Apostolic fervour of Peter
In his edition of the Bible for priests and seminarians, Claret printed in the margins for a certain number of verses a small hand similar to the one that today helps us navigate the internet; with it he indicates the verses he judged worthy to be learned by heart. So, in Chapters 2 and 3 of the Acts of the Apostles, those to which reference is made in the text we read today, he marks 2 verses, those which he considers better define Peter: “with many other words he gave the message and appealed to them” (Acts 2:40 )and “ I have neither gold nor silver, but what I have I give you” (Acts 3:6)
Nobody is totally neutral when contemplating reality; we look with the eyes we have, from our own sensitivity and restlessness. When Claret reads the Bible, he finds in it prophets, apostles, and, naturally, Jesus the missionary. He feels himself called like the Apostles to be another “Servant of the Lord”, thanks to which salvation will reach to the ends of the earth. He applies to himself the text of the Servant, and of Jesus “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me, he has sent me…” (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:17)Peter occupies the foremost place among the followers of Jesus; and from the first days of the church we find him directing the group of believers, exhorting the Jewish people who believe in Jesus, and initiating, in the house of the Roman centurion Cornelius, the mission to the pagans. In the so-called “Council of Jerusalem”, as leader, Peter opened the way for the universal mission that Paul and Barnabas had already begun. He himself is presented as a missionary, “going everywhere” (Acts 9:32)Claret observes these movements and attitudes, sees the result of mission (somewhat legendary) and perceives what should be evangelisation in his time and, before all else, what he must do. In a sermon Claret laments that in the Church there is much devotion to the saints but not much to the Apostles. Are we not moved to “befriend’ those who have laid the foundations and roots of our being witnesses of Jesus?