Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
St. Paul is giving his résumé because the people have been telling the Galatians to stop believing what he says. In order to convince them that the Gospel which he shared with them is true, he tells them the story of how he heard it. Yesterday, he said “I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Today, he is specifically relating how this happened. He tells us that when he had the revelation that converted him, he did not go to Jerusalem. Instead, he went out into the desert, to Arabia. He needed some time to think about this experience. Only after three years does he go up to speak to Peter.
His life story, he says, was an inspiration to the Churches. Not because of what he did, but because his life proved what God could do in him. If God could change Saul, persecutor of Christians, into Paul, preacher of the Gospel, then no one was beyond help. If Paul can convert, than the worst person you know can convert. Why, even you and I can convert. Before his conversion, St. Paul was not an inspiration, but a cause of fear; after the conversion, the inspiration is all the more powerful because of how bad he was. All along, God had a plan for him.
As the psalm says, “Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.” In some ways, it is the same path for everyone because it is the path of doing the will of God. In another way, it is truly an individual path for each one of us, because God knows us individually. God had plans for Paul. Even while he stood assisting with the stoning of St. Stephen, God had plans for him. Even while he persecuted Christians families, God had plans for him. We know what our path has been up to this point, but only God knows how it goes from here on out. If it started well, it might finish badly and be all the more tragic because of the good start. If it has been a difficult path, then all that difficulty will be glory if it ends well. It is God’s will and he will do all he can to guide us. We pray to him, “Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way” for our sake, so that we will follow him.