Year of the Bible

Acts of the Apostles 9

Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 9:

St. Luke picks up from Acts 8:30  at the start of Chapter 9 (“still” vs. 1) with a continuation of Saul’s story. Saul has been authorized by the chief priest in Jerusalem to arrest Jewish followers of Jesus in Damascus and bring them back to Jerusalem, presumably for punishment (vs. 1-2). Heading toward Damascus, Saul encounters Jesus in a vision (vs. 3-7). Meanwhile, Ananias (a disciple living in Damascus) also experienced the Lord in a vision and is directed to accompany Saul in his conversion, praying for Saul to be filled with the Holy Spirit (vs. 10-18). As a Pharisee, Saul had studied the Scriptures extensively and he immediately leverages this expertise to proclaim Jesus’ true identity boldly (vs. 20-22, 28-29). As the Church grows throughout Palestine, Peter and the other apostles continue to lead, guide, and visit the growing number of believers (vs. 27-43).

The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 9:

The Conversion of Saul

1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he journeyed he approached Da­mascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. 4 And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you perse­cute me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are perse­cuting; 6 but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul arose from the ground; and when his eyes were opened, he could see noth­ing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was with­ out sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusa­lem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gen­tiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was bap­tized, 19 and took food and was strengthened.

Saul Preaches in Damascus

For several days he was with the disciples at Damascus. 20 And in the synagogues immediately he proclaimed Jesus, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 And all who heard him were amazed, and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called on this name? And he has come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests.” 22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

Saul Escapes from the Jews

23 When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were watch­ing the gates day and night, to kill him; 25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Saul in Jerusalem

26 And when he had come to Jerusalem he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Bar­nabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, 29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists; but they were seeking to kill him. 30 And when the breth­ren knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus.
31 So the Church through­ out all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied.

Peter Heals Aeneas in Lydda

32 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints that lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Pe­ter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

Peter in Joppa

36 Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas or Gazelle. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37 In those days she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, “Please come to us without delay.” 39 So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the up­ per room. All the widows stood beside him weeping, and show­ing coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. 40 But Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, rise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. 42 And it became known through­ out all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Si­mon, a tanner.


*Daily Lectio Divina Question:

Lord, which specific part of these accounts is moving me in prayer and what are you showing me through it? The words you spoke to Saul to bring him conversion? His own response to conversion? Ananias' invitation to pray over Saul or his fears of doing so? Peter's healing of Aeneas and restoring Tabitha to life?


Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006).
Permission to use the RSV-2CE given for Bishop's Year of the Bible by Ignatius Press. Many thanks to Ignatius for this.

If you're looking for a good Catholic edition of the Bible, look no further.

Hechos 9

1 Saulo, respirando todavía amenazas y
muerte contra los discípulos del Señor,
se presentó ante el sumo sacerdote 2 y le pidió
cartas para las sinagogas de Damasco,
con el fin de llevar detenidos a Jerusalén
a cuantos encontrara, hombres y mujeres,
seguidores del Camino. 3 Pero mientras se
dirigía allí, al acercarse a Damasco, de repente
le envolvió de resplandor una luz del
cielo. 4 Cayó al suelo y oyó una voz que le

