Paul’s conversion, described so vividly in today’s reading, has been a familiar story for close to two millennia—told thrice in Acts, and depicted in numerous artworks.
Paul can appear quite contemporary, an intellectual schooled by the Rabbi Gamaliel, a Roman citizen respected and entrusted with protecting the Jewish faith, including from the followers of the Way; and, above all, a driven man busily traveling the countryside on his chosen mission.
In the midst of this busyness, God summons Saul in a dramatic fashion. Three days of blindness follow—a time to listen to the Lord, be led by others, and reflect on what God is calling him to do.
We are unlikely to be thrown from a horse due to a light from the sky, hear the voice of God personally, or be blinded for three days. But, in the midst of our own busyness we face the same questions as Paul: What is God calling me to do? How am I being called to conversion, to transform my life?
―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.