Mark 16: 15-18
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
This feast of the Conversion of St. Paul marks the final day of worldwide prayer for Christian unity. Prior to his conversion, Saul (St. Paul) had consented to the execution of Stephen. Having persecuted many who had belonged to the Church in Jerusalem , Saul traveled the road to Damascus intent on killing those who identified themselves as followers of Christ:
“Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting; but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts of the Apostles 9:3-6 )
With St. Paul we can pray for the theological, organizational, and personal unity for which Jesus himself prayed at the Last Supper.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Open our hearts, O Jesus Christ, to share more perfectly in your prayer to the Father that we may be one, so that as we journey together we may draw closer to each another. Send your Spirit to empower and challenge us to answer your call to unity. Show us what your Father, the God of Life, requires of us, and lead us to justice, peace, and oneness in your name, our Lord, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen!
—Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, Garrison NY / www.geii.org
Used with permission.