In today's first reading we hear, "Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment."
And as we all know this same Saul went on to be St. Paul who ministry and writings shaped the future of Christianity. Could that happen today?
In the 21st century where all news is internationally accessible via the Internet, and once posted remains in cyberspace forever, how do we as Christians respond? How should we respond?
We look around and we bemoan the lack of great leaders, like the one's of the past. Yet how many of them could have survived the microscopic examination of our modern era. Men like Jefferson and Lincoln could never have been elected today, and yet where would we be without them.
We often today decry the loss of the sense of sin, and it is true that we have in someways lost a sense that anything except murder is a sin. But it is also true that we seem to have lost the concepts of conversion, forgiveness and free will.
From childhood we begin to label individuals and once labeled it becomes the modern scarlet letter from which there is no escape. Pope John Paul II warned us about the non-Christian aspects of the determinists school of thought that leave no room for either free will or God's grace.
In the church, as in the world at large, some of our greatest saints were also great sinners. If we are true to our faith we must call sin, sin. But we must always leave room for free will, grace, forgiveness, repentance, and conversion.