I always experience a certain thrill in being the first to announce some good news. Unfortunately, that is also true when it comes to bad news. But people have always loved passing on information, either in the form of news items, stories or nuggets of wisdom. Thoughts and ideas have as much currency as food or material goods. People love sharing them.
Today is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. His road to Damascus experience led him to a radical change in his life so that he transformed from being the number one persecutor of the early Church into one of the most assiduous proclaimers of the good news. Through his many travels and his letters, he told people of the good news of Christ and planted the seeds of the early Christian faith in many communities across Asia Minor and as far as Rome itself. These communities served as salt and leaven from which would spring the early Christian Churches: small yet potent agents for change.
Nothing as dramatic as Damascus has happened in my life. I have tried to do my own proclamation of the good news in ways I can and to people I could. I have not experienced the signs and wonders promised to those who believed. I am often beset by doubts about my Faith. Daily, I struggle to learn and live by the teachings of the good news. I am nowhere being the saint that Saint Paul was. Yet, I persist in this ‘folly’ rusting that, like Saint Paul, my faith shall not be in vain.
And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’ Mark 16:15-18