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Friday, January 25, 2019

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Conversion of St. Paul

Acts 22:3-16 or
Acts 9:1-22
Psalm 117:1-2
Mark 16:15-18

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"now all is new!" (2 cor 5:17)

"The men who were traveling with [Saul] stood there speechless." —Acts 9:7

The conversion of St. Paul is so spectacular, so sudden, and so unexpected that it leaves us awestruck at the sovereign majesty and converting power of the Lord Jesus. Because of the incomprehensible power of Jesus to convert anyone, even the worst of sinners like St. Paul (1 Tm 1:15), each one of us "shall stand speechless" in the sight of God (Is 52:15), "for nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37). Therefore, today's feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul is a sign of great hope for us (see 1 Pt 1:3).

The conversion of St. Paul is so important that it is recorded three times in the Acts of the Apostles. Possibly you have long been praying for the conversion of loved ones, family members, or leaders. I encourage you to read and pray Paul's conversion accounts for the conversion of someone whom you struggle to imagine could ever convert. For example, if you are praying for three people to come to faith in Jesus, pray Acts 9:1-22 for one person, pray Acts 22:3-16 for the second person, and pray Acts 26:1-23 for the conversion of the third.

Jesus has come that all might be saved (1 Tm 2:4). Believe in His converting power. St. Paul, pray for us and all those in need of conversion.

Prayer:  "Those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil 3:7-8).

Promise:  "Saul for his part grew steadily more powerful, and reduced the Jewish community of Damascus to silence with his proofs that this Jesus was the Messiah." —Acts 9:22

Praise:  The humbled Saul of Taurus may have taken the Baptismal name Paulus because it means "small."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 16, 2018

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