“Matter is spirit moving slowly enough to be seen.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.
The actions of Saul could be compared to a terrorist today.
He was literally terrorizing the first followers of Jesus, dragging them from their homes.
Many of them were certainly killed.
Saul thought he was doing this on behalf of God.
Some of the most evil things done in history were carried out by people who believed they were doing good!
Saul thought he was protecting his Jewish faith from these new heathens.
Many human beings are horribly misled by whoever has their ear.
This is how people get radicalized.
What would have happened if those who were the early Christians lashed out at Saul?
What if they would have killed him?
Then, the cycle of violence would have gone on.
That’s why Jesus modeled nonviolent resistance, standing up to oppressors in truth but also in love.
This is hard!
But it’s what Jesus called us to do.
That’s because we are all connected.
We are all one, all children of God.
Saul found this out when he had a mystical encounter on the road to Damascus when he was knocked to the ground by a flash of light.
He then heard a voice that stated: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
The voice then stated: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5)
So the risen Jesus was stating that Saul was persecuting him by persecuting his followers.
What we do to one we do to all and to Jesus himself.
Saul was slowly transformed by this experience and became known as Paul, one of the most impassioned followers of Christ.
St. Paul went on to write in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
In Christ Jesus.
In the Great I Am.
We are all connected.
When we hurt one, we hurt all.
When we love one, we love all.
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Remember: God loves you!