Saint Paul (1st century)
for January 25
Saint Paul, or Saul, as he was called before his conversion, put extreme energy and vigor into everything that he did. Starting out, that vigor went toward the persecution of Christians. He was so passionate about his persecutions that he asked the high priest to allow him to hunt down and arrest all the Christians in Damascus, and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment. What happened on the road to Damascus is one of the most legendary stories of the Bible. On his journey, he was thrown to the ground when he heard a voice asking, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" The person speaking acknowledged himself as Jesus of Nazareth, and Paul had a complete conversion. From then on, he used his incredible vigor and zeal to preach the Good News of Jesus and convert believers, not persecute them.
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Saint Paul shows us that anyone can have a complete conversion, even the gravest of sinners. Do you reach out to those who are on the wrong path and need to hear God's message of love? Ask God for help spreading the Good News, even to people you may not like or can't easily relate to.
Dear Jesus, you gave us an example of how to treat others. Through your Spirit, enable me to reach out to others, even those with whom I don’t easily relate, to be a sign of your presence. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)