The event of the conversion of Saint Paul that we read in the first reading this morning from the Acts of the Apostles is one of those great biblical stories that has captured the imagination of many believers throughout the centuries. Here was a defining moment, not only in the life of Paul, but in the life of the early church,. One of the early church’s critic and opponent suddenly became one of its greatest missionary and preacher of the Gospel.
What brought about this extraordinary transformation? Luke in the Acts of the Apostles and Paul in his letters are very clear about the answer to that question. It was the risen Lord himself who appeared to Paul, and in that extraordinary encounter a new Paul was born. The one who said of himself that he once persecuted the church and tried to destroy it became the one who could now say of himself, ‘It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me’. The story of Paul tells us that, WITH GOD'S GRACE, EXTRAORDINARY TRANSFORMATION CAN HAPPEN IN US. Christ’s transformation of Paul didn’t change in any way the person Paul was, rather, it took all his great gifts and resources and pointed them in the right direction. The Lord’s transforming work in our lives will be of the same kind; it will channel all our gifts and resources into the service of God’s saving purpose. That transforming work of the Lord is ongoing in us all through our lives. If we can be as open as Paul was to the Lord’s transforming grace at work within us, we too will be able to say with Paul, ‘it is no longer I but Christ who lives in me’.
Fr Dismas K .Kuto