Feast St.Peter’s Chair


1 Peter 5:1-4
Matthew 16:13-19


The Feast of the Chair of Peter celebrates the leadership and authority of the Pope. It also provides us with a wonderful opportunity to reflect on leadership. Peter is called ‘the rock’, which gives us the image of stability and strength. But this image is closely followed in the Gospel with the image of the Shepherd.

Peter reminds us that shepherd leadership needs to be exercised gladly, not as a duty. A good reminder for those of us who might resent the fact that by virtue of our role, we are called on to do the tasks that others may not wish to do. The model of shepherd leadership clearly leads us to service. Don Bosco, the founder of the Salesians, to whom I belong, often used the motto “Serve the Lord with Joy”. This reminds us that our leadership and service must be done cheerfully.

Peter’s simple but profound acknowledgment of Jesus as the Christ seems to be the turning point in his role as leader of the mission that Jesus entrusts to the disciples. The keys to the kingdom come with the duty to serve, to feed the sheep, to seek out the lost and to joyfully witness the good news.

Let’s pray in a special way today for Pope Francis, our Shepherd leader.

Margaret Bentley is a Salesian Sister and is currently the Academic Manager at the English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) begun by the Passionists in 2014 to enable their students to learn English before continuing to the Novitiate or theological studies.