May 5, 2017
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?” He 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.” Acts_9:1-20
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” Jn_6:52-59
It’s interesting how many of our Life’s Decisions are based upon our avoidance of pain and our infatuation with people, places, things, or even concepts.
Saul was so infatuated with his Mosaic religion, and maybe even more so, with his own personal advancement in the Jewish priesthood, that he was zealous to imprison and even persecute to the point of death, those who didn’t follow HIS way, like Stephen.
And it was ironic, because that famous Fifth Commandment that God ‘carved in stone’ – for MOSES to share – had everything to do with NOT killing.
It’s funny how when someone is an infatuated zealot, nothing in the world really matters except their own infatuation; especially not: Wisdom, Common Sense, or Truth.
And we can see this in loss of objectivity in today’s liberal media. We can see it in the zombie-like insensitivity of the radical jihadists. And we can see it in our capitalistic-based Corporate World; where Common Sense, Truth and Morality have been thrown out the window with the bloody bath-water of innocent bystanders.
You see, everything was going just perfectly for Saul, until his own personal pain entered the picture. It’s funny, how pain has a way of changing – even the most zealous of infatuations.
Because somewhere in the blind darkness of Saul’s pain, he was Graced with an even greater ability to see than he had – ever had before.
Somewhere in-between the blinding light of Jesus’ presence and the laying on of hands by Ananias, Saul walked the path of Truth and Wisdom, the path of Common Sense and True Love for God, that could only be led by the Light of Christ.
And IN Paul’s new Mission, not even personal pain could deflect him from that path, because now he understood – that this new Goal of Eternal Life was greater than any pain could possibly alter:
Not hunger, nor persecution, not shipwreck, nor deadly snakes, not loneliness, or even death on a cross – could distract Paul from his Goal, the goal of Eternal Salvation with Jesus in Heaven; and the desire to bring as many Souls as he possibly could, along with him.
If we ever find ourselves infatuated, brothers and sisters, with any person or thing in this world, besides our Love for God, there will always be a Pain that will reveal to us – how temporary, how fleeting everything in this life really is, except God.
But if we can Eat, and Drink, and Live the life of Jesus, the life of Love, in this Temporary existence, here and now, despite the pain, we will discover – how truly beautiful, and how ever-present, and how permanent the Love of God IS – all around us.
And we might even be infatuated with how wonderful it will be to live that Love forever! But it’s more than just a hope, it’s a promise!
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