St. Paul and the Church
St. Paul was a member of the old Israel, and he therefore would not accept the revelation of the new Israel, the new people of God. He started to persecute the Church. Saul decided to go to Damascus to persecute the Church there. By this time the early members of the Church were very much disturbed by this learned Saul, for that was his Jewish name. I am sure that many of the members of the Church in those days must have prayed that God would send a good coronary thrombosis to Saul. They must have said, “Dear Lord, send us someone to answer Saul.” God heard their prayers. He sent someone to answer Saul. He sent Paul. That was his Roman name. On his way to Damascus, a light shone round about him. He was thrown from his beast. And he heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Why does our Lord say me? He is in heaven. How can anybody persecute him? No wonder St. Paul asked, “Who art thou?” And our Lord answered, “I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest.” Saul must have thought within himself, “After all I’m only persecuting the members of the Church in Damascus. How can I be persecuting you?” How? If someone steps on your foot, do not your lips complain? If someone strikes your body, does not your head protest? Christ, the Son of the living God is the head of the mystical body, the Church. Therefore, when anyone struck that body, they struck him.