Mark 1:14-20 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time National Bible Sunday
January 23, 2021
No Democrat will honestly ask whether Bernie Sanders incited the shooter that nearly killed Steve Scalise.
January 27, 2021

Mark 16:15-18 Jan 25 Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Jan 25 Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul
Acts 22:3-16
Mark 16:15-18

A. Text/Context
• Who is this Paul? Why did he persecute the Christians?
• Prior to the conversion of Paul his name was Saul and he is a lawyer by profession, very intelligent and very brilliant; an expert of the Jewish law known as the Torah
• So he doesn’t believe in the teachings of Jesus because he finds the teachings of Jesus questionable
• And so he is not only a non-believer, he is also a persecutor to all those who believe in Jesus
• So during the time of Paul there is now a clash of believers – those in mainstream Judaism and those of the New Way as practiced by the soon to be called Christians
• When Jesus resurrected the faith of the believers became more intense and the animosity between Jews and Christians widened more than ever
• And the followers of Jesus are persecuted arresting all Christians. It was a military crackdown in Jerusalem and soldiers would go house to house to arrest believers
• Out of fear, Christians fled to the different parts of the Mediterranean reaching as far as Europe and Africa
• So here is Paul bringing with him the order of the Roman government going to Damascus to arrest the Christians there
• And the conversion happened as what we heard in the 1st reading and Saul became Paul and he became the great apostle of the Gentiles

B. Human Situation
• The conversion of St. Paul is a direct intervention from God
• There was a blinding light brighter than the light of day and there was a voice he heard asking him why are you persecuting me
• What happened to Paul is a gift of conversion that only God knows whom to give to a chosen few
• We experience conversion in a very ordinary manner and God makes use of ordinary people around us, and ordinary situations to make us realize to change for the better
• There are many subtle ways that we are led to conversion that after a certain experience or situation or happening, what you see or hear, a heart rending story, etc.
• So many ways will move us to change our life for the better in many ordinary ways

C. Challenge
• So today we are challenged to nurture conversion in our daily life as Christians
• We practice conversion every day and apply the good rule in our daily life
• Let us not be weakened by the fact that we already tried to live a good life and we go back to the same life as before
• You try to make resolutions but you did not succeed. You try to make a resolve that it will never happen again but still you repeat the same mistakes
• Let us not be weakened by this because conversion is a lifetime process
• We should not be disheartened if we constantly fall from our struggle to be converted for the better
• A jar full of sin is really nothing compared against God’s ocean of mercy
• St Paul himself said that where sin abounds grace abounds all the more
• Paul realized that the horrible sins he made in persecuting the Christians pales in comparison with God’s endless and boundless mercy and compassion
• God is not happy everytime we fall, but God is happier that everytime we fall we realize it is wrong and we rise again from the fall
• That’s the way of conversion. It will even lead us to be more humble, more forgiving, more peaceful as we find more weaknesses about ourselves and we are not really better than the rest

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Mark 16 verse 15-18

Mark 16 verse 15-18

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