Feast of Saint Paul, the Apostle
One skeptic posed a challenge about the resurrection of Christ: “Can you prove that Jesus is alive and is risen from the dead?” A lawyer replied: “Yes, by considering how the lives of others were deeply affected by the fact of his resurrection.”
Here the lawyer is referring to circumstantial evidence. In saying thus, he is telling us that there is resurrection because many people were changed, reformed, that is, they were deeply affected by the resurrection. Eventhough we have not witnessed ourselves the event of the resurrection by looking at those people affected by it, we can say that indeed, the resurrection did happen.
In particular, the conversion of Paul tells us that truly resurrection happened. The converted Paul who preached the Good News of salvation from Jerusalem, to the whole of the Mediterranean world is one convincing testimony of the truths of our faith–that Jesus is alive and have risen from the dead.
Actually, Paul did not meet nor see Jesus in his lifetime. What he had is the vision he experienced on the road to Damascus. Yet his zeal and dedication in spreading the Gospel equals that of the Apostles who were with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry to his death on the cross. That is why, Paul acquired for himself the name, Apostle to the Gentiles.
It is rather awkward to say that the life of Paul is an evidence of the Resurrection because it is like saying that Resurrection could not stand on its own, that it needs Paul to become convincing and be accepted in faith. What is rather proper is to say that the Resurrection was the one that empowers Paul . It is the fact that Jesus is alive and risen, or simply Jesus who puts the fire and all the energy in Paul to be such a great missionary and herald of the Good News to the ends of the world. Without Christ, his works are all in vain.
All of us in a way are like Paul. We too have not seen Jesus alive and walking in the face of the earth. What we have and hold on to is similar to what Paul had, a vision of Jesus alive which today we identify as religious experience. For us, it is the best and most valuable wealth, the best thing that we could ever have. We stubbornly cling to it, telling the rest that we cannot live without it, for Jesus is our HOPE. As we journey through life, it is Jesus who gives us the confidence that in the end we will rest in the Father’s embrace. SPE SALVI. “In hope we were saved” said Paul in his letter to the Romans.