatius, pray for us. 

Press On!  Forget What is Behind!

“Brethren, I do not claim to have reached the perfection which is God’s love, but I press on.  All I can say is this: forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the finishing line to win the heavenly prize to which God has called me in Christ Jesus.”  (St. Paul’s Epistle to the Philippians 3:13)

“It is true love even for today only to the extent in which it reaches out to become more than it is today, only if it is really on the way and forgets what is now, reaching out for what lies ahead of it.” Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J.
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