There are three places in the “Acts of the Apostles” where we have this story of Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus. With Jesus asking, ”Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me,” the accounts are the same in Chapters 9, and 22; but the account in Chapter Twenty-Six includes something else Jesus said to Paul that day. He said, “It is hard for you to kick against the goad.” Isn’t that interesting?
A goad is a pointed stick you’d carry riding a animal. You'd use it to poke your beast to get it to obey. When he or she, not obeying, kicked back, you would keep poking till one of you gave.
Apparently, the beautiful behavior of the Christians was giving Saul doubts about the rightness of his persecuting them; but he had just kicked back, resolved not to change his ways.
Seeing Saul’s stubbornness, Jesus threw the goad away, seeing he needed to knock Saul down.
This reading is meant to ask us if we have been kicking against the goad. Will we give in to Our Lord’s goading us to be more temperate and understanding, or does he need to knock us down?
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