DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     January 25, 1999     vol. 10, no. 16

DAILY LITURGY

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Monday, January 25, 1999

      First Reading: Acts 22: 3-16
      Psalms: Psalm 117: 1-2 and Mark 16: 15
      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.

Tuesday, January 26, 1999

      First Reading: 2 Timothy 1: 1-8 or Titus 1: 1-5
      Psalms: Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-11
      Gospel Reading: Mark 3: 31-35

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.

January 25, 1999       volume 10, no. 16
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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