Wednesday, XXIII Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Saint Peter Claver, Pray for Us

Readings: 1st: 1 Cor 7:25-31; Ps: 45; Gos: Lk: 6:20-26

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, the Wednesday of the twenty third week of ordinary time, the Church honors Saint Peter Claver, Priest.

He was born in Spain, and became a Jesuit in 1604. In 1610, he left for Colombia where he dedicated himself to the service of black slaves.

For thirty-three years, he ministered to slaves, caring for the sick and dying, and instructing them in catechists.

Through his efforts, three hundred thousand persons received baptism. After twenty-seven years of devotion to the black slaves, Peter Claver died at Cartagena on September 8, 1654.

He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on 15 January, 1888 and was proclaimed the patron and protector of the negros.

In today’s gospel, Luke presents Christs’ sermon on the mount (the Beatitudes), with its parallels in Mt 5:1-12.

The beatitude is a great song which calls us to a life of virtue, and total surrender to God’s will. It is Christ’s song which calls us to trust firmly in God, while moving towards eternity.

They are also, blessings for those who are ready to do God’s will, and place everything in his hands. The beatitudes also remind us that all we do, and work for here will gain us eternal life, if we do them well.

Hence, through the beatitudes, Christ says to us, if you wish to be a good Christian, and inherit the kingdom of God: “Be poor in spirit; be sober; be meek; work for righteousness; be merciful to others; be pure in heart, be peaceful; and persevere in moments of difficulty.”

Therefore, let us ask God for the grace to live the beatitudes, to recognize where its happiness lies, in order to inherit the kingdom of God.

Saint Peter Claver, Pray for Us!

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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