HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL.
THEME: And Christ appeared to a Terrorist?
BY: Rev Fr Oselumhense Anetor (Uromi Diocese).
HOMILY FOR JANUARY 15TH.
Acts 22:3-16; Ps.117:1-2; Mark 16:15-18
I have not lost any blood relative to the violence in Southern Kaduna and in many other parts of the country, neither have I lost anyone to Boko Haram terrorism in the North East. But I’ve lost much more. In 2022 alone, according to a report by SB Morgen Intelligence, SBM, 39 Catholic Priests in Nigeria were murdered in cold blood, 30 others were abducted in various parts of the country, and there have been about 145 attacks on Catholic priests. Already, in 2023, one Catholic Priest in Minna Diocese has been murdered by extremists. Many others who are not Catholic Priests have also been murdered in cold blood, many of whom are Muslims.
Friends, in line with the above, it must be extremely difficult to tell us to continue to pray for the conversion of these fanatics and extremists. But look at Paul’s story in today’s first reading. He wasn’t any different from the average terrorist; at least as far as Christians in the early Church were concerned. Saul even believed he was doing God’s will. Sounds familiar? Did God strike him dead? No! Jesus Christ appeared to him personally and channeled his zeal to something worthwhile. We must learn something from God’s attitude to us sinners, no matter how much pain, bitterness, and vengeance we nurse. For God, what matters is conversion, not gathering of arms, and killing others in supposed self defense. May the intercession of St Paul bring about true conversion to those who persecute the faith today, and may the rest of us find a reason to let go of the bitterness, Amen!
Good morning dear. God bless your day ahead. St Paul, pray for us!
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