One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19:27-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” – Acts 9:4.
REFLECTION – “From Heaven’s height Christ’s Voice overturned Saul. He received a command to carry out his persecutions no more and fell face downwards to the ground. He had first to be knocked down and afterwards raised up – first struck, then healed. For Christ would never have come to live in him, if Saul had not died to his former life of sin. Cast down to the earth in this way, what was it he heard? “Saul, Saul, why are thou persecuting Me? It is hard for thou to kick against the goad” (Acts 9:4-5). And he replied: “Who are you, Lord?” Then the voice from on high continued: “I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou art persecuting.” The members are still on the ground, while the Head cries out, from the heights of Heaven. He is not saying: “Why art thou persecuting My servants?” but “Why art thou persecuting Me?”
And Paul, who had put all his energy into his persecutions, is already preparing to obey: “What do Thou want me to do?” The persecutor is already transformed into the preacher, the wolf has become a sheep, the enemy, a defender. Paul learns what he is to do – if he has become blind, if this world’s light is held back from him for a while, it is so as to make the light within shine in his heart. Light is taken away from the persecutor, so that it may be given to the preacher; at the very moment he no longer saw anything of this world, he saw Jesus. This symbolises the believer – those who believe in Christ, must fix the eyes of their soul on Him, without paying attention to outward things…
So Saul was led to Ananias – the ravaging wolf is led to the sheep. But the Shepherd, Who guides everything from Heaven above, reassures him… “Do not fear, I will show him what he will have to suffer, for My Name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). What wonder is this! The wolf is led, a captive, to the sheep… The Lamb who died for the sheep, teaches it not to be afraid any more!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church (Sermon 279).
PRAYER – O God, Who taught the whole world by the preaching of Thy blessed Apostle Paul, grant, we beseech Thee that we, who today celebrate his conversion, may draw closer to Thee, by way of hia example.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).