CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016–We need to be like St. Paul and convert our lives, directing it to witness to God’s love and presence.
This was the message during the Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul on the second day of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC), given by Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee on International Eucharistic Congresses.
“The life of St. Paul has something to say to each of us for we, too, are called to constant conversion to the love of Jesus Christ,” he said.
‘Apostle to the Gentiles’
The prelate emphasized the conversion of the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and the mission of Catholics to live a life of faith.
Marini stressed to the faithful gathered at the packed IEC Pavilion that the faithful need to follow the apostle’s example of having a constant conversion that leads to witnessing.
He noted how the saint turned his life of sin to a life of Christ by discovering the real person of Christ.
Marini recounted how St. Paul spent time getting to know Christ by studying the Scriptures, which soon led him to a life of mission.
“He spent years deepening His faith by studying the Scriptures and became a tireless missionary throughout the Mediterranean,” he said.
The former master of Pontifical liturgical celebrations said the life of the apostle encourages the faithful to a life channeling Christ into the world, a life fully responsive to the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, “a life of full surrender to God’s will.”
‘Free prisoner of love’
“As a free prisoner of the love of Christ, St. Paul wanted to be closely conformed to His Law: [He said] I bear in my body the death of Jesus, so that in my body the life of Jesus may also be revealed,” echoed Marini.
“With Apostle Paul, may we, too, [may] be able to say: the life I will live is not my own, Christ is living in me. It is a life of faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me,” added the prelate.
Marini was formerly in charge of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. For twenty years, he had been by the side of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. (Chrixy Paguirigan / CBCPNews)