Monday, June 30, 2008

St. Paul--a Man with a Mission

Pope Benedict XVI has announced a special Jubilee Year of St. Paul. What a blessing this will be! I expect there will be a lot of resources for us to read about this great saint, but I have decided to begin my journey in the Acts of the Apostles.

I have begun at the end of Chapter 7, where Paul is present at the martyrdom of Stephen, "consenting to his execution," as the beginning of Chapter 8 tells us.

As I read through these portions of Acts again, I am trying not to focus so much on the details, but on the spirit that moves the people. I am looking at their understanding of their mission, and it is quite clear:

"The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord." (11:21)

"For a whole year they met with the church and taught a large number of people." (11:26)

The formation of the early church becomes even clearer, in chapter 15, where they assemble for the Council of Jerusalem.

The Apostles, the presbyters they appointed to lead, and the Church, gathered together and made decisions; practices and teachings were clarified. No wonder the Catholic church takes seriously its responsibility to share the Good News.

Their mission--without a doubt--was to draw others to Christ.

That remains our mission as disciples of Christ, and His church, as well.

As we follow St. Paul this year, we should compare ourselves to him. How is the Spirit moving me? How determined am I to stay true to Christ? How important do I see the mission of drawing others to Christ?

These are good questions for us to reflect on.

As I continue my journey, I'll bring some of my thoughts to you here in this space. A recommended website to begin your journey is:

Please add your comments here as well, to share with others.

God bless,

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