REFLECTION FOR FIFTH SUNDAY IN EASTER: YEAR B
29TH APRIL 2018: YEAR B
Just imagine if the following ever happened: The militant atheist Richard Dawkins had a conversion experience and became a Catholic. Then imagine that he went on a preaching mission giving retreats all over Ireland and England saying that the Catholic Church was the true Faith and that all the books he ever wrote dismissing Catholism were now false.
Now imagine the reaction to all of this. It would probably make the main headline news all over the world. Many would say: “It this really true?” While many Roman Catholics would rejoice, many would suspect that, Richard Dawkins was only doing this to infiltrate the Catholic Faith in order to destroy it from within.
While this is all imaginary, it does bring home to us that God has transformed the lives of many people who were totally against him and the greatest example of this is St. Paul. St. Paul before his conversion had persecuted the early church. In to-day’s first reading we hear about him preaching and teaching about the resurrected Christ after his incredible and dramatic conversion experience.
In to-day’s first reading it says, “Saul, tried to join the disciples but they were all afraid of him; they could not believe that he was a disciple.” They were eventually convinced that this was the working of the Holy Spirit by Saul’s humility in how he was trying to change his life around, the peace of mind he radiated due to been forgiven for his past life as a violet persecutor of the early Christian Church.
To-day’s readings should inspire us that God never gives us on humanity despite all the suffering caused by humankind’s inhumanity to each other. By been open to the power of the Holy Spirit, God can use ordinary people to transform the world and laid the seeds of a conversion experience for the greatest of sinners whom we may feel are beyond conversion but to God, all things are possible.
Fr. P. Madden