GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 25TH JANUARY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 25TH JANUARY 2017
FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL
FIRST READING: Acts 22:3-16 OR Acts 9:1-22
PSALM: Psalm 117: 1-2
GOSPEL: Mark 16:15-18
THEME: THE TESTIMONY
In the encyclical ‘Deus Caritas Est’, Pope Benedict XVI writes, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”.
Inherent in the above statement are three important steps in a progression: ENCOUNTER >>> NEW HORIZON >>> DECISIVE DIRECTION. In the life of Paul, these connected series of events were perfectly played out.
Paul was born at Tarsus in the province of Cilicia but belonged to the Jewish tribe of Benjamin. His native tongue was Aramaic but spoke Greek with dexterity and was familiar with Hellenistic culture. He had his formal education under Gamaliel, the great Doctor of the Law, who was one of the most highly respected members of the Sanhedrin. Paul persecuted the fledgling Christian Church with fierce fanaticism.
When Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, his eyes shut to an old horizon and opened to a new one. This led to a decisive decision in his life. He who was once a furious persecutor was instantaneously converted into a humble and docile ambassador of Christ. This was his testimony.
Every testimony starts with an encounter. If you want a testimony in any area of your life then you must first desire to have an encounter with Jesus. It is not enough to hear about Jesus. You would need to experience him and enter into an intimate relationship with him. In the Gospel, Jesus states, “These signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk 16:17-18). Faith in Jesus brings about transformation.
Let us pray for a deeper experience of the person of Jesus and a greater manifestation of the signs that accompany those who believe in him.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I need you on my road today. I need a touch from above – a touch that is gentle and yet deep. Change me and by your grace make me a saint, Amen.
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).