Daily Reflection
From a Creighton Student's Perspective

January 25th, 2008

Patrick Carter

Sophmore; Justice and Society Major, Spanish and Legal Studies Minors

Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22
Ps 117:1bc, 2
Mk 16:15-18

Saul’s conversion is usually thought of as being seemingly short and simple– a burst of light and then he changes his name to Paul. However, it is apparent the events that precede and follow the blinding light are of incredible importance to the representation of what it means to convert to a faith in Christ. His conversation with Christ and encounter with Ananias are tremendously important in the process of his conversion. Saul is called by Jesus to change, to abandon his life of persecuting and ridiculing the followers of Christ. However, Jesus does not give an outline of how this is to be done nor does He hand Saul a copy of “Conversion for Dummies” and tell him that there will be an exam on Friday. Rather, Jesus asks Saul to get up, go to Damascus, and you will be cared for.

Ananias, when told by the Lord that he is to tend to the blind Saul replies with doubt of Saul’s faith and reputation as a man of hatred. However, the Lord says that He has chosen Saul. Ananias goes on to restore Saul’s sight and solidify his faith in Christ. Without Ananias, the conversion of Saul would not be complete. While Jesus could have cured Saul’s blindness, He utilizes the assistance of a human because of the mandate that He gives in today’s Gospel: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Conversion is not an immediate process nor does it solely depend on God. Rather, God has entrusted the responsibility of conversion to us, and made it our responsibility to foster and facilitate the gradual conversion of others.

While I have been a baptized Christian since infancy, I have had numerous conversions of faith in my life. None have involved a dramatic about-face in my beliefs; however, they have all shown me glimpses of God through an interaction with another person. Several months ago, I went on an immersion trip to El Paso, TX and Juarez, Mexico through Creighton. While walking around these border cities I was never struck down by a forceful light, nor did I have a conversation with Jesus. However, I was converted by the people that I spoke with, played soccer with, and ate with. Whether it was the volunteers that provide food and shelter for helpless and hopeless immigrants or discussing the meaning of happiness with a poor woman in Juarez, my blindness was cured by the people that I met. These people were living the message of conversion that Jesus gave to the disciples. I was converted through interaction with others because my eyes were opened to the Lord through interactions of compassion, justice, and love. It is apparent through the readings today that we, as Christians, are called to conversion and to help others in the development of their faith.

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