Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
“Who are you, Sir? What would you have me to do?”
For several reasons, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul is one of my favorites. I summarize it for myself with the expression: “New beginnings!” Saint Paul, who liked to boast about his Jewishness, education, zeal, and spirit of sacrifice, is humbled and transformed by an encounter. Now he has questions, not answers. It was a new beginning. He would never be the same.
Saint Peter Julian began his now famous Retreat of Rome on this feast day, inspired by those words of Saint Paul: “Lord, what would you have me to do?”. This led him to a conversion, a new beginning, to examine his motives and discover a new relationship with Our Lord as Jesus revealed to Saint Paul that he identifies with his Church. He invited Peter Julian to discuss his relationship with his community members and to aim for selfless service and love. A wise man once said: If today you should fail to say: “Today I begin,” that would be a dangerous day! That is wise advice, for sure. Every day is a gift from God and a day for new beginnings.
What new beginnings does the Lord have for me today?
Lord, every day, you gift me with the opportunity for a fresh encounter with you and a fresh relationship with the people in my life. Are they perhaps one and the same thing? Open my eyes to see your face and love as you do. Let each day be a new beginning as I let go of yesterday’s burdens and fears for tomorrow to encounter you this day. Amen.