FEAST: Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.” (Acts 22:3.)

In commenting on these verses from today’s First Reading, Saint John Chrysostom writes:

“He does not simply say “the law” but “the law of our fathers.” This shows what type of person he had been, someone not ignorant of the law. Now this seems to be said for the benefit of his audience, but in fact, it is an accusation. For what if, with all his knowledge, he had been negligent? What if you have a thorough knowledge of the law but do not fulfill it? You do not love it, then, do you? [Paul] then states plainly that he was a zealot. So after he has delivered a great encomium about himself, he then extends this praise by adding, “just as all of you are today,” and thus points out that what they are doing is not just for a human purpose but for their zeal for God. By bestowing this favor on them he also captures their understanding from the beginning.” (Catena on the Acts of the Apostles, 22.)

O God,
Who taught the whole world
through the preaching
of the blessed Apostle Paul,
draw us, we pray, nearer to You
through the example of him
whose conversion we celebrate today,
and so make us witnesses
to Your truth in the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen