Monday, January 25, 2010
The Conversion of St. Paul
Paul, called Saul on the use and rigorous Jewish vehemently asserted that the gospel he preached had not learned or received from men.
He belonged to the caste of the Pharisees. He was born in Tarsus, a city that belonged to the Greco-Roman world, who was born there was the Roman citizen status was less so when the centurion, the prosecutor, the magistrate or tribune. Necessarily, being Jewish does not fit him better luck in childhood hiding his condition to walk among the rest of the people, hiding their belief as superstition held by the heathen Romans. This may be going on inside him and he affirmed his faith even when he grew older and had to defend himself going against the tide.
Was rather low, with broad shoulders and somewhat lame. Strong and solid as a log. A grin that had made him a fan. He knew the old manuscripts written with signs that the Greeks and Romans seemed unintelligible scrawl, but they contained all the wisdom and rationale of a people. Usually as a scholar in Greek schools of Tarsus, familiar with the poets and philosophers who had spent his time writing on clay tablets or thinking. For the Greeks it was only a Jew, a member of those families living in a social island, isolated from mysteries inaccessible to those of another race, one of those who were forbidden access to intelligentsia and leaders, was one of those that were made negligible for its puritanism, by his idiosyncrasies to food, the way to have fun, get married, to understand life, not going to church at all clear atmosphere!
At eighteen he went to Jerusalem to learn about the true Jew, the homeland of the Act, the reason for manners; anxious about the history of the people and in their worship. Gamaliel informed him well for a few quarters. He learned things by going to the root, not as some people said the people learned simple and plain. He learned more and more of the power of the one God, learned to give honor and praise in the highest respect and stand with his people badly this domain imposing invader. This made him furious. The prophets gave clues to a resurgence and sang psalms God's victory over other peoples and cultures very important that once subjugated the Jews and disappeared and despite his arrogance, as would happen with the current rulers. The Liberator could take. Meanwhile, it was necessary to keep the idiosyncrasies of the people at any cost and not be like the Herodians, hoping to make possible their survival as a nation. We could not let him aside one iota of loyalty to the customs of his country. This made him jealous.
And look for where this heresy was ruining everything he needed the people. Locos were worshiping a crucified man. We could not allow to enter their own broadening the circle of dissidents. He had to do something. It passed, but the news said they were everywhere as if there was widespread metastases of a national cancer. For years he was already collaborating as he could, the stoning of one of those visionaries ready, helpful, compassionate and charitable, but they did much damage to the Jewish high officialdom, was when they stoned for blasphemy on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and unfortunately he could only save the cloaks of those who stoned him. He even seemed to remember even his name, Stephen.
His conversion was unsuspected in one day. Nothing propitiated that change. It had letters of recommendation from the Jews of Jerusalem to Damascus, he wanted to put Christians behind bars he found. Until then extended the authority of the chief priests and Pharisees main, as were customs of religion, the Romans recognized them without disgust. Saul led a delegation warrior but not very active, almost angry, anxious to fulfill a mission which involved well-pleasing to God and to the stability necessary purge of Jews and to protect the purity of the traditions that were the parents. It seemed the forefront of an army in battle array, with the clatter of hooves on the horses' hoofs on the hard rock floor to Damascus where the horses pranced. They had been several days trekking, considered themselves good employees if management successfully ended. He was Saul "breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord." Inside were good dose of anger.
"It happened that, on arriving near Damascus, suddenly surrounded him glimmering light from the sky, falling earth and heard a voice saying 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? Said: Who are you, Lord ? And he: I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But arise, and go into the city and will tell thee what thou shalt do. And men who accompanied him had stopped, speechless with horror, hearing the voice but without seeing anyone. Saul got up from the ground and eyes open, saw nothing. And taking him by the hand he made in Damascus, and was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank "(Acts 9, 3-9 ).
Three days to brood over its defeat and take over inside of what had happened. And then the baptism. A life change, change works, change of thought, ideals and projects. His passionate nature will set the course now possible human smooth _su surrender was without condiciones_ and the desire to lead his people first and then the whole world the joy of love of God in Christ.
The story is the historian Luke, who knows his craft. I had heard time and sometimes the same character. No question. He saw the resurrected himself and tell him more times, and very seriously to the Corinthians. For this he was able to suffer shipwreck at sea and persecution in the land, and whipping and prison hunger and humiliation and criticism, and trial and death of the sword, so he travels around the empire, ranging from end to end. And do not think he complained, he knew that illusions do it because it was mandated only pray the pain and suffering, rather, had the credentials and the sores on his body the thought as a guarantee of ultimate victory in fidelity desired.
Among the many conversions of saints, that of Paul is exemplary, paradigmatic. More is palpable in her divine action to human effort, also teaches the unexpected consequences that a radical change.
Father may the conversion
of Paul help us become
better sheep in Christ's
herd so we can love
him since he is our