Monday 30 November 2015

The Conversion of Saint Paul - 25th January la Conversion de Saint Paul - le 25 décembre

“Those who will be believers..will take up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison.”

Ac.22,3-16 (or) Ac.9,1-22 Ps.116 Mk.16,15-18

Conversion of Saint Paul

“Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved ; whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

If we confess’ I believe in God’ we declare that we have to continually go out of ourselves, precisely as Abraham did, as Mary did, so as bring the certitude that comes to us from faith into a daily reality. The certitude of the Presence of God in history is today contested, even I it is a presence that gives life and salvation and if it opens up for us a future with Him in the fullness of Life.

Today we are celebrating the Conversion of Saint Paul who believed in the Mystery of Jesus. ’Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ Jesus asked him. ’Who are you, Lord?’ he answered, ’ I am Jesus whom you persecute’ came the reply.

The apostle discovers that every brother, saved in the Blood of Christ, is a ’part of Jesus Himself.’ It is only ’in Christ’ that we can be speak of Jesus. Those who are persecuting today can become the Apostles of tomorrow. Paul, under the threat of the death of Jews, recalls Stephen’s martyrdom. Ananias remembers it too! Jesus told him :’ I will have him discover everything he has to suffer for my Name.’ The apostles identifies himself with Christ whom he serves. The Mystery of God is one of Love. It is a mystery of personal relationships, of an overflowing Love that took flesh in the Virgin Mary.

’The Risen Jesus’ desires that this Love be spread out to the whole of humanity. It is such a beautiful task, this unity of Love in the heart of humanity. In the heart of the Church there is the Risen Jesus, who lives out his mystery in he poor.

“These are the signs that will be associated with believers : in my name they will cast out devils; they will speak a new language.”

Paul found himself in a new situation, that of the Resurrection of Jesus, already inaugurated and which goes on. A situation over which we don’t have any hold because it goes beyond anything we can master. Jesus is the Lord of the universe, he is its True King. He is at work in our world and is active. The first

witnesses of this new faith are still guiding us on our present path so as to welcome him. We all go onto to this path in faith. The Risen Lord Jesus says to the eleven apostles : ’Go out to the whole world, proclaim the Good News’. This God News is a new love which extracts the seeds of selfishness from the heart of mankind, and domination and violence too.

Father, may they be one so that the world believes. This Great Love is what we contemplate in the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. We contemplate this unity of Love come together in the life of the Virgin Mary. Our call is to dwell in Christ so as to be more united in this Infinite Love. We are called to be like Jesus.To carry Him as Mary did. And so we shall be witnesses of this new Love that brings about a New Heaven and a new earth. The universe is invited to live from this Love that we can already contemplate as a Church. Paul discovers this mystery, he understands how much we ought to be united so as to announce the Good News.

As for Saul, he was amongst those who persecuted Stephen; he kept some of the clothes belonging to him.

“They will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.”

The apostle Paul will undergo rejection by the Jews and in this he will come to an understanding of Christ’s mystery : ’Paul was threatened to death by the Jews and he spoke like this : ’I defended God’s cause with a jealous ardour as you do today."

This situation reveals itself to be like Good News, because it bears within it the possibility of a true evolution of our personal situation, as that of anyone else. It is at the same time an invitation to live differently. It is an invitation to enter into faith, carried by human words, words of witnesses. Living this faith we come to belong to one Body, we are carried and maintained in a different way , by Christ’s Risen Body. A new life is offered, one of becoming. In this new environment, we are surrounded, born by the envelope of the Risen Christ. He envelops us through death. He is the New Word that leads us truly elsewhere. We may lose everything , but we can open up into a fullness of life. This path that has opened up for us makes us leave fear and go towards a new Heaven and a new earth. It is the Holy Spirit who brings about this work of Love in Christ that is the Church. It is here that humanity is regenerated. Jesus remains

present and acts in the Church today. Rivers of Living Water now flow forth from its heart.

We ask for the grace to understand the beauty of our calling and try to be faithful to it.