On his way to Damascus, Paul was struck by God; he fell off his horse and could no longer see anything
May I hereby draw your attention to
the daily reading of the Gospel?
This invitation wants to share with you the joy of the Gospel.
of the Gospel. Everyone, no one excepted,
can experience that joy by opening their hearts
to the healing power of God’s word.
Available every morning from 7 a.m.
We close the week of prayer with the feast of Paul’s conversion. On the one hand, one of the greatest conversions or even the greatest that we know of and which shaped the evolution of world Christianity. On the other hand, it can hardly be called a conversion. Paul himself felt as if he was turning away from a sinful life: persecuting and killing Christians. But this was in any case ignorance, and inspired by a Pharisaic perfectionism that wanted to be faithful to the Law, the Torah of God. Rather, we can see it as a towards-conversion. He turned towards Christ and this with an unconditional adhesion that has almost no equal. In this kind of adhesion he precedes every Christian. Turning to Christ daily, seeking the only thing that really matters.
FIRST READING Acts 22:3-16
Arise, be baptised and wash away your sins
invoking the name of Jesus.
From the Acts of the Apostles
In those days, Paul said to the people :
“I am a Jew ,
born at Tarsus in Cilicia,
but brought up here in this city
and brought up at the feet of Gamaliel
according to the strict views of the ancestral Law.
“I was a zealot for God
as you all are today
and I pursued this path to death,
beaten men and women in chains
and thrown into prison,
as by the way the high priest and the whole council of elders
can testify of me.
“With letters from them I went to the brethren in Damascus
in order also to have the people there
handcuffed to Jerusalem and had them punished.
“But on the way, when I was already close to Damascus
around noon, suddenly a bright light
lighted up upon me from heaven.
“I fell to the ground
and I heard a voice say to me :
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?
“I answered :
Who art Thou, Lord?
“He resumed :
I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest.
“My companions saw the light
but did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.
“I said : What must I do, Lord?
“And the Lord again unto me : Arise
and continue thy journey to Damascus ;
there they will tell thee all that thou hast to do.
“For I could not see
owing to the glare of the light,
I was led by the hand of my companions
and so I arrived in Damascus.
“A certain Ananias, a law-abiding man
known for his good name and fame
among all Jewish residents,
came to visit me,
stood before me and spoke :
Saul, brother, become sighted again!
“At the same moment I saw him standing.
“Then he said :
The God of our fathers has predestined you
to know his will,
to see the Righteous One
and to hear a voice from his mouth,
because you will have to testify before Him to all men
of what thou hast seen and heard.
“What hesitation then?
“Arise, be baptised
and wash away thy sins under the invocation of his Name.”
INTERLUDIUM Ps. 117(116)
Go out into all the world
and proclaim the gospel to all creation.
Now praise the Lord, all the nations of the earth,
hail the Lord, all nations around.
Because with us He has shown His goodness ;
the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever.
ALLELUIA John 15, 16
I have chosen you
and I have given you the task of going on a journey
and bring forth fruit that may last.
GOSPEL Mk 16:15-18
Go out into all the world and proclaim the gospel.
From the holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark
At that time Jesus appeared to the eleven and said :
“Go out into all the world
and proclaim the gospel to all creation.
“Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved,
but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
“And these signs will accompany believers :
In my Name they will cast out devils,
speak new languages,
take up serpents ;
even if they drink deadly poison it will not harm them ;
and if they lay hands on the sick
the sick will be healed.”
On caring for the common home
61. The Church has no reason to propose a final word on many concrete issues and understands that it must listen to and promote honest debate among scholars while respecting different opinions. One need only look at reality to see that there is a great deterioration of our common home. Hope invites us to recognise that there is always a way out, that we can always change course, that we can always do something to solve problems. However, it seems, based on the great speed of change and decay, to encounter symptoms of a breaking point, visible both in regional natural disasters and in social or also financial crises, as the world’s problems cannot be analysed in isolation, nor explained. There are regions that are already at particular risk and, leaving aside any catastrophic prediction, it is certain that the current global system, viewed from different points of view, is unsustainable because we have ceased to think of the purposes of human action. “When the gaze passes along the regions of our planet, one immediately notices that humanity has disappointed divine expectation”.
To be continued
The Bible text in this issue is taken from The New Translation of the Bible,
©Dutch Bible Society 2004/2007.
Considerations from Liturgical suggestions for weekdays and Sundays
Laudato Si Official English translation