Reflection for Tuesday January 25, 2000: Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
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Here I am, Lord. . . but . . .||Today's reading from Acts tells us the story of Saul's transformation to the man who would become Paul. It is a familiar story-one I have heard many times. Yet, today as I reflected on it, I was struck not by Saul's being blinded and then seeing, but rather than struggle of the disciple, Ananias.|Imagine. You are faithful convert to this new way-the way of Christianity. You follow the Savior and his teachings with all of your heart and mind. And, because of that, you and the other Christians live at perpetual risk of persecution and death. Still, you continue to believe.|Then, Jesus comes to you in a vision. You answer eagerly, "Here I am, Lord." But, then, he asks you to go to THE man who has been most instrumental in the torture and persecution of Christians-and be an instrument of this man's healing. Can't you hear yourself-questioning-resisting-suggesting that the Lord must be mistaken? Lord, you must be wrong! This man is evil! Surely, you don't mean it!? Yes, I can hear-and feel-Ananias' resistance, can't you?|But, the Lord persists and says to Ananias, "Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen ... " And, scripture tells us that Ananias goes and does as he was instructed.|I wonder. Did Ananias go without doubt, without trepidation? Did he stop questioning?|Of course, we don't really know. But, I don't think so-at least, when I put myself in his shoes, I feel fear, trepidation and doubt. Still, I go. Why? Why do I go? Surely not because I trust Saul, surely not because I am peace with the Lords' vision for Saul. No! I don't understand-indeed, my heart and mind resist-but I go. I go because the one I know loves me more than any other asks me to go.|Ananias' story is a dramatic one. You and I may not be asked to go to one like Saul. But, I know we are asked time and again to do things that don't seem right to us-with which we, in all of our human wisdom, disagree. Maybe it's being kind to someone known to be unkind to others, maybe it's reaching out to someone who acts unjustly, or whose theology doesn't jive with ours. Do we argue and resist? I don't know about you, but I probably do. Do we go? Do we go and do what were asked-even if we disagree? Do we trust Jesus enough to go? I pray that it may be so.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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