“A light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” (Acts 9:3-5).
To eat and drink the flesh and blood of Christ is to abide in Christ; it is to have Christ literally live inside of us. And if Christ is living inside you, anyone who persecutes you is actually persecuting Christ. Hence, when Saul was destroying Christians, Christ felt it so much that he accosted him on the road to Damascus: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Our responsorial psalm beautifully puts it saying: “The Angel of the Lord is encamped around those who fear Him, to rescue them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who seeks refuge in him” (Psalm 34:9).
The conversion of Saul teaches us that God hates sin but loves the sinner. He is a God of second chance. He who created us knows what we are made of and He never gives up on us. Again, this story shows us no one can fight God’s children and succeed. God knows how to protect His own. Today, being the first day of May is traditionally known as Workers’ Day. The church in celebrating workers remembers one Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. He was simply identified as the Carpenter and it is from this great man that the baby Jesus learnt to work. As we honour Mary for her role in salvation history, we also honour Joseph for his sacrificial role in that story.
Not much is written or known about St. Joseph but so much can be said based on the very little that we find. St. Joseph was humble enough to accept God’s plan for him; to willingly marry Mary; to protect the child Jesus from danger and to serve in the place of a Father in the upbringing of Jesus Christ. Today we pray for workers all over the world; especially workers whose rights and dignity are suppressed by the powerful; workers who are being unjustly denied of their wages; workers who face harassment in their place of work; workers who want to work but are searching for employment. May St. Joseph pray for us all. Amen.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, create in me a pure heart and renew my spirit within me. Amen. Bible Study: Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 117 and John 6:52-59).