A striking moment in this first reading came when Jesus asked, “Why are you persecuting me?” That day when Saul set off for Damascus Jesus had been dead and gone for a number of years. Still, instead of Jesus asking why are you persecuting my followers, he asked, “Why are you persecuting me?”
Jesus was telling us that he is one with his followers and we are one with him. There is a phrase in Chapter Six of Paul’s Letter o the Romans that brings that out. He referred to all of us as “We who are baptized into Christ Jesus.”
Our Baptism liturgy, picking up on that, goes on to say that we who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into sharing his priesthood, his kingship, and his right to speak as prophets.