IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. What a powerful story. What an authentic, long-lasting story. Paul, who, at the time of his conversion, was known as Saul, was a persecutor of Christians. That’s putting it nicely. His entire life was geared toward eradicating any presence of Christianity, and all Christians lived in utter fear of him. He had been trained for this. Then, while traveling on the road to Damascus, he was blinded by a bright light, an experience during which he heard the Lord’s voice. “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?!” The Lord then sent Saul to preach and convert. His sight was restored. He was baptized, and from that moment on, he took the name Paul. This simple description does not do this story justice. It is a reminder, however, that anyone can be healed and joined with the Lord and the Lord’s mission, if one desires it. It’s never too late.
What might the story of Paul say to us and about us? For this reflection I offer one specific thought. Sometimes we may be tempted to feel that, due to the wrong we have done or the good that we have failed to do, we have reached a point of no return. Well, there is no such thing with God. A little bit of guilt could, I guess, be good, if it leads us to genuine sorrow. God, however, does not want us to beat ourselves up so badly that we get to the point of feeling that forgiveness and a new start cannot be ours. It can. We just need to recognize that we need it and ask as sincerely as we possibly can. Paul was converted from, changed from terrible ways. So too can we. It’s never too late.