Readings for Monday January 25, 2010
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle
First Reading: Acts 22:3-16 or 9:1-22
Responsorial Psalm: Mark 16:15
Gospel: Mark 16:15-18
Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, for they heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:1-9)
Today we celebrate the feast of the conversion of Saint Paul, and I have no doubts that the early church is extremely grateful that this event came about. Saul (Paul) was a vicious persecutor of the church, and it was his mission to reprimand the early Christians because he felt that they were doing injustice to the Lord by worshiping Christ. Unfortunately, as much passion and zeal as Paul had for the Lord, his passion and energy were misguided. It was because of this zeal for the Lord, that God redirected Saul for His purposes, the purpose of spreading the good news into the world. But in order to do this, Saul had to fist be humbled, and it was at this low point in his life that God was able to lift him back up and begin using him for the great mission that the Lord has in store for him.
We must realize that God has a mission in life for each of us. And while He gives each of us great gifts and talents, those don't really mean much if we are not using them according to the purpose that we are meant to. If you have ever used a butter knife for a screwdriver, you know that while it works, that is not what that knife was meant for, it is not its purpose. We too must ask God to show us our gifts and talents, and pray that we can use those for the mission to which He calls each of us in life as He did for Saint Paul.
Saint Paul, pray for us.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to glorify you in all that we say and do. Help us to mindful of you each and every moment, and that we only seek to do your will. Lord, we pray for guidance in life so that we can go about the mission to which you call each of us, spreading the good news and proclaiming your name in this world. WE pray for all of our priests and religious, that they may be strengthened in their vows and in their ministries. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.