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FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL, JANUARY 25, 2024

Caravaggio

1601

(Cerasi Chapel, Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome).







Gospel

Mk 16:15-18

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."


REFLECTION


"Go into the whole world

and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."



The Risen Lord said, " Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? (Acts 22:3-16)


God knocked him down and straightened him out. The same intense passion of opposing Christianity was soon to be seen in his evangelizing the world. Saul had done evil things to the followers of Jesus. He was hated and feared by all.


Yes, the conversion of Paul was God's gift to him. This gift of love would involve suffering as well. Paul's future shedding of his blood would be his sacrifice and martyrdom for his faith, and a victim of anti God persecution. His sufferings and martyrdom are an example and reminder to all the faithful of their sacrifices: to not hesitate nor tire to preach morality, speak up for the nascent baby, and pray for the unjustly imprisoned in China, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Africa.


Our faith is a gift. Jesus commissions all to "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." We are all chosen to be instruments of God. Be silent and pray as we await His call.


God bless you.







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