(Vatican News) St. Paul's conversion teaches us that it is never too late to let Jesus completely change and transform your life, insists Pope Francis during his Wednesday General Audience in the Vatican as he continued his series of catecheses on apostolic zeal, focusing this week specifically on St. Paul.
Change your life now, by letting Jesus change you, and become a new creature, as St. Paul did.
Pope Francis stressed this during his Wednesday General Audience, telling the faithful and pilgrims in St. Peter's Square that it is never too late to start over, and that requires knowing where Jesus is in our lives.
Continuing his series of catecheses on apostolic zeal, the Pope said he would be focusing on different individuals, who at different times and in different ways, gave "exemplary witness of what passion for the Gospel means, choosing to focus this and next week on St. Paul, who became "a new creation."
He said that when Jesus enters St. Paul's life, everything changes, and that Jesus had this effect on all the saints.
The story of Paul of Tarsus, the Pope highlighted, is emblematic on this subject, the Pope noted, as he said, that the saint "converted" his zeal from the Law to the Gospel.
The Pope noted that Saul's zeal first wanted to destroy the Church, but later he would build it up.
“We can ask ourselves: what happened? What has changed in Paul? In what sense was his zeal, his drive for the glory of God transformed?”
Wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Francis recalled, teaches that passion, morally speaking, is neither good nor bad: its virtuous use makes it morally good, sin makes it bad.
“In Paul's case, what changed him was not a mere idea or conviction: it was the encounter with the Risen Lord that transformed his whole being.”
Paul's humanity, passion for God and glory, the Holy Father said, is "not annihilated," "but transformed, 'converted' by the Holy Spirit," and "so for every aspect of his life."
Saul's fall and Paul's resurrection
Just as it happens in the Eucharist, where the bread and wine do not disappear, but become the Body and Blood of Christ, the Pope said, Paul's zeal remains, but becomes the zeal of Christ.
The Holy Father stressed that Jesus concretely can transform us and our lives, if we left Him.
St. Paul himself said: 'So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come."
“Passion for the Gospel is not a question of understanding or studies, which are useful but do not generate it; rather, it means going through that same experience of "fall and resurrection" that Saul/Paul lived and that is at the origin of the transfiguration of his apostolic drive.”
The Holy Father remembered that Paul himself said how Christ's love changes us and can change our lives forever.
Source: Pope at Audience: Like St. Paul, change your life and become a 'new creature'