Daily Reading: 11 July – The Travels of Paul: The Road to Damascus – Acts 9:1-31

Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:16.a – The Travels of Paul

The Road to Damascus – Acts 9:1-31 (NLT)

Saul’s Conversion

Acts 9  Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.

The Conversion of Saint Paul Caravaggio, 1600 Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome

The Conversion of Saint Paul
Caravaggio, 1600
Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome

3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.

And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord!” he replied.

11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”

15 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

Ananias Restoring the Sight of St Paul Jean Restout, 1719 Musée du Louvre, Paris

Ananias Restoring the Sight of St Paul
Jean Restout, 1719
Musée du Louvre, Paris

17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.

Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem

Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. 20 And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!”

21 All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?”

22 Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. 23 After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. 24 They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. 25 So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.

26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! 27 Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus.

28 So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. 30 When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown.

31 The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.
__________

“And Can It Be” – PHATFISH and Lou Fellingham

And can it be that I should gain, An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain? | For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be | That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Amazing love! how can it be | That Thou, my God, should die for me!

He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay, Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th’eternal throne, And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Closing Sentence

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ, Life in Our Family

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