Feast of the Chair of St Peter Monday, February 22nd, 2016
Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4 Psalm 23: 1-3a, 4,5,6 Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
Matthew 16:15-16;18a (NRSVCE)
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 18a And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church
1 Peter 5:2a,b;3b (NIV)
2a,b Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; 3b but [by] being examples to the flock.
Psalm 23:1 (NRSVCE)
1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
Impetuous, headstrong, rash are all ways in which Saint Peter is often described by virtue of his actions throughout much of the synoptic gospels. But in today’s readings, we become witness to a disciple of Christ who is maturing in his faith. Matthew tells us that it is Peter who is the first of the disciples to recognize Jesus as the long-awaited Christ. The Lord recognizes this too, and appoints him future rock and shepherd of His Community.
We are given more evidence of Peter’s maturing faith in his letters. How convicting it is to hear Peter’s words to us in his first letter as he reminds us to always strive to be our best imitation of Christ in all we do, to all whom we encounter, and in all circumstances.
And finally, today’s psalm beautifully links together the old covenant with the new Gospel message, calling to us with words that surely strengthen us each day, every day as we follow our Lord, our Shepherd and Rock.
O Lord, we pray that like Saint Peter, our faith will mature and grow strong and unshakable as we journey on through this holy season of Lent. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
~ Tracy Watson, Coxsackie & Greene REC Team member