The Gospel Today
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle
Mk. 16: 15-18
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“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.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Reflection (Sem. Ernie Sican):
Today we celebrate the feast of the conversion of St. Paul. As we know, St Paul before his conversion persecuted the Christians. He used his skills to hunt and punish the believers of Christ. However, his encounter with Jesus Christ changed not only his whole life but also the course of history of Christianity. From being a persecutor, he became an apostle of Christ, a defender of Christian faith and a great missionary by spreading the good news to pagan lands amidst hardships and difficulties.
The conversion of St. Paul reminds us that nothing is impossible to God. Once we have a deep encounter with the risen Christ, we cannot help but turn away from our sinful ways and follow Him. Even if we think we are the greatest sinner, the power of God can transform us to become His greatest disciple. But sometimes God is also asking us to take part in our conversion process. We need to cooperate to God’s grace working in us. We need to allow God to work in us. We need to be patient and persevering. In other words, we need to have faith in God and at the same time make a concrete action to reform our life because faith without work is empty.
Today’s Gospel exhorts us to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. As Christians, it is our responsibility to share our faith wherever we are. However, we can only share the good news of Jesus Christ if we have discovered and experienced it in our own lives. Many times we are ineffective in sharing Christ because people do not see in us what we are preaching or sharing. They cannot see in our actions, in our relationship with others, the love of Christ that we are talking about. In short, we fell short in being true witnesses of Christ. Maybe, this is the challenge for us today especially in this year of faith. We need others to see that Jesus is truly alive in our very own life.