LITURGY for TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY - January 25 and 26
Tuesday, January 25, 2000
First Reading: Acts 22: 3-16 or Acts 9: 1-22
Psalms: Psalm 117: 1-2
Gospel Reading: Mark 16: 15-18
Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul
So important was the Conversion of the Apostle Paul in the development of the Church that she has set aside a special day to honor this miraculous conversion. Detailed in Acts 9: 1-30 and retold from Paul's point of view in Acts 22:1-21, the story of the Christian persecutor Saul to the zealous and holy instrument of evangelization Paul shows the strength of God's power in our lives and how He canchange anything. One thing Paul always was was sincere. Though a Roman citizen by privilege, he was first and foremost a Jew. Even as a Jew he sincerely felt his cause on behalf of the Jewish Law was just in persecuting Christians. He believed God belonged only to the Jews. The first martyr Saint Stephen was slain at Saul's command. His power and zealousness to put this Christian "fad" down drove him to more frenzied heights. It was his personal mission to round up all the Jews in Damascus who professed their
belief in the man Who had been crucified. God works in strange and mystical ways. On Saul's journey to
Damascus he was struck by a bolt from Heaven as he heard Our Lord say, "Saul, Saul, why doest
thou persecute Me?" Because Saul was an honest and sincere man, though misguided in his zeal,
God saw in him a tremendous instrument for all that He wanted to accomplish. Once Saul realized the
error of his ways, his admission opened the floodgates for powerful interior graces and an infusion of the
Holy Spirit which, as we know, Paul used wisely in his mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and play a vital role in bringing the "baby" Church from its weaning period into infancy and ultimately the
conversion of the world. The lesson here is to remember how important the grace of God is in our lives
and that we should cherish this gift always...never taking it for granted, and striving to nourish it daily
through using the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit to strengthen grace in our souls.
Wednesday, January 26, 2000
First Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8 or Titus 1: 1-5
Psalms: Psalm 89: 4-5, 27-30
Gospel Reading: Mark 4: 1-20
Feast of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, Bishops and Disciples of the early Church
The disciple Saint Timothy was a prized pupil of Saint Paul.
Timothy's father had been Greek, his mother Eunice Jewish. Both
converted to Christianity and Eunice tutored Timothy in the faith.
On Paul's first missionary journey Timothy was converted and
baptized, accompanying the Apostle on his second and third
journeys. As the Acts of the Apostles affirms, Paul sent Timothy
to minister to the Greeks in Macedonia, Thessalonica, and
Corinth. From all reports Timothy became a bishop in Ephesus
and there he died a natural death.
The other bishop whose feast we celebrate today - Saint Titus
was converted with Timothy, but unlike Timothy, was pagan born
and not tutored by his parents in the faith. Titus was invited to join
Paul and Saint Barnabas to the Council of Jerusalem with the
other Apostles. Paul, as is confirmed in his Second Letter to the
Corinthians, had great trust in Titus and appointed him bishop of
the Church in Crete. There he died at an old age, also a peaceful
death. Both, along with Saint John, were a few of the only ones
not martyred for their faith. Titus holds a special place in the
hearts of Croatians.