jueves, abril 23, 2009

Biografía de San Pablo


Patrón: Roma, cordeleros, alfombreros, teólogos, trabajadores de relaciones públicas, fabricantes de tiendas de campaña, contra calambres, convulsiones, para la fertilidad de los campos, contra el granizo, contra el temor, de la prensa católica. Pablo de Tarso (originalmente Saulo), canonizado como San Pablo Apóstol († 67), no conoció en vida -como los apóstoles- a Jesús, pero fue el primero que tuvo sólo como experiencia la del Cristo Resucitado.

Nació en Tarso y en su juventud fue mandado a Jerusalén, donde fue rigurosamente formado, en la enseñanza de la Ley, por Gamaliel el Viejo.
Después de algunos años regresó a Tarso, él no se encontraba en Jerusalén cuando Jesús predicaba. Su regreso tuvo lugar poco años después de la pasión de Cristo.


En esta fase de su vida, Saulo fue un fariseo muy activo: fue testigo de la lapidación de Esteban, pues custodiaba la ropa de los asesinos, como nos lo describen los Hechos de los Apóstoles (8, 1-3). Recibió poco después el encargo de ir a Damasco para apresar a los cristianos de aquélla ciudad (Hech. 9,2), en dicha tarea fue particularmente celoso en el cumplirla y decidido en ir contra la religión cristiana, que comenzaba a difundirse y afirmarse.

Su conversión sucedió en el camino a Damasco, cuando inesperadamente una luz del cielo lo envolvió y cayendo al suelo, escuchó una voz que le decía: “Saulo, ¿porqué me persigues?”.

Saulo se quedó ciego y todo hacía a tientas, por tres días esperó a alguno, ayuno y trastornado por cuanto le había sucedido; se puede decir que, desde aquel momento, nació Pablo, el Apóstol de las Gentes. Él decidió retirarse al desierto, para poner en orden sus pensamientos y meditar más profundamente el don recibido, ahí permaneció tres años en absoluto recogimiento.

Después de su retiro, confortado por la luz de Cristo, y se comenzó a predicar con entusiasmo, suscitando la ira de los paganos, que lo consideraban un renegado, así que intentaron asesinarlo, obligándolo así a huir.

Se refugió en Jerusalén, donde en al menos unos quince días se encontró en varias ocasiones con Pedro, que encabezaba a los apóstoles, y con Santiago, a quienes expuso su nueva vida. Los apóstoles lo entendieron y estuvieron con él horas y horas cada día, hablándole de Jesús; pero la comunidad cristiana de Jerusalén desconfiaba de Saulo, pues se recordaba de la feroz persecución que había tramado. Bernabé garantizó su confianza en él, sólo así se disiparon las dudas y Saulo fue aceptado por la comunidad.

Durante su estadía quincenal en Jerusalén, Pablo buscó realizar alguna conversión, pero esta iniciativa misionera irritó a los judíos y preocupó a los cristianos, por lo que, no encontrándose en su lugar, el Apóstol se dirigió a Cesarea y después regresó a su ciudad de Tarso en Cilicia, donde retomó su oficio de tejedor.

Del año 39 al 43 no tenemos noticias sobre sus actividades, hasta que Bernabé, enviado por los apóstoles a organizar la naciente comunidad cristiana de Antioquía, pasó a verlo para invitarlo a seguirlo, aquí Pablo dejó para siempre el nombre de Saulo, porque se convenció que su misión no era tanto entre los judíos, sino entre los otros pueblos que los judíos llamaban “gentiles”; en Antioquía fue donde los discípulos de Cristo fueron denominados por primera vez “cristianos”.

Con Pablo, en pocos años y de modo impetuoso, “la Palabra sale de Jerusalén, y la Ley de Sion”, como fue anunciado por el profeta.

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