9 May 2014
The Conversion of Saul
Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, â€˜Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?â€™ He asked, â€˜Who are you, Lord?â€™ The reply came, â€˜I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.â€™ The men who were travelling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, â€˜Ananias.â€™ He answered, â€˜Here I am, Lord.â€™ The Lord said to him, â€˜Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.â€™ But Ananias answered, â€˜Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.â€™ But the Lord said to him, â€˜Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.â€™ So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, â€˜Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.â€™ And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul Preaches in Damascus
For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, â€˜He is the Son of God.â€™
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, â€˜How can this man give us his flesh to eat?â€™ So Jesus said to them, â€˜Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.â€™ He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.