January 25, 2023
- Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, apostle
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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I renew my faith in the power of your word. I come to you today to listen to you and allow you to lead me. I renew my trust in your mercy: You constantly look upon me and the world with love. I want to love you in return and lead others to love you.
Petition: Fill me with the power of your good news, Lord.
1. The World Needs Messengers of Hope: Jesus Christ is the message that everyone vitally needs. He is God’s message to man, the message that tells people that God loves them deeply and offers them a way to true life and salvation. Our world often looks for love in the wrong places; it needs to find the answer to its deepest desires in Christ. But who will spread this message? Those like St. Paul who take Christ’s love seriously and see that they, too, can become messengers of hope. Am I meant to be a messenger of hope?
2. God Acts Powerfully in Those Who Trust Him: St. Paul exemplifies what God can do through someone who trusts in him. St. Paul valued the grace Christ gave him. He put his life totally in the hands of Christ and was not afraid to proclaim him to everyone he met. Even though Paul faced many difficulties, his work produced enormous fruit and helped extend the number of Christian communities. Do I believe Christ can work through me as I participate in the New Evangelization? In what ways can I trust him more?
3. Our Opportunity Is Now: St. Paul and the first apostles did not wait until all the circumstances were right before beginning evangelization. Once Christ had touched their lives, and once he had given them the command to begin, they began right away. The Church has asked us to begin again today. Like St. Paul, we must feel that the fire of Christ’s love impels us (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14). We cannot wait until the circumstances are favorable; we must do whatever we can now. We have already experienced Christ’s love. Why are we waiting to share it? What holds me back from a greater surrender to the work of evangelization?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, like Saint Paul, your love has touched me, and I have heard your command to go out and spread the good news. I renew my trust in your companionship and resolve to do all I can to bring your Gospel to others. Please help me to keep my eyes on you.
Resolution: Today, I will share a thought from the Gospel or the Holy Father’s teaching with at least two people I encounter.
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