Thursday, January 25, 2018

Saul's Conversion and Our Own

"On that journey as I drew near to Damascus,
about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me,
'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'
I replied, 'Who are you, sir?'
And he said to me,
'I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.'

When Saul hears the voice of the Lord Jesus speak these words to him, his life is transformed. And all of Paul’s subsequent teaching will be formed by this message of Jesus to him – all those who suffer are Christ Jesus in our midst, indeed, as Paul will later attest,  “the body is one, but has many members.” Our sufferings unite us in Christ, with Christ and make us one with him, one with each other. Christ’s body is aching even until now in those very near, in those far away, in all who are over-burdened, abandoned and persecuted. This is the Gospel message of God’s compassion that Jesus asks us to proclaim to every creature. Compassion is our mission, our call, the living witness of our ongoing conversions.

The Conversion of Saint Paul by Caravaggio.