Saint Peter Faber – Commentary on the day’s Scripture readings
Readings: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Ps Dan 3; Matthew 10:24-27
The Gospel reading is from Matthew’s gospel and comes from the discourse that Jesus gave to his disciples as they prepared to go on a missionary journey. The text draws attention to one of Peter Faber’s great virtues – his humility. Although he was a person of great intellectual and spiritual gifts, he put himself totally at the service of the Church, the Pope and St Ignatius, his immediate superior. In obedience to their instructions he found himself in Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy.
The words of the Gospel are so relevant to his life: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciples that he become like his Teacher, for the slave that he become like his Master.” By these words, Jesus was telling his
disciples that they should not expect a better reception than he himself received. Peter Faber, too, did not want any more than his Master, Ignatius, was ready to undertake in obedience to God’s call as expressed through his superiors.
The humility of Peter Faber is also expressed in the First Reading from the First Letter to the Corinthians. Peter would immediately identify with the words of Paul: “When I came to you, brothers, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified…so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”
In the difficult situations of the Reformation, especially in Germany, it was certainly the power of God working in Peter that made him so successful. He would also identify with another saying of Paul: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” For it is in the weak that God’s power is more visibly present. It is a lesson that we, too, need to learn.