We heard today, the story of the conversion of Saul, the hater and the destroyer of the Church, who would later become Paul, the great saint and apostle, the Apostle to the Gentiles, who brought the Good News of our Lord to the pagan nations. Such a change indeed, from the ultimate enemy of the Church and those who believed in Christ, into the greatest of the champions of the Lord.
This indeed shows the power of God’s providence, and the mysterious ways through which He made His will known to us and manifest in this world. We do not choose ourselves to be worthy of Him and therefore salvation, but He chose us out of many in this world, to be among those who had been called and chosen to be the servants of our God.
Those whom He had chosen, He gave the grace of faith and also the gift of love, in order to spread this faith and love among those who have yet heard the Good News of our Lord, and those who have yet embraced Christ as their Messiah, their Saviour. Paul was one of this, whom the Lord had chosen, from those who had persecuted the Church and the people faithful in Him, no less.
This in fact only showed the greatness of our God, the depth of His mercy and love, and the nature of His redemptive works in our world, even today. He shows us that no one is beyond His mercy, and no one who had sinned and done bad things is unworthy of His love, if only they would repent and change their hearts and minds, turning back towards He who loves us.
Paul did sinful things in the eyes of the Lord by persecuting His faithful ones, but yet, he repented, and was turned into the greatest tool of early evangelisation of the faith, in which we will often hear in this Easter season, of Saint Paul’s numerous contributions to the early Church, in his four travels across the Mediterranean world.
Jesus today, in the Gospel reading, also offered us His love and redemption, through none other than His own Precious Body and Blood, which He offered freely out of His great and infinite love for all of us, that all of us who would share in His Precious being would not die an eternal death and be lost to Him forever, but be reunited with Him and the Father, and be raised in glory on the last day, just as He Himself had been risen from the dead on the Easter day.
That is why, dear brothers and sisters, today, we are called to be the light to the nations, the light to the world, just as Paul himself had been called on that day on the way to Damascus. In our own lives, we may not experience the kind of conversion that Paul has had, but in our own ways, and in God’s own mysterious works, we would be transformed into just like Paul, if we would turn our heart truly and entirely towards the Lord.
We are called to be the bringer of the Good News to the nations, just as Paul once had been the apostle to the Gentiles and the pagan nations. First, let us anchor ourselves in Christ that our faith would be strong, and we would have that capacity to spread God’s good message of truth. Let God and the Holy Spirit transform us, by frequently and devoutly receiving the Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist in the Mass. Attend the Mass frequently, and devoutly offer our prayers and worship to the Lord in the Mass.
Do not be distracted by worldly desires and temptations, for the devil would want to derail us from our path towards God, and he desires nothing than the fall of mankind, and therefore he would do all he can to prevent us from being the apostle Paul was. Once our faith is firm, keep a good and strong prayer life, and in prayer, spread the Good News to others, both through our words, and also our actions.
For in our words, others will be able to listen to the Good News of the Lord, and therefore would believe. If they would not believe in what we say, then at least through our actions, we could show them what God’s love and Good News is truly about. Remember that the Lord said, that whoever loves Him will do His will and will do the works that He had done.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us today renew our commitment to evangelisation, and to conversion, both of ourselves and that of those who had yet to receive the grace of faith in God. Let us strive to spread God’s message to all, beginning in our own daily lives, and within our own families and friends.
Let us also pray for our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who was elected as our Pope and leader 8 years ago on this day, on 19 April 2005. Let us pray for him that he will be able to continue serving the Church through his prayers and his dedication to our Lord. A praying Pope is indeed a powerful enemy of Satan and his angels. May God then bless us all, and bless our Holy Church, and all those who had given themselves in the service of the Lord. Amen.