Something of the immediacy of Paul’s conversion to Christ is being called for today. He thought he was serving the Lord but, like the hypocrites in the gospel passage, his exterior actions were misplaced, untrue, not according to God’s will. It happens to us all the time. We lose our focus, we stray from God‘s true intent for us, we get lost in pettiness, minor squabbles, the world of one opinion against another, a lack of charity in details which gradually takes over our life script. Paul was lost in his zeal to put others right, the religious pastors of Jesus were lost in their concern for the correct observance of the Law and all the detailed outward show. We become then a shadow of ourselves, a caricature, a stereotype and have to be reminded that our true selves are much greater than that; that we have a dignity and beauty which can be tarnished but not taken away, as human beings made in the image of God; made to be transparent to God’s purposes and to one another – not to be hidden by a veneer of exterior practice but revealed in glory. So, today is a call to remove the obstacles to this revelation. To recognise that we are dust that will return to dust is not an exercise in self-abnegation in order to denigrate what it is to be human, but rather to recognise that we will inevitably stray from our true status as children of God if we fail to allow God’s grace to shine through – this is death, this is mortality, put in its place by the fact of resurrection.