It is 25th January 2020. We celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle. “I live by faith in the Son of God, who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Gal.2:20). The readings are from Acts 22:3-16 and the Gospel from Mark 16:15-18. The apostle of the gentiles and the untiring evangelists is St. Paul. It is no exaggeration that the Church was spreading every nook and corner of the world just because of the hard work invested by St. Paul. The conversion of St. Paul is mentioned three times in the Acts. (9:1-22; 22: 3-16; 26: 9-23). It is not only the conversion and a personal call of St. Paul. Catechism puts the definition of conversion in a nut shell. “The first work of the Holy Spirit is conversion. Moved by grace, man turns towards God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high.” (CCC. 1989). Conversion comes from the Latin conversio, meaning “to turn around.” Anyone can be converted by God at any point of life. Conversion is an act of God initiated by the Holy Spirit in every turn of our lives. It is up to us to leave the former ways and attachments to sin and more than willing to embrace a life of the Spirit and truth. Catechism 1432 teaches us: Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: “Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!” God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. the human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced. The first reading explains in detail the conversion of Saul to Paul. Faith comes by unseen grace and through our cooperation with it. We are all baptised and cleansed from our original sin and granted us all new life in Christ so that we who are filled with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding need to become the missionary disciple of Christ to the others. Conversion is a continual growth in holiness, perfection and leading others to encounter Christ. The responsorial Verse instructs us, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.” (Mk.16:15). The Gospel commissions all of us to reach out to those who have not met Jesus. To be converted we all need to have the intimate encounter with Jesus who offers us the power and authority to do the ministry entrusted to us as baptised and sent into the world as a missionary disciple. Without conversion of our heart, no one can feel the empowerment to evangelise. May the Lord help us to look into ourselves and be converted before we become fruitful evangelisers. May God bless you.

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