Friday, January 25, 2019
Today, in Mercy, Acts paints a detailed picture of Saul’s conversion and call on the road to Damascus. It’s a colorful and dramatic account befitting the biography of the great “Apostle to the Gentiles”.
Think about this. Almost all the very first Christians (and Christ himself) were Jews. Early Christian ritual grew out of Jewish ritual. In the immediate post-Resurrection period, there were few, of any, Gentile Christians.
This is one of the reasons Paul is such a big deal. As a Roman citizen and a devout Jew, he lived with a foot in two worlds, as opposed to the Jewish fishermen who composed the original Twelve. They were local guys with minimal exposure to the non-Jewish world.
When the original Twelve (eventually Eleven) heard Jesus’s Apostolic Commission, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News…”, they may have felt that world was confined to Israel’s borders! Paul, the post-Resurrection Apostle, demonstrated otherwise.
Paul traveled over 10,000 miles proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. His journeys on land and sea took him primarily through present day Israel, Syria, Turkey, and Greece.
(from Loyola Press. See website for great summary of Paul’s journeys.
How encompassing is our vision of “the whole world”, that world which hungers for the message, mercy and love of Christ?
Our Gospel today impels us with the same apostolic call as these early disciples. God’s love and fullness of life belong to all. What can I do to make that a greater reality?
Music: Facing a Task Unfinished-~ Lyrics:Frank Houghton. Performed by the Gettys