Før gårsdagens Angelus-bønn på Petersplassen sa pave Benedikt noen ord om Paulus’ omvendelse, og han oppsummerte denne hendelsen kanskje litt overraskende (syns jeg) med at Paulus her forstod at han ikke kunne bli frelst ved lovgjerninger, men ved tro på Ham som døde og oppstod for oss. Les selv:
Saint Paul’s conversion, which the Church celebrates today, was the main subject in the Pope’s reflections ahead of the Marian prayer.
“If truth be told,” said the Pope, “in the case of Paul some prefer not to use this term because,” they say, “he was already a believer; in fact he was a fervent Jew, and thus did not go from no faith to faith or from idols to God; nor did he abandon the Jewish faith to join Christ. In reality, the Apostle’s experience can be a model for every true Christian conversion.”
Paul’s conversion, the Pope went on to say, “took shape in the meeting with the Risen Christ. It was that meeting that radically changed his life. On the way to Damascus what happened to him is what Jesus calls for in today’s Gospel. Saul converted because, thanks to divine light, he believed in the Gospel’. This is his and our conversion: believing in the dead and risen Jesus and opening ourselves to the light of divine grace. In that moment Saul understood that his salvation did not depend on good deeds performed in accordance with the Law, but in the fact that Jesus also died for him, the persecutor, and had risen.”
For each Christian, baptism is the sign of conversion. “Converting,” explained the Pontiff, “means, also for each one of us, that Jesus, by dying on the cross, “has [. . .] given himself up for me” (cf Gal, 2:20), has risen and [now] lives with me and in me. By putting my trust in the power of his remission and letting myself be taken by His hand, I can escape the quick sands of pride and sin, lies and sadness, selfishness and false security, to find out and live the richness of his love.”