Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In the dining room of my Jesuit community in Brazil are five black and white photographs of the room and the chapel where St. Peter Claver lived and prayed. The middle photograph, however, is one of a sculpture of St. Peter with another man. Their gaze is very still and the image invites the viewer to enter into the scene. What might they be talking about? What images, words, and stories might Peter have shared with this person? We might ask too: what might St. Peter say today to you and me?
But more than words, the picture reveals Peter´s desire to touch the hand of the person he is with. His hand reaches out and this gesture itself seems to be his communication. A gesture of touch, of healing, of comfort, of hope. May this saint, who knew how to walk with and comfort others, comfort us today in our own humble, simple walk with Jesus.
—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province. He is currently in his second year of theology studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Chris previously taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL.
“Seek God in all things, and we shall find God close by our side.”
—St. Peter Claver, S.J.