Paul once thought he was justified by God…for murdering Christians! But today, we celebrate him as a great saint…

Today is the Feast of Peter and Paul, two great saints of the Church.

Yet, Paul started his life as an enemy of the Church, not just in opposition to Christianity, but as a murder of Christians.

Paul, himself, admits it:

“I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cili’cia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gama’li-el, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day. I persecuted this Way [Christianity] to the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, as the high priest and the whole council of elders bear me witness. From them I received letters to the brethren, and I journeyed to Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished. (Acts 22:3-5 RSV)

And, he believed he was good before God, justified in his actions even.

“…and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.” (Galatians 1:14 RSV)

Then, he had a change of heart. The gospel spoke to him and he became one of the greatest advocates of the good news of Jesus Christ.

We, too, have our enemies who persecute us.

How easy would it be for us to give up on them? How easy would it be for us to bad mouth them?

Yet, Paul shows us that our greatest enemy can become our greatest advocate. This is why it’s all the more important for us to love our enemies: to show them kindness, warmth, and companionship.

It’s not easy, but living the gospel is never easy. All things that are worthwhile require effort on our part

P.S. Join us on our Journey! 

St. Elias the Prophet (419 N. Grandview Ave., Dubuque)
Saturdays: Great Vespers, 4 pm
Sundays: Orthros, 9 am; Divine Liturgy, 10 am

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When Paul Murdered Christians

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