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Saul of Tarsus/ St. Paul was a person who engaged with life and his faith and quickly came to terms with them. As a Jew, he responded with wholehearted zeal to God’s will as he saw it, persecuting the Christians. As a Christian, he was equally as wholehearted and zealous in travelling around preaching the Good News. As he said in today’s reading: “I am ”.
How was he able to confidently proclaim this, considering the insecurity of his lifestyle: hunger, cold, accidents, thieves, and so on? The reason for his confidence was his faith: “There is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength”. Paul was speaking of God, the One Who will help us in all our difficulties if only we turn to Him and trust Him. He was ready to put up with anything to attain his goal of making Christ known and loved, to help others to grow in relationship with God. He knew that, as the Psalmist said, God was “a shield about Him”.
Although Paul knew that he was dependent on God for everything, he also knew that God works through people. It has been said that on this earth He has no hands but ours, no feet but ours. The Philippians had helped Paul with their gifts. Paul was delighted at their generosity, not only because it would help him, but also because, in his words, it would be “interest mounting up in their account” with God. They were learning that, as Jesus had said, the way to love God whom one could not see was to show love to one’s brothers and sisters.
Paul’s attitudes challenge us: have we got faith enough to face whatever situations we encounter with complete trust? And do we show our faith by our actions?