January 25, 2016 (Monday)

The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle (Feast)

Acts 22:3-16 [or 9:1-22]

Ps 117

Mk 16:15-18



15Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. 18They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”



At rst hearing, these words sound very harsh. Jesus commands his disciples to preach the Gospel. ose who believe and are baptized will be saved, but those who do not believe will be condemned.

An analysis of the Greek word for believe, pistis, can help us understand the meaning of these words of Jesus. Pistis means faith, trust, faithfulness, rely ability. e author of the Letter to the Hebrews de nes faith as “the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). As a Christian virtue, faith is a recognition and acceptance of Christian teaching as such.

ose who do not accept and believe in the Gospel as their guide for life cannot see the right path to eternal happiness. ose who do not trust in Jesus and are not faithful in living the Gospel values will not experience the peace God gives to those who are faithful to him. us, they will be condemned by their own choice.

e profession of our faith must be expressed above all in the way we live.

“Faith without works is dead” ( Jas 2:26).

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