Reading 1 ACTS 9:1-20
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. There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." He answered, "Here I am, Lord." The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is there praying, and in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, that he may regain his sight."
But Ananias replied, "Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name."
But the Lord said to him, "Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name."
So, Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, "Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength. He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus, and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Saul, known later as Paul, was galloping around killing Christians with conviction believing that he was doing the right thing. Our Lord had obscured his physical sight so that he could see his blindness in faith!
Saul was one of the greatest persecutors of Christians in his time and when he was touched by our Lord, he was transformed and became Paul the Apostle. He is known to be one of the greatest proclaimers of Christ. His writings and letters, filled with the Holy Spirit, has inspired many. “Love is patient, love is kind…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) are all words from the Holy Spirit, and Paul was His instrument just as the Lord had explained to Ananias.
As Jesus said in today’s gospel;
“Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me." (JN 6:57)
St Paul, lived for Christ and died for Christ. When he was going the wrong way, Jesus stopped him and told him to turn the other way. Paul was a humbled instrument. But once he was filled with the Holy Spirit and fed himself on Jesus’ truth, then he began to live life telling all about Jesus Christ.
Let us pray;
Help us to be useful instruments of yours.
Direct us, when we diverge from our paths.
Heal us, when we are blinded by this world.
Give us courage to proclaim you.