The Church celebrated the Conversion of St. Paul yesterday.
Saul or Sha’ul, zealous persecutor of the followers of the Way became Paul, zealous Apostle of Jesus Christ! He who set out to take the Church captive, now a captive of Christ!
By persecuting the Church, it was Jesus whom he had persecuted: “‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” The Members of the Mystical Body of Christ are one with the Head. This great truth about the union of Christ with His Church is richly taught by St. Paul in his letters.
St. Paul’s conversion means that there is hope for everyone:
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me.
-1 Cor. 15:8-10
The grace of God does wonders!
“…he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles…”
Reading the letters of St. Paul did/does me a lot of good in my own ongoing conversion into Jesus Christ. This June 2008 marks the beginning of the Year of St. Paul declared by Pope Benedict XVI. May we we all catch the fire!