26 July

Jul 26, 2018 | Claret mit dir

Seeing the great lack of evangelical and apostolic preachers in our Spanish territories, the people’s great desire to hear the Word of God, and the many requests that I have received from all parts of Spain to go and preach the Gospel there, I determined to gather and instruct some zealous companions, so as to be able to do with others what I could not do by myself alone. Thanks be to God, my idea is off to such a good start that I find myself with fifty-nine clerical disciples, some of whom will turn out to be very gifted preachers. But this is with the understanding that these gentlemen need my support; that´s why, if I withdraw because of this appointment, they will all fall to the ground, because they are still too weak to stand on their own”
Letter to the Apostolic Nuncio, 12 August, 1849, EC I, p. 305


This paragraph of the letter of Claret in which he rejects his appointment as archbishop, he expresses his fatherly care concerning the missionary association he just founded. He highlights the problem of the scarcity of evangelizers and the very vivacious desire, though sometimes latent, of the people to be evangelized; but in the then Spain, there was hardly any preaching or catechesis because of the expulsion of the religious 14 years earlier.
Claret points out also how a group of evangelizers will achieve a better harvest than isolated individuals entrusted to the task. Claret was sad to see many ordained ministers of his time not much interested in preaching or were not properly prepared for it. He states painfully, there is a “great lack of evangelical and apostolic preachers”.
To evangelize is not just giving a religious talk; it is more than that: it is a powerful and continual announcing of the reality of Christ. In all evangelization Christ should be presented before the people in virtue of the words of the herald. He has to lead the people to experience Christ and for that he should experience, first of all the presence of Christ in his own life. The words coming from his mouth will have to the very words of Jesus. That is why he must first of all be familiar with the Word of God and explain it in various pastoral or liturgical actions with the people.
The preparation of the homily by several priest together is very beautiful and effective; in the same way a priest with the group of his parish. Various points of views are added up with the consequent spiritual enrichment of all.
This “doing with others” was very important for Claret. That is why he started his missionary group and a number of apostolic associations of the laity. If only his spirit and enthusiasm were to continue to be alive in our parishes and communities of evangelizers!



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