Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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

DAILY HOLY MASS READINGS

FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL, APOSTLE

I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord. Jn 15:16



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


Acts 22:3-16

My soul's beloved, like Paul, we often do sinful things mistakenly believing that we do them because we are zealous for God, when all the while You ask only this, that we show mercy, tenderness, understanding and compassion. Paul truly believed he was serving God when he cruelly rounded up Christians and threw them in prison. He was even prepared to kill them believing that what he did would be pleasing to God.

He was mistaken, seriously mistaken. Even though he was fully convinced that what he was doing was right and had the backing of the religious authorities it still did not make is actions right. You revealed yourself to him you told him that his persecution of Christians was in fact persecution of You and Paul was stunned. Paul believed, he wanted to know what You wanted him to do. He was struck blind by divine light and was blinded by it. You took away all that was familiar to him and now he stood before you stripped of all that once meant everything to him, and he was ready to be made into anything that You wanted him to become. He was to be given new sight and new life in Baptism and filled with the Holy Spirit and with fire he began to work as tirelessly and zealously in setting the world ablaze but now he was armed with faith, Truth and love making him one of the most celebrated convert and most successful missionary of all time.


Psalm 117:1-2

My soul's beloved, the Good News is this God is love, God revealed Himself in You when You became Man. God sent You into the world to save it because there was no hope of heaven for us and we were eternally separated from God due to the sin of our first parents. God, would not, could not permit that we whom He had created in love would be lost to Him forever. So He made a most unbelievable exchange - justice had to be satisfied, we had sinned, our separation from Him was a direct consequence of our sin, but He would not, could not rest, until the bond that was severed was restored. Only One could make perfect satisfaction for our sin and heal the rupture that it had caused and so He sent You into the world to take upon Yourself our punishment, our suffering, enter into the bitter separation between God and us and taste the death that was the penalty for sin. In exchange all that we had lost God would restore and He did. Resurrection is ours because You rose again and because we are grafted into Your Body, we will rise again too, to new life on earth and eternal life in heaven. This is the Good News that we are supposed to shout from the rooftops. God is love. God loves and His love endures forever.


Mark 16:15-18

My soul's beloved, many through the ages beginning with the Apostles believed in Your Word and they did all the wonderful things that You promised they would do in Your Name. But we are lackluster Christians and if the world is in the terrible state it now is it is because we have not taken our mission seriously, because we are indifferent, because we would rather life a life of self-indulgence than set the world ablaze with Your loved. Grant us a new Pentecost my beloved, so we too can joyfully lay down our lives for the sake of the Gospel, in order to gain it anew in the Kingdom of Heaven.


Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."