"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." —Mark 16:15-16
On this feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, we should ask ourselves: "Am I converted?" Conversion means:
- repenting of our sins,
- no longer living for ourselves but for the Lord (2 Cor 5:15; Gal 2:20),
- living fully the new life of Baptism,
- loving God with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Lk 10:27),
- denying ourselves and taking up the cross daily (Lk 9:23),
- being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:17),
- proclaiming the gospel to all creation (Mk 16:15; see also Acts 9:15),
- living in daily, practical Christian community (see Acts 2:42),
- loving the Church (Eph 5:25), and
- suffering for love of Jesus.
Conversion is not some or most of the points listed above. Conversion is all of the above and even more.
Obviously, conversion is a grace, a gift from God. Conversion is humanly impossible. Conversion is absolutely necessary. Conversion is a supreme expression of God's mercy, given to us through Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. In Jesus' name, convert.
Prayer: Father, work through me as You worked through Ananias in Saul's conversion.
Promise: "Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus Who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." —Acts 9:17
Praise: "I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost (sinner), Christ Jesus might display all His patience as an example for those who would come to believe in Him for everlasting life." —1 Tm 1:16
Nihil Obstat: Reverend David L. Zink, June 12, 2002
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 13, 2002