From the Word of the Day
“On that journey as I drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ I replied, ‘Who are you, sir?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 22: 6-8)
The protagonist is Saul of Tarsus, the one who would be called Paul and become the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’. He was on his way to Damascus to imprison all those who had converted to Christianity. According to the Israelites, this was a heretical sect. The Israelites were observers and hardened of heart, closed to the teaching of the Gospel, the newness of God’s plan that is salvation.
All of a sudden, a bright light strikes Saul and he falls to the ground. A firm voice questions him. ‘Why are you persecuting me?’ He reveals that He is Jesus Himself. It is the Lord Himself Saul is persecuting in the person of the Christians, to whom he denies the freedom to live according to their Faith.
The overwhelming truth that emerges is this: whatever we do to any person, actually or potentially a Christian, we do to Christ the Lord. In fact, in the Gospel, He said these words, “Whatever you do to the least of these, is done to Me”. Thus, life becomes more precious in the light of faith and of responsibility.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on Jesus’ words to Paul and to me in His Gospel and I will treat everyone as I want to treat Jesus.
Spirit of the Lord, do not allow me to live unaware. Let me live my days in the beautiful relationships that commit me to treat everyone with respect and with my heart open to the certainty that I am not just dealing with a man or a woman, but with the prolongation of Jesus Himself who lives today in them as He does in me.
The Voice of Charles de Foucauld
Do not try to reach God with your intellect; you will never succeed. It is only possible to reach Him in love.