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 Pt 5:1-4)
Today is the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. When we say that, we refer, of course, to the occupant, not to the furniture. St. Peter was the first pope, the one chosen by Jesus Christ to lead the Church.
Throughout the ages, we have had many popes guide the Church. Some of the years were tumultuous, some were peaceful. Some were confusing, some were enlightening. Throughout each year, though, Jesus has been with His Church, through His Vicar, the Holy Father.
The popes have been commissioned with the responsibility to lead the Church.
That does not, however, let us “off the hook”.
Each and every one of us has been commissioned by virtue of our baptism to preach and teach by the manner in which we live our lives.
The feast speaks to us of responsibility.
Let us be responsible Christians today.
FAITH ACTION: By the manner in which you live your life, how can you teach the faith?