It is 25th January 2019. We celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle. The readings are from Acts 22:3-16 and the Gospel from Mark 16:15-18. Conversion is the work of God in a sinfully and selfishly blindfolded person. Faith in Jesus comes from grace and nourishes through our cooperation with it. “I live by faith in the Son of God, who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Gal.2:20). Conversion is just believing and behaving the opposite of what we are engaging in our live at present. When we are living and leading a life that is contrary to the plan of God without being aware of it, God offers a spark, an insight, an encounter, a turn-around, a vision, a healing and an outlook with a brand-new perspective of life guided and monitored by the Spirit of God. St. Paul was given such a moment of grace and forgiveness by God. “But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life.” (1 Tim 1:12-16) Conversion leads to communicate and conserve the linkage with God with a new level. Conversion enables us to disconnect from the false enthusiasm towards someone or something and helps us to seek the will of God. Conversion opens up a daring mindset to do anything for God. We all need conversion of heart. In one way or another, we too are persecuting Jesus. However cruelly we have mistreated and injured Jesus and the Church, still God wants to reclaim our lives back to God. The profound lesson from the conversion of St. Paul is that whenever we inflict pain on any Christian, we hurt the Lord himself. God wants to turn our lives upside-down when God desires the conversion in us. When we begin to believe that Jesus is still alive today and He wants to meet us in person not to condemn us but to convert us, the real conversion is possible for us. Conversion is not a God’s condemnation and judgment on us rather it is the mystery and miracle fused together that brings about a change that is not just by a human effort alone. Conversion of heart is God’s initiative of revealing God’s own self to the one who has been motivated by a false interest and ignorance. Conversion is nothing but a profound encounter with truth and willingness face the lies. We are not converted for ourselves only, we have been changed by God so that we become the witnesses to God’s love and mercy to others. The responsorial Psalm praises “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.” (Mk.16:15). We all need an experience of conversion in our lives. It is up to us to fall in love with Jesus. We need to have that intimate encounter with Jesus. Most of us were baptised and told to believe and to follow the things by our parents and friends. Have we ever had an experience of meeting Jesus in our lives? Do we still believe that the Risen Lord is still alive and active in every event of our lives? Have we felt the complete and unconditional forgiveness from Jesus? May we pray for our own conversion as we celebrate the mysterious and miraculous change of heart in the life of St. Paul through Jesus.

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