January 25 is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. St. Paul's encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus converted him from a persecutor of Christians to a fully committed follower of Jesus.
The Mass Readings for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul
When the Conversion of St. Paul falls on a Sunday, the Sunday liturgy takes precedence.
- First reading: Acts 22:3-16 - "I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
- Alternate first reading: Acts 9:1-22 - "Is not this the man who in Jerusalem ravaged those who call upon this name?"
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 117 - "For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever."
- Gospel: Mark 16:15-18 - "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature."
Like Saul before his encounter with Christ, we need to change course, to invert the route of our habits and our ways, in order to find the path that the Lord points out to us: the path of humility, fraternity and adoration.Pope Francis
O Lord, grant us the courage to change course, to be converted, to follow your will and not our own; to go forward together, towards you, who by your Spirit wish to make us one.Pope Francis on the Conversion of St. Paul
St. Paul of Tarsus might be one of the most studied writers in history. Paul taught us that we are dependent on God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul experienced the power of conversion himself. We are also called to conversion.
In this video, Dr. Scott Hahn explains that conversion is an ongoing, lifelong, daily experience. And Paul is our guide and example.
St. Paul has another feast day. June 29 is the feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul. The faith of these two men allowed Christianity to grow and spread. These were the men whom God used to spread the gospel and let the early Church thrive despite terrible persecution. Their flaws should give us hope, that God can also work through us.