Thursday 25 January 2024
Conversion of St Paul
Acts 22:3–16. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News – Psalm 116(117):1–2. Mark 16:15–18.
Re-examine your motivations and certainties
As a good Jewish man, ‘zealous for God’, Paul’s conversion suggests that even the most upright and justified individual can have it all wrong. The light-flooded moment of encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus completely reorders his sense of purpose, not by making him strong but by grounding and blinding him. This is an experience of utter humility and vulnerability, a response to the identity of Jesus, whom he will now follow rather than persecute. As extraordinary as Paul’s conversion is, the community’s willingness to accept and forgive him seems even more so – this was a man prepared to destroy them. Following the gracious reception of Ananias, the water of baptism will cleanse Paul of his sins and set him on a new path of proclamation, peace and love in Christ. Paul’s conversion invites us to experience Jesus ‘interrupting’ us on our journey. To humbly re-examine our motivations and certainties, to seek forgiveness and healing, and to ‘go into the world’ with love.