Saint Peter Claver

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“But he who keeps the commandments not in perfect love, but in dread of future torment and in fear of punishments is indeed also himself a son of Abraham; he too receives gifts, that is, the reward of his work nevertheless he is inferior to that person who is perfected not in slavish fear, but in the freedom of love…. “Leaving the word of the first principles of Christ,” he is borne to perfection. “Seeking the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, not the things that are on the earth,” he “looks not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.” In the divine Scriptures he does not follow “the letter which kills” but “the spirit which quickens.” From those things he will doubtless be one who does not receive “the spirit of bondage again in fear, but the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, Abba, Father.” (Homilies on Genesis, 7.)

O God,
Who made Saint Peter Claver a slave of slaves
and strengthened him
with wonderful charity and patience
as he came to their help,
grant, through his intercession,
that, seeking the things of Jesus Christ,
we may love our neighbor in deeds and in truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen