Homily for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle
Theme: THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL, IS AN INVITATION TO RENEW OURSELVES.
By: Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate a great feast in the Church as we recall the important moment when the Lord called St. Paul, then known as Saul, a young and zealous Pharisee who had once been a great enemy of the Church and the faithful.
*THE STORY OF SAUL BEFORE HE BECAME ST PAUL THE APOSTLE*
Dear brethrens, Saul, the persecutor of the early Christian movement, was on his way to Damascus to capture those who followed Christ’s teachings there and to bring them back to Jerusalem “…Entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.
*ON HIS WAY TO. DAMASCUS TO PERSECUTE THE CHRISTIANS*
Here dear brethrens, something extremely odd took place as Saul neared Damascus ready to wreak vengeance on the community of followers of Christ (or the “Way” as he refers to it). He was struck to the ground by a blinding light. He then heard a voice, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Blind and frightened, he asked, “Who are you, Sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9.5).
*AFTER THE INCIDENT OF DAMASCUS*
He was directed to continue on to Damascus and to find a person named Ananias. Ananias cured Saul’s blindness and counseled him to be baptized in the name of Christ. The rest is Christian history. The name “Saul” is shed in Damascus and an entirely new person “Paul” took his place – the product of God’s transforming grace that changed Saul to Paul, from a persecutor of the Way to its chief apostle in bringing the Way to all people.
*HIS CONVERSION AS AN APOSTLE OF CHRIST JESUS*
In an attempt to make up for all his wrongdoings, Paul decided to devote his whole life to the service of God and humanity by proclaiming and living out of Christ’s message of love: “… In all these things we conquer overwhelming through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).
*THIS IS THE MOST ENCOURAGING STORY OF OUR CHRISTIAN JOURNEY*
The conversion of St. Paul was indeed one of the most touching miracles in the history of the early Church for it was an event where Jesus clearly identified Himself with persecuted people, the people who professed to live in truth and justice but whom Saul was running down like criminals.
The feast of St. Paul’s conversion is an invitation to consider our own conversion which, for most of us, may be less dramatic but nonetheless transformative. Each one of us is called to be a true witness of God: An apostle/disciple in our world, just as Paul was called to his.
*SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS*
1.PeterCanisius Michael David Kang Daily Homilies.
2.. Justmehomely’s Blog, Association of Priests for the Daily Homilies.