One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Acts 9:1-22
And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name?”…Acts 9:21
REFLECTION – “We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5). Who then is this? The former persecutor. O mighty wonder! The former persecutor himself preaches Christ. But why? Was he bribed? No, there was no one who could have persuaded him in that way. Was it the sight of Christ on earth that blinded him? But Jesus had already been taken up into heaven. Saul set out from Jerusalem to persecute Christ’s church and after three days the persecutor had become a preacher in Damascus. By what power? Other people call on friends as witnesses for their friends but I have presented to you as a witness the former enemy.
Do you still doubt? The testimony of Peter and John is weighty… but they were istcyrilofjerusalemndeed His friends. But of the testimony of one who was formerly His enemy and afterwards died for His sake, who can any longer doubt the truth? I am amazed at the wise dispensation of the Holy Spirit;… to Paul, the former persecutor, He gave the privilege of writing fourteen letters… In order that his teaching might be beyond question, He granted the former enemy and persecutor the privilege of writing more letters than Peter and John so that we might all be thus made believers. For “all were amazed at Paul and said: ‘Isn’t this the man who was formerly a persecutor? Didn’t he come here to take us away bound to Jerusalem?’” (Acts 9:21) “Do not be not amazed,” said Paul, I know how “it is hard for me to kick against the pricks” (Acts 26:14); I know that “I am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God” (1 Cor 15:9); yet “mercy was shown to me because I did it in ignorance”… “the grace of God was exceedingly abundant in me” (1 Tm 1:13-14).”…St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Father & Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your name to the whole world. Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day. Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.