Feast of the Conversion of St Paul – Jan 25 – Homily – Fr Terrance

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Fr Terrance gives the homily at Bloomington, IN on Jan 25, 2023, on how the Conversion of St Paul, which is memorialized today as a feast, points us to a radical turning to God that may happen quickly or may take a long time but tends to turn our world upside-down.

Conversion means turn, to make a radical change.

Hosea 6: 1 let us turn to the Lord https://bible.usccb.org/bible/hosea/6:1

Unless you turn and convert and become like children - mat 18: 3 - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/matthew/18:3

Caravaggio's depiction of Paul shows him almost upside-down, knocked down by God, - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Conversion_of_Saint_Paul_(Caravaggio)

Jesus' first words are to repent and believe Mark 1: 15, stop believing lies, and start believing truth. - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/mark/1:15

Prodigal Son Turn back to the Father - luke 15: 17 - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/Luke/15:17

the beginning of conversion involves compunction, to be pricked or pierced to the heart, painful consciousness of shame and regret, core or the start of a relationship with God, and Radical reorientation of whole life from sin to God.

CCC - Glossary - Conversion is central to Jesus' message. If conversion is left out then you have nothing. The whole spiritual life revolves around conversion, it does not start with social action.

After conversion, human desires are converted, supernaturalized, reorientated to God's glory

St Francis wanted to be a great knight, honored by all, but God reorientated this desire to be a knight for God's glory, and he got the fame he sought to boot.

Francis, if you want to know my will, you must despise what you once sought sweet. What made you shudder, you will find sweet, and what was sweet will become bitter, radical reorientation.

St Paul had a fast conversion most of us have a slower conversion, a continual conversion, but both are equally miraculous and give glory to God.

Luke 9: 23 take up your cross daily, continual challenge and conversion - https://bible.usccb.org/bible/Luke/9:23

Pray for others and there will be hope for their conversion, even if it takes decades

Book to read, Ignatius Press, Chosen, Danna Steichen on formed.org - https://ignatius.com/authors/donna-steichen/

A slow conversion is as great an event as a fast one like Paul's, who went from breathing murderous threats Act 9: 1 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/acts/9:1, to saying in the bible book he wrote: Gal 2 20  it is not I but Christ who lives. https://bible.usccb.org/bible/galatians/2:20

Ave Maria!

Mass: Conversion of St. Paul (Alt Readings) - Feast
Readings:  - http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012523.cfm
1st: act 9:1-22
Resp: psa 117:1, 2
Gsp: mar 16:15-18

More on the Readings: https://airmaria.com/r?m=1021

Also on Facebook: https://fb.watch/ih6BDa41aq/
and YouTube: https://youtu.be/EamwTyZKlNU
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