Readings for Tuesday February 22, 2011
Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, apostle
First Reading: 1 Peter 5:1-4
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
Beloved: I exhort the presbyters among you, as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed. Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1 Pet. 5:1-4)
When most people get into a position of power and authority, they let it go to their heads. It is very easy to begin thinking that you are better than the people below you. Often times what causes stress between the the people in charge and the subordinates is a disconnect that is created. Every year there are tons of new management and leadership trainings and books that come out to help create bridges between people in authority positions and those under them.
Today's reading is one that addresses this same issue between people in authority and those underneath them. I guess you could say that Saint Peter was one of the earlier pioneers on leadership development, as his divinely inspired advice is very important for all people. Saint Peter tells us in the first reading to: "Tend the flock of God in your midst, overseeing not by constraint but willingly, as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock." Although this reading was probably meant mostly for religious leaders, it certainly is important for the rest of us as well. It especially holds true for parents, educators, employers, and anyone else in a position of authority. We all need to take this calling to be good examples to our brothers and sisters seriously, and it is always important to lead by example, rather than by force.
Saint Peter also goes on to tell us that if we are willing to lead God's way, then there will be a great prize that awaits us, an "unfading crown of glory." If we are willing to persevere and resist doing things the easy way, but rather go about things the right way, then we will be rewarded greatly with the heavenly prize of eternal life.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, may our lives always reflect your glory and may they serve as a ministry to all those around us. Lord, may every thought and action be for you, and may we never stray from your right and glorious path. We want to be with you in heaven someday, help us to persevere in this life until we can reach you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.