‘I am a Jew’, Paul said, ‘and was born at Tarsus in Cilicia. I was brought up here in this city. It was under Gamaliel that I studied and was taught the exact observance of the Law of our ancestors. In fact, I was as full of duty towards God as you all are today.
I even persecuted this Way to the death and sent women as well as men to prison in chains as the high priest and the whole council of elders can testify.
I even received letters from them to the brothers in Damascus, which I took with me when I set off to bring prisoners back from there to Jerusalem for punishment.
‘It happened that I was on that journey and nearly at Damascus when in the middle of the day a bright light from heaven suddenly shone round me.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” I answered, “Who are you, Lord?” and he said to me, “I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.” The people with me saw the light but did not hear the voice which spoke to me.
I said, “What am I to do, Lord?” The Lord answered, “Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told what you have been appointed to do.” Since the light had been so dazzling that I was blind, I got to Damascus only because my companions led me by the hand.
‘Someone called Ananias, a devout follower of the Law and highly thought of by all the Jews living there, came to see me; he stood beside me and said, “Brother Saul, receive your sight.” Instantly my sight came back and I was able to see him. Then he said, “The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see the Upright One and hear his own voice speaking, because you are to be his witness before all humanity, testifying to what you have seen and heard.
And now why delay? Hurry and be baptised and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”
Responsorial Psalm 🙁Psalms 117:1, 2)
Praise Yahweh, all nations, extol him, all peoples, for his faithful love is strong and his constancy never-ending.
And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’