Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.
Reflection: Above All, Follow Christ
By Karen Yarnell
Paul understood the mindset of the rioting Jews. As Paul spoke to the angry crowd from the fortress steps in Jerusalem, he emphasized his Jewish upbringing, and that he was a Pharisee trained by the leading Rabbi, Gamaliel. He said, “I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” (v. 3) In fact, he was so against those practicing the Way, that he hunted them to arrest them. He even stood by and watched as Stephen was stoned for following Jesus. So, what changed?
Paul met Jesus! Gifted, highly trained, zealous, determined Paul came face to face with Jesus, and when he did, Paul met the One greater than himself. He met the Son of God. Musician Phil Keaggy sang it this way: “Like waking up from the longest dream. How real it seemed, until your love broke through.” Paul’s face-to-face encounter with Christ, though it made him temporarily blind, caused him to see the scope of God’s kingdom. Paul’s spiritual blindness was replaced with the ability to see God’s Spirit transforming lives.
Now Paul, entrusted with the good news, would go wherever and to whomever he was sent, even if it meant persecution or death. He said, “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13) Paul focused on a singular task: sharing the gospel entrusted to him. Persecution did not matter, if the gospel could be shared (Phil 1:12). The words of those who opposed Paul did not matter if Jesus was being preached. (Phil. 1:18)
I am often overcome with the depth of Paul’s love for Jesus and with the strength of his determination to share the good news. Nothing else mattered to Paul. I look at myself and question, what matters most to me? What occupies space in my heart and, at times, takes precedence over sharing the gospel? How would my view of life be different if the lens through which I filtered all things was an urgency to love and share Christ? May He give all of us grace to walk worthy of the calling we have received from the One who is worthy, Jesus Christ.
Divine Hours Prayer: A Reading
Blessed be the Lord, God of Israel, for he has visited his people, he has set them free, and he has established for us a saving power in the house of his servant David, just as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times. — Luke 1.68-70
Isaiah 64 (Listen -2:01)
Acts 22 (Listen – 4:26)
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Once he met Christ, Paul realized everything prior was waste, rubbish, by comparison.