Tuesday, January 24, 2006
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL, APOSTLE
JANUARY 25, 2006
CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL, APOSTLE
SATURDAY 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME - YEAR II
Paul addressed the people in these words: "I am a Jew, born in
Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of
Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was
zealous for God, just as all of you are today. I persecuted this Way
to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.
Even the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify on
my behalf. For from them I even received letters to the brothers and
set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem in chains for
punishment those there as well. "On that journey as I drew near to
Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone
around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to
me, `Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' I replied, `Who are
you, sir?' And he said to me, `I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are
persecuting.' My companions saw the light but did not hear the voice
of the one who spoke to me. I asked, `What shall I do, sir?' The
Lord answered me, `Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will
be told about everything appointed for you to do.' Since I could see
nothing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by hand
by my companions and entered Damascus. "A certain Ananias, a devout
observer of the law, and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived
there, came to me and stood there and said, `Saul, my brother,
regain your sight.' And at that very moment I regained my sight and
saw him. Then he said, `The God of our ancestors designated you to
know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of
his voice; for you will be his witness before all to what you have
seen and heard. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized
and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.'"
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: "Go into the whole
world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes
and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be
condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name
they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will
pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly
thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and
they will recover."
Saul of Tarsus was a leading persecutor of the early Christians. He
was a zealous Pharisee and though he was born of Jewish parents, he
was a citizen of Rome, or in other words, a Gentile. He had all the
qualifications to be a hated man of the early Christians and even by
ordinary Jews who despised the Romans.
We can imagine the shock of Christians and Jews alike when Saul, the
tireless persecutor of Christians, became Paul the tireless apostle
of Jesus. We can surmise - Paul was surprised himself and probably
had great anxiety before he began preaching especially since his
credibility must have been at its lowest point during this time.
Why does Jesus choose people like Saul - people whom we would
consider the most unqualified to be His apostles? Those of us who
are professionals know and believe that when it comes to
recruitment, qualifications and skills fit for the job are crucial
criteria. Jesus seems to turn these beliefs upside down when he
chose Paul and many of his Twelve Apostles.
Perhaps we should remind ourselves that our Christian Church is very
much unlike a business or any human institution. Our Church is a
community and it welcomes all people from all walks of life. Our
Church does not run on the rules of a business or an exclusive
club. Everyone in the Church is a qualified member, no matter how
imperfect we may be. Jesus goes further in that even the lowest of
all members of our community has the potential to be the greatest in
There is nothing more encouraging and more inspiring in knowing that
as Christians, we can be and are chosen by Jesus to be great leaders
or high achievers of our Church. It makes us think that maybe the
least we can do is to respond with passion and commitment to bring
the Word of God to all our neighbors.
POINTS TO PONDER
If God called me to service in my church, how would I react? Would
I immediately say "yes" or would I step back and feel burdened?
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- Thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Washington Morillo. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the speedy recovery of Mr. Socrates Tirol.
- for the speedy recovery and well-being of Jim and his wife, Alice.
- for Eddie G. to feel God's love and live for God according to his
- for the continued recovery of Mike Torres.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Daryl Clyde Ang (First Birthday)
- In Memoriam (+): Richard Young
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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