Saints show us our capabilities, how far we can rise, from the depths to the heights. That’s why the church recalls the conversion of St.Paul a number of times in the church year. Today we hear it as part of our readings from the Acts of the Apostles. As he readily acknowledges, Paul rose from the dust and became a powerful force in his church and in the world through God’s grace.
St. John Chrysostom says of him: “Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what we really are, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue a human being is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardour and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him. He summed up his attitude in the words: I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead. When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy: Rejoice and be glad with me! And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said: I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution. These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them…
The most important thing of all to him, however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ.”
May God raise up the Paul in us.