Paul was the worst sinner in the world (1 Tm 1:15), "an extreme case" (1 Tm 1:16). He was "a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance" (1 Tm 1:13). Paul is "an example to those who would later have faith" in Jesus (1 Tm 1:16). Because the Lord changed Paul, He can change anybody — even your spouse, child, boss, enemy — even you! No matter how many abortions have been committed, how many children abused, how many millions left to starve, the Lord can change anything by changing anybody.
Almost everyone believes in the power of the world, the flesh, and the devil to pervert the human person. Nevertheless, as great as this power is, it is finite. God's power to convert the human person is infinite. He will not take away our free will, but the power of Jesus' death and resurrection is so awesome as to keep us from putting too much emphasis on our rebellious will (see 1 Jn 4:4).
Paul's conversion is a sign of hope. We never have to give up on ourselves or on the most hardened sinners. Jesus' grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9). There is no chaining His word (2 Tm 2:9). There is nothing impossible for Him (Lk 1:37). Jesus' love never fails (1 Cor 13:8).
Be hopeful. Jesus saves.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2015 through September 30, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 18, 2015.