Feast of the Chair of Peter, the Shepherd of Christ’s Flock

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One could question why Jesus never picked John to be the leader of His earthly church, for he was the great spiritual master.

One could question why Jesus never picked Matthew, for he was probably the most literate.

One could question why Jesus never picked Paul, for he was the most charismatic and probably the best preacher.

One could question why Jesus never picked Andrew, for he was the older brother of Peter and by Jewish tradition, had greater rights to succession.

But God’s ways aren’t man’s. The one called to lead the apostles was bumbling, impulsive Peter. Despite his numerous imperfections, it was Peter who had been entrusted with the keys of heaven, the power to bind and loose, and the promise set upon that the church would never fall to the gates of hell.

It was Peter alone, who had to proclaim his threefold testament of love to look after the flock to Jesus Himself before He ascended.

We can learn from the words Jesus Himself spoke when the apostles argued about who the greatest was amongst them:

He who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
~ Matthew 23:11

Note that Jesus never said that there was no greatest amongst them, but Jesus stressed that the greatest must always serve the rest. This is the critical takeaway. Similar to us, the more skills and power we acquire, the humbler we must always be.

If you are a leader or boss today, that power and authority was given to you from up above. Use it to serve, not to subjugate. Listen to your subordinates and do not presume that you’re right all the time. We grow into our true identities through the mistakes we make in our lives. We must always be humble. As Pope Francis said, the aim would be to ‘smell like your flock’.

 

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Photo: Joseph d’Mello, Unsplash / PD-US

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel Ethan Tan

Noel is a Singaporean working as a rehabilitation counsellor at ACC(S) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre. He is currently doing a part-time Masters Program in Counselling and Guidance at NTU, Singapore. In his church ministry, Noel is currently serving in a young adults' Catholic community called Anawim that does Bible Exegesis. Noel is also pursuing a Certificate in Theology at the Catholic Theological Institute of Singapore. His favorite Bible verse is 1 Peter 3:15 — “In your hearts, reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and reverence.”

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