Rise and be baptised, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of Jesus.
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 22:3-16)
In those days: Paul said to the people [in Jerusalem], “I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day. I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished. As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ Now those who were with me saw the light but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ And when I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And in that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Just One and to hear a voice from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptised, and wash away your sins, calling on his name. ”’
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 117: 1.2 (R. Mark 16:15)
R/. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.
O, praise the Lord, all you nations!
Acclaim him, all you peoples! R.
For his merciful love has prevailed over us;
and the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. R.
ALLELU IA John 15:16
Alleluia. I chose you from the world that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, says the Lord. Alleluia.
“Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 16:15- 18)
At that time: [Appearing to the Eleven,] Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul that we celebrate today teaches us that there is no one God cannot us as an instrument for spreading the kingdom of God on earth. It also teaches us that no one can be considered as written-off as long as he or she is still alive because a sinner can change and become a saint. Above all, it shows the power of God at work in each one of us. Saint Paul’s conversion shows this power in his life because out of a persecutor God made a preacher of Christ and teacher to the nations. Hence, Saint Paul continually expresses gratitude to God for this wonderful grace and keeps praying for final perseverance lest having preached to others, he ends up a castaway. May the constant intercession of Saint Paul obtain for us daily true conversion from our old ways and thereby conform to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.