An Unexpected Introduction

May 5, 2017 – Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and divinity, wisdom and strength and honor.  Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (9:1-20)

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.

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.”

The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.

He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight.”
But Ananias replied,
“Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name.”

But the Lord said to him,
“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”

So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
“Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,

and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.
Reflect: Who are you sir? By all intents and purposes, Saul of Tarsus should have been the least likely one chosen by Jesus to be not only his disciple, but also an historic instrument of evangelization. Yet, something amazing happened. Jesus spoke to Saul, and Saul asked his name, “Who are you sir?” Even in the midst of Saul’s zeal and focused dedication to persecute the followers of Jesus, God was working in his life and touching his heart.  Somehow his heart and mind were disposed to hear the voice of God, and Saul wanted to find out who was speaking to him. Ananias was reluctant to trust Jesus’ prompt to go and heal Saul of his blindness; finally, he agreed. Someone from the community of believers had to breach the gap and welcome Saul into the fold. His conversion had to be endorsed. Maybe we aren’t at the same extreme as Saul, but Jesus is intent on speaking to our hearts and minds. If we can hear his voice, the prompting of the Holy Spirit, then might we dare to ask, “Who are you sir?”  By asking that question, we are saying to Jesus, “Yes; I want to go deeper in my relationship with you.” He wants us to cut away all unnecessary distractions and learn who he really is. At the same time, Jesus wants us to invite others to know him. He wants us to be instruments of evangelization bringing even the least person we expect into his fold.

Questions: Do I pause to ask Jesus to help me to learn more about him and to enter into a deeper relationship with him? Do I resist Jesus’ call to evangelize and invite others to know him, or do I respond, “Here I am, Lord!”

Pray: Loving God, filled with you Holy Spirit may I accept your invitation to encounter you more deeply for the sake of my own conversion, as well as to be you disciple by cooperating with your call to bring others into closer relationship with you.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

The Crucified is risen from the dead and has redeemed us.  Alleluia!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our website for details:  MalvernRetreat.com

COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY Join us every Tuesday from 5 pm – 6 pm for this new and exciting radio broadcast from Malvern Retreat House on Radio Maria USA. Download the app for Radio Maria or go to the internet at http://www.radiomaria.us/

Don’t miss Family Fest on June 11, 2017 from 1PM-6PM

Help us spread the word!

Comments are closed.