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Thursday, January 25, 2018

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Conversion of St. Paul

Acts 22:3-16 or
Acts 9:1-22
Psalm 117:1-2
Mark 16:15-18

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the third day of blindness

"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." —Acts 9:17

After "a light from the sky suddenly flashed about" Saul (Acts 9:3), he was "unable to see, even though his eyes were open" (Acts 9:8). Many people, even Christians, have open eyes but are blinded spiritually by the god of the present age (2 Cor 4:4).

After Ananias "laid his hands on Saul" (Acts 9:17), "immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized" (Acts 9:18). Sin has caused scales to form on the eyes of our hearts (see Eph 1:18) so as to obstruct our vision. Saul was healed on the third day of his blindness (see Acts 9:9). Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. The scales fall from our eyes when we are baptized into Jesus' death and Resurrection (Rm 6:3ff) or when we renew our Baptisms through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Moreover, through the laying on of hands in the Sacrament of Confirmation or through a renewal of our Confirmation, the Holy Spirit gives us the light and power to see.

Let us live in baptismal and confirmational light. Let us never blind ourselves through sin. Let us live in the light of the paschal mystery. "There was a time when you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Well, then, live as children of light" (Eph 5:8).

Prayer:  Father, may I accept Your grace to open the eyes of the blind.

Promise:  "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." —Mk 16:15-16

Praise:  "He who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy" (Gal 1:23). Praise You, Jesus, for your sovereign power in converting St. Paul!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2017

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