From the excerpts below, what can we know about St. Paul the Apostle?
St. Paul writes to the Corinthian Church…
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1Corinthians 3:16)
Reflection Question: How do you think St. Paul grew in his awareness that the Spirit of God was acting within him?
Author Kristine Franklin writes in OSV’s My Daily Visitor…
St. Paul had his share of tribulations. He was jailed, flogged, stoned, shipwrecked. He experienced hunger, cold, and sickness. Yet he never veered from his mission, and he was always rejoicing! … St. Paul had a calling to bring the Gospel to those who had never heard it. That was his all-consuming passion.
St. Paul was an extraordinary man, but he knew where his power came from. It came straight from God as a gift of grace. Paul knew on his own that he was weak. But with the Holy Spirit he could do whatever God asked of him, including suffer. In the end he was beheaded for his faith in Jesus Christ.
Reflection Question: Looking on Paul’s life, did his rejoicing make him strong or weak? Do we tend to make ourselves feel strong or weak when we rejoice? Why do you think this is?
St. Paul writes to the Christians in Rome…
“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:11-14)
Reflection Question: St. Paul allowed himself to be immersed in the grace of Jesus Christ. Do you allow the grace of Christ to penetrate you? Do you offer all parts of your body to His service? Your hands? Your mouth? Your feet? Your heart?
Father J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., writes in OSV’s The Priest…
Let St. Paul have the last words: “The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:4-7).
Reflection Question: Father Di Noia points out what should be our final thought in any trial, question, worry, or concern. How do you think St. Paul nurtured such a God-centeredness? How might you?
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