Friday of the 3rd Week of Easter

Saint Paul and his friends never got tired of telling the story of his conversion.  In the Acts of the Apostles we hear it repeated no less than three times.  Barnabas uses it to explain why the Christians no longer need to fear this man (Acts 9:26-29).  Paul tells it to the Jews who want to arrest him (22:1-21) and later to King Agrippa who met the apostle during his imprisonment (26:1-23).

And so why is this story so significant?  Well, because it shows how deeply Our Lord’s Resurrection can change people’s lives.  At the beginning of Acts chapter 9, Saul is issuing dire threats against the early Christians, but by the end of the chapter he is docile and quiet, eager to put aside his old life and learn all he can about the Way he had been trying to eradicate.

The event is no less powerful for Ananias, whom God asks to do a very bold thing.  To identify himself as a Christian is to put his own life on the line.  But God assures Ananias that Saul is no longer a threat.  And because he believes God, Ananias is able to address Saul as a brother and to heal his blindness.

Just like Saul and Ananias, we need to consider how Our Lord’s Resurrection has changed us.  Has his hope lifted us up?  Has our selfishness been turned to generosity?  And how do we see other people?  Is Our Lord asking us to reconsider our relationships, especially with those people we don’t particularly like?  Perhaps Our Lord is calling us to be another Ananias to help that person to encounter the transforming love of God.

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