Acts 9:1-20; Ps 117 Go out to all the world and tell the Good news; John 6:52-59
"Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains."
This was Saul's plan. He wanted to round up those christians and drag them back in chains. He was angry. He was determined. His will and mind was made up. He was stern. He was ferocious. He was relentless. Nothing was going to get in his way. With letters in his hands and fury in his heart, he journeyed toward Damascus.
"On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
This was God's providence.. He wanted to break open the heart of this man that his light might penetrate the darkness that had become so much a part of his life. God was determined. He was relentless. He was ferocious n getting his point across.
Saul's plan encountered God's providence. Then a conversation ensued. A conversation that became the tipping point for a conversion of heart and mind.
"Saul said, "who are you, sir?" The reply came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do."
This is what happened when our plans meet God's providence.
Pope Francis reminds us continually that God is a God of surprises. His providence is always butting up against our planning.
The Horizon of infinite love can do that.
What will we do with it? Saul comes around, he is changed and transformed from the inside. So much so, he becomes Paul. He gives us the most profound theology of the church as the body of Christ.
A chosen instrument he was chosen to be; a chosen instrument he became as he surrendered his plans to God's providence.
Thus the invitation belongs to us as well, each day a new.