Oil on wood
Today we celebrate one of the great days in Church history; the conversion of St Paul. We all know the story of Paul being on the road to Damascus to persecute the church in the city and how he meets Jesus on the way.
Jesus says to him "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
In saying this, Jesus identifies himself completely with his church on earth. Paul forever sees Jesus as the head of the church and us as part of the body. From this conversion the whole theology of the "Mystical Body of Christ" comes.
Saul's conversion was complete. He even changes his name, a new name for a new life. Paul throws himself headlong into his new mission, facing shipwreck, death and hunger with ease. He is impatient to go and be with the Lord but he is also eager to stay on earth as long as Jesus has work for him to do here.
Will we be able to look St Paul in the face?
Although the Conversion of St Paul by Caravaggio is the most famous, showing Paul on the ground beside his horse, the mosaic by Michelangelo in the Chapel of St Paul, Rome, shows Paul on the ground with a direct light shining from Jesus in heaven. This is a powerful work as it shows the direct intervention of God.
The conversion of Paul calls us all to continuous conversion, every day of our lives.