Now as an elder myself and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as one who shares in the glory to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you to tend the flock of God that is in your charge, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion but willingly, as God would have you do it—not for sordid gain but eagerly. Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.
Today is Friday the 22 February, the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.
The Choir of Westminster Cathedral sing Tu Es Petrus by Palestrina: ‘You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’
Today’s reading is from the First Letter of Peter.
Today's feast celebrates the ministry of Peter in telling people about Jesus and dedicating himself to strengthening the sense of community among the Christians of Rome. For Peter, maybe, there was a moment when he realised that he was not just a follower of Jesus, but charged with the role of helping others to know and to follow Jesus. How do I feel about the possibility that I, like Peter, have been called to bring the knowledge of Jesus to other people?
Has there been a particular moment in my life when I realised this? Even possibly, a moment that I have tended to overlook? What hopes and doubts arise in me as I consider I may also be called to be an active apostle of Jesus?
When you hear the passage again, listen especially to those ideals that Peter feels should inspire those want to bring others to knowledge of Jesus. Which of those ideals would you particularly want to inspire you in your example to others of a Christian life?
In the last minutes of the prayer, tell God about where, today, you would want to be of help to others in ways that imitate St Peter’s ministry of bringing others to Jesus.