“Who among you remembers the date of your Baptism?”
This was the question that Pope Francis repeated during one of his weekly general audiences. He was addressing the thousands of pilgrims who gathered in St. Peter’s Square and asked for a show of hands of those who knew the date. As he clearly suspected, few were raised. He jokingly commented that he would refrain from asking any of the bishops present, in order to spare them embarrassment.
“All of you know the day on which you were born and you celebrate it as your birthday, don’t you? We all celebrate our birthday. I ask you a question, that I have already asked several times, but I’ll ask it again: who among you remembers the date of your Baptism?”
By Hector Molina
Did Saul actually fall off his horse on the road to Damascus?
He more than likely did not. It is commonly assumed that Rabbi Saul was thrown from his horse on the road to Damascus. This assumption has been reinforced by several artistic depictions, including Caravaggio’s “Conversion on the Way to Damascus” and "Conversion of St. Paul" (1601). However, nowhere does the New Testament make mention of Saul being thrown from his horse. In fact, it doesn’t even make mention of Saul traveling by horse!
Each of the three accounts of Saul’s miraculous conversion (Acts 9:3-4, 22:6-7, 26:12-14) asserts that Saul, upon seeing the light from heaven, fell to the ground. Most people assume that because Saul was en route to Damascus, he must have been traveling by horse at the very moment when the heavenly light appeared. This blinding light caused him and those accompanying him to fall from their horses to the ground. This is highly improbable. The reason being that St. Luke, the author of Acts, in two of his three accounts of the conversion of Saul, furnishes us with a clue that sheds light on what Saul was more than likely doing when he fell to the ground. See if you can pick it out.
By Chris Stewart
For eleven years now I have been traveling the country encouraging and equipping Catholics to share their Faith. Over time I have become convinced that when a speaker says the words “Go Evangelize” or “Preach the Gospel” the Catholic audience hears something completely different. It is as if the words traveling through the air transform into something causing fear and terror, something that the Great Commission should not do. What is it that Catholics are hearing???
When Catholics are told “Go Evangelize” they hear…
1. Go Door to Door
Many Catholics envision evangelization as putting on a white shirt, tie and name tag, knocking on doors with a great smile and some literature. Now I am not saying that door to door evangelization does not work. In fact, I have seen some great parish initiatives that did just that and produced some great fruit. However, the overwhelming majority of Catholics will not be called to the door to door mission field. Instead we are called to bring the Gospel to the doors our shadows already darken, our own homes, family, friends and work.