April 24, 2015
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. (Acts 9:1-20)
Today’s first reading recounts the most famous conversion story in history, that of Saul of Tarsus, who would become Paul. He was one of the most brutal persecutors of the early Christians. Knocked to the ground by a flash of light and blinded for three days, Saul is told by Ananias, “Jesus appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight.
Pretty dramatic stuff. So dramatic that it may be difficult to connect to our lives — flashes of light, almost overnight conversion from hated persecutor to loving proclaimer of the Word, blind one minute and sighted the next. Where am I in this grand tale?
Unfortunately, we are often blind to the loving message of Jesus Christ. The scales covering our eyes are self-applied. We are blinded by our own selfishness. We are blinded by greed, and lust, and desire. We are our own worst enemy.
But like Saul, we are offered the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we accept this gift and open ourselves up to the love of Jesus Christ, the scales fall from our eyes.
I wish I could say that once the scales fall, they are gone for good. Unfortunately, we are weak human beings and are blinded by sin repeatedly.
Thankfully, Jesus is there for us, arms extended to welcome us home, and offering the gift of the Holy Spirit once again.