Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle, Saturday – 25th January 2020 — Gospel: Mark 16,15-18
Command to become a new creation
The command given by Jesus to his disciples, ‘to preach the Gospel to the whole creation’, is similar to God’s command to Adam and Eve when he blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1,28). The commands were similar, but those who received them were in quite different circumstances. The command of God to first parents was a sign of punishment that subdues them to the work of slavery. The command of Jesus is given to a people living after his resurrection in freedom and truth. His command is a Word for those who have listened to Jesus, believed in him, and are being transformed by his grace. Paul, who experienced the risen Lord, was transformed and commissioned with this salvific mission. He then proclaimed the gospel to the gentile believers promising baptism and salvation (16,16). According to him, baptism is necessary for salvation. In baptism the believer participates in Jesus’s resurrection and becomes a credible witness to him in the new creation.