There is nothing more frightening than knowing that there is a killer in your midst.
Well, maybe there is something more frightening that that. It would be more frightening, I presume, to realize that you were on the killer's list!
Can you imagine how you would respond if you came face to face with someone who, seemingly, indiscriminately killed others?
Can you imagine how you would feel if you knew that the person doing the killing had the sanction of the government to kill?
That would be a person to fear.
Are we talking serial killer here?
We're talking saint!
Today is the feast of the conversion of someone who had absolute authority to detain, arrest, and execute anyone he deemed a criminal. Of course, "criminal," in this definition, would have been "follower of Christ."
The saint? Paul
St. Paul had the authority to arrest and kill any Christian since they were considered enemies of the state. He carried out his mission fiercely and became feared far and wide. Just the mention of his name would make people shudder in terror.
All this time, Paul -- known then as Saul -- felt that he was doing God's will. He thought that Christianity was an abomination against God and he did all that he could do to root out the followers of Jesus and execute them. His mission was not only personal, but was religious in nature as well since he saw Christianity as being a threat to Judaism.
And then everything changed. He met Christ on the road to Damascus. His conversion led to a fearless leader for the Christians and the spread of Christianity in the lands of his time.
The conversion of Paul is a great story because it gives us hope as well. We may think of ourselves as unworthy to follow the Lord. We may think of ourselves as too great a sinner. But look at Paul. He slaughtered people before becoming a follower of Christ.
Christ calls all people.
It is up to the people to respond.
How will you respond to the Lord's call today?