This feast commemorates the call of St Paul to be an Apostle of the Christ and his Way that he had once thought inimical to the covenant of God. Pope Benedict XVI wrote that ‘the Risen One spoke to Paul, called him to the apostolate and made him a true Apostle, a witness of the Resurrection, with the specific task of proclaiming the Gospel to the Gentiles, to the Graeco-Roman world.’
Like the disciples who accompanied Jesus in his earthly life, Paul was a faithful Jew, for whom ‘conversion’ meant coming to see Jesus as the Christ, the promised Messiah of God. For him Christian life was the completion of the life he had known as a faithful son of the covenant.
Paul’s missionary work brought Christianity to Europe and, ultimately, to each of us. His theological conviction that God calls both Jews and Gentiles into covenant with him has made the Gospel accessible to those of us who are not the physical descendants of Abraham.