There are so many messages that can be taken from today’s readings- respect and do the work of God, spread the good news of the Lord, and have faith in Jesus. While these are all very important messages, the one I find especially intriguing involves not Saul’s actions, or quarreling Jews questioning Jesus, but the response of Ananias when the Lord tells him to return the sense of sight to Saul. I think it is natural for us all to believe that if God spoke to us, gave us a direction to go heal someone, we would jump right up and say, “Yes, Lord!” But what if God spoke directly to us, and asked us to go heal someone we did not like?
In this reading, God essentially asks Ananias to help someone Ananias does not like, and Ananias does not jump right up, and do it, but rather replies, “Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison all who call upon your name.” Ananias’ reply seems legitimate; it seems as though Saul needs to be taught a lesson, so why return the gift of sight to him, when he is apparently blind in virtue? But the Lord replies “Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine….”
My mother is a kindergarten teacher, and she has a poster next to her desk that reads, “Every child in your classroom is somebody’s whole world.” When I heard God’s response to Saul, that poster is what immediately popped into my mind. Whether you are a teacher, student, or anything in between, everyone knows how difficult it can be to work with people whose values do not match your own, or who always seems to break the rules, or who has a negative attitude all of the time. It is easy to even hold ourselves in a higher light, because we consider ourselves as the ones doing God’s work-being the better people. However, God chose us all to be His instruments, and everyone is His whole world. If we truly are doing God’s work, we will remember that God has spoken to us, and we must act on His command and heal His world.