Wednesday 25 January 2023
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.
Witness to all the world
Mark’s appendix has the Risen Jesus encouraging his disciples to ‘proclaim the Good News to the whole creation’. As Luke recounts in Acts, Paul is busy doing exactly that, though not without difficulty. He is chained and ready for the barracks when he tells the now hushed crowd his story of conversion. Of how as Saul, a zealous Jew, he saw it as necessary to persecute followers of ‘the Way’, until it all turned on its head on the road to Damascus. His encounter involved a profound realisation that his persecution of others was done to Jesus directly: ‘. . . why are you persecuting me?’ Paul’s conversion – symbolised by a powerful, brilliant light – leaves him temporarily blind. To ‘see again’ is for Paul to have vision for faith, to be washed anew in baptism and commissioned by Ananias to ‘witness to all the world’. Paul’s conversion story invites me to consider what I’m journeying towards and what occupies my heart, to close my eyes for a minute to ‘see’ how I’m bringing ‘Good News’ into daily life.