You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; 19 but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. 20 In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22 and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; 23 they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God because of me.-Galatians 1:13-24 NRSV
Nobody Is Beyond The Grace Of God
The first reading from today’s Mass is one that we can all relate to in one form or another. St. Paul discusses how he was an up and comer in the elites of Judaism. He then proceeds to tell his readers that he even persecuted the church of God. A glimpse of this is recorded in the book of Acts as he held the coats of those who were stoning St. Stephen.
Here is St. Paul, overseeing the execution of a member of the early church, and now he is going around the known world proclaiming Christ. This is a powerful example of grace in action. Paul is transformed, from a persecutor, to one of the greatest evangelizers that the church has ever seen.
The Same Grace Is Extended To Us
Reading and understanding the life of St. Paul gives me great hope. Before I became catholic I was one of those people who sought to bring as many people as possible out of the church. I succeeded with many, and for that I am deeply ashamed. Some have come back, and some have not.
That same grace that worked in Paul is active in all of us that accept it. No matter what you have done, we can be forgiven and become instruments of grace. Like St. Paul we can allow the Holy Spirit to use the bad things we once did as a testimony to how Jesus has changed us.
Some may not believe it, but that is there issue. Our job is to be obedient and live the Christian life to the best of our ability. Let our lives and words be a witness to the life changing grace that is available to everyone through Christ and his church.
Let us therefore pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that he give us the grace to seek His Kingdom and to build within ourselves a moral Jerusalem. By doing this, we will be able to merit our place in the heavenly Jerusalem to sing Alleluia in its streets with all the saints and angels. But the One whose Kingdom is eternal for all ages must help us to do so. – St. Anthony
The greatest security we can have in this world that we are in the grace of God, does not consist in the feelings that we have of love to Him, but rather in an irrevocable abandonment of our whole being into His hands, and in a firm resolution never to consent to any sin great or small. -St. Francis of Sales
Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly. – St. Ignatius of Loyola