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Thursday, January 25, 2001

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Conversion of St. Paul

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

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a year of conversions

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation. The man who believes in it and accepts baptism will be saved; the man who refuses to believe in it will be condemned." —Mark 16:15-16

Pope John Paul II proclaimed that the year 2000, the Great Jubilee, would be a year of "manifold conversions" (Toward the Third Millennium, 14). Because many people are converted each year, the Pope implied that in the year 2000 we would see more and greater conversions then we usually see.

This promise was conditional on our having accepted God's grace in the years prior to 2000. Because many people are slow in accepting God's grace and because the Lord is merciful, many conversions which could have occurred in 2000 may be happening this year. Moreover, because conversions lead to more conversions, this year can be a year of conversions in an exceptional way. For example, after Saul was converted, he proclaimed "in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God" (Acts 9:20). "Saul for his part grew steadily more powerful" (Acts 9:22), became the apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15), and converted many thousands to the Lord.

Let this year be a year of conversions. Have the courage of Ananias and the zeal of Paul.

Prayer:  Father, do in me what You must in order to do through me what You will.

Promise:  "When he entered the house he laid his hands on Saul and said, 'Saul, my brother, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus Who appeared to you on the way here, to help you recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight." —Acts 9:17-18

Praise:  St. Paul's conversion and zeal for God is still bearing fruit two-thousand years later.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000