–Saulo, Saulo, ¿por qué me persigues?
5 Respondió:
–¿Quién eres tú, Señor?
Y él:
–Yo soy Jesús, a quien tú persigues.
6 Levántate, entra en la ciudad y se te
dirá lo que tienes que hacer.
7 Los hombres que le acompañaban
se detuvieron estupefactos, puesto que
oían la voz pero no veían a nadie. 8 Se
levantó Saulo del suelo y, aunque tenía
abiertos los ojos, no veía nada. Le condujeron
de la mano a Damasco, 9 donde
estuvo tres días sin vista y sin comer
ni beber.
10 Había en Damasco un discípulo,
de nombre Ananías, a quien el Señor
habló en una visión:
Él respondió:
–Aquí estoy, Señor.
11 El Señor le dijo:
–Levántate y vete a la calle que se
llama Recta, y busca en casa de Judas a
uno de Tarso, de nombre Saulo, que está
orando 12 –y vio Saulo en una visión que
un hombre llamado Ananías entraba y
le imponía las manos, para que recobrase
la vista.
13 –Señor –respondió Ananías–, he
oído a muchos cuánto mal ha causado
este hombre a tus santos en Jerusalén,
14 y que tiene aquí poderes de los príncipes
de los sacerdotes para prender a todos
los que invocan tu nombre.
15 El Señor le dijo:
–Vete, porque éste es mi instrumento
elegido para llevar mi nombre ante
los gentiles, los reyes y los hijos de Israel.
16 Yo le mostraré lo que deberá sufrir
a causa de mi nombre.
Marchó Ananías, entró en la casa,
le impuso las manos y dijo:
–Saulo, hermano, me ha enviado el
Señor Jesús, el que se te apareció en el
camino por donde venías, para que recobres
la vista y te llenes del Espíritu
18 Al instante cayeron de sus ojos
una especie de escamas y recobró la
vista; se levantó y fue bautizado, 19 y
tomando algo de comer recuperó las
Estuvo algunos días con los discípulos
que había en Damasco, 20 y enseguida
empezó a predicar a Jesús en las sinagogas:
–Éste es el Hijo de Dios.
21 Todos los que le oían se asombraban
y decían:
–¿Pero no es éste el que atacaba en
Jerusalén a los que invocaban este nombre,
y que vino aquí para llevarlos detenidos
ante los príncipes de los sacerdotes?
22 Saulo cobraba cada vez más fuerza
y desconcertaba a los judíos que habitaban
en Damasco, demostrando que Jesús
es el Cristo.
23 Muchos días después, los judíos
tomaron la decisión de matarlo; 24 pero
Saulo se enteró de sus insidias. Y aunque
vigilaban día y noche las puertas de
la ciudad para acabar con él, 25 sus discípulos
lo tomaron una noche y lo descolgaron
por la muralla en una espuerta.
26 Cuando llegó a Jerusalén intentaba
unirse a los discípulos; pero todos le
temían, porque no creían que fuera discípulo.
27 Sin embargo, Bernabé se lo llevó
con él, lo condujo a los apóstoles y
les contó cómo en el camino había visto
al Señor, y que le había hablado, y cómo
en Damasco había predicado abiertamente
en el nombre de Jesús. 28 Entonces
entraba y salía con ellos en Jerusalén,
hablando claramente en el nombre
del Señor. 29 Conversaba también y disputaba
con los helenistas; y éstos intentaban
matarle. 30 Cuando los hermanos
lo supieron, lo llevaron a Cesarea y lo
enviaron a Tarso.
31 La Iglesia gozaba de paz por toda
Judea, Galilea y Samaría. Se consolidaba
y caminaba en el temor del Señor y
crecía con el consuelo del Espíritu Santo.

Mientras recorría Pedro todos los lugares,
llegó hasta los santos que vivían
en Lida. 33 Encontró allí a un hombre llamado
Eneas, que era paralítico y llevaba ocho
años postrado en cama. 34 Pedro le dijo:

–¡Eneas!, Cristo Jesús te cura. Levántate
y deja listo tu lecho.
Inmediatamente se levantó. 35 Lo
vieron todos los que vivían en Lida y Sarón
y se convirtieron al Señor.
36 Había en Jope una discípula llamada
Tabita –que traducido significa
«Gacela»–, que hacía muchísimas buenas
obras y limosnas. 37 Aconteció por
aquellos días que cayó enferma y murió.
Después de lavarla, la colocaron en
la estancia superior. 38 Como Lida está
cerca de Jope, al oír los discípulos que
Pedro se encontraba allí, enviaron a dos
hombres para rogarle:
–No tardes en venir junto a nosotros.
39 Pedro se levantó y fue con ellos. En
cuanto llegó, le condujeron a la estancia
superior y le rodearon todas las viudas,
que lloraban y mostraban las túnicas y
los mantos que Gacela les había confeccionado
cuando vivía con ellas. 40 Pedro
hizo salir a todos, se puso de rodillas
y oró. Después, vuelto hacia el cuerpo,
–Tabita, levántate.
Ella abrió los ojos y al ver a Pedro se
incorporó. 41 Dándole la mano la levantó,
llamó a los santos y a las viudas, y se
la presentó con vida.
42 El hecho se supo en toda Jope y
muchos creyeron en el Señor. 43 Pedro se
quedó en Jope bastantes días, en casa de
un tal Simón, que era curtidor.

Pregunta de Lectio Divina del día de hoy

Señor, ¿qué parte en concreto de estos relatos me conmueve en la oración y qué me muestras a través de ella? ¿Las palabras que le dijiste a Saulo para que se convirtiera? ¿Su propia respuesta a la conversión? ¿La invitación de Ananías a orar por Saulo o su temor a hacerlo? ¿La curación de Eneas y devolverle la vida a Tabita por parte de Pedro?

La Biblia de Navarra

Permiso para usar esta versión de la primera edición de la Biblia de Navarra

para el Año de la Biblia del Obispo 

dado por Ediciones Universidad de Navarra, S.A. (EUNSA).