God’s Love for Sinners

January 25: CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL

Acts 22:3-16/Ps.116:1-2/Mk.16:15-18


God’s Love for Sinners


The Lord teaches by example. He taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matt.5: 44). The Conversion of St. Paul is a classic example of Christ's sublime lead by example. There is an empathetic tone in the voice of Christ as he asked, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me (Acts 22:7)?" It is similar to his cry on the cross: "Father forgives them for they do not know what they are doing (Lk.23:34)." Christ and the Father spoke the same language. They take no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Instead, they would rather see the wicked repent and live (Exe.18:23).


Paul's misplaced aggression against Christ and the early Church and the tender mercy of our Lord and God must inspire hope in all of us. Paul's conversion tells us no one is beyond redemption. God often overlooks our ignorance in the interest of our good intentions just as he did with Saul. For although Paul was well informed in matters of the Law, still, he was ignorant of the ways of God until he was zapped by the Holy Spirit. Paul was zealous for the Law. But the mystery and the purpose of the Incarnation had eluded him.


Despite our ignorance, God is never desperate to condemn us (Jn.3:17). He is never slow in fulfilling his will. He is determinedly patient with us that he might save us (2Pet.3:9-10) and grant us a share in the divine nature and mission while we are still in the world. In other words, God has destined us, for discipleship and mission to save the world. Let us give up the fight against the Lord. Let us join ranks with him and save the world.


St. Paul, pray for us and help us imitate your zeal for the gospel.

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