It is 22nd February 2017. We celebrate the Feast of the Chair of St Peter, the Apostle. This is the earliest feast since 4th century. We celebrate the unity of the Church under one leadership of the Vicar of Christ, St. Peter. The readings are from 1 Peter 5:1-4; and the Gospel from Matthew 16:13-19. In the first reading, St. Peter reminds all who wish to lead others by their willingness to embrace the sufferings of Christ. A Christian leader who refuse to undergo a certain amount of sacrifice, inconvenience, suffering and pain for the sake of those to whom he or she is entrusted with, will be fruitless in the service God has given. “Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock.” (1 Pet.5:3). Every leader needs to be a perfect example to the entire group and to avoid any favoritism. Love of money and domineering attitudes will make the leader to suffer lack of cooperation and collaboration from the members he or she leads. Trusting in God’s plan is the requisite and daily submission in humble prayer will make someone to listen to voices of God in leading others. A leader without humility is not from God. An arrogant and bossy type of leaders not only hurt the members and the entire mystical body of Christ. People who take up leadership in the church for enjoyment, and pleasure are misfit for the building of the Church. In short, when someone expresses the desire to lead the other, he or she wills to suffer for the sake of the other. It is not the projects and buildings we do as the leaders make us a true leader rather it is our humility and commitment in serving, putting people over our personal gains and bringing someone closer to the Lord. Joy of Christ comes in the fulfilment of a humble ministry. Love and humility are the basis for any authentic Christian leadership. No leader must function as the helm to get the praises from the floor only rather from God in the secret of heart. Every leader needs to mirror the one from whom the privilege to serve the other came from. We all need to pray for our present Pope Francis in a special way today that the Lord be the inspiration and meaning for his service to all people. The responsorial Psalm prays, “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” (Ps.23:1). The Gospel presents the appointment of Peter, the apostle as the leader and the spokesman for the group. The example of St. Peter offers us the reason and need for unity of the Church than any other one reason as the vital importance. Our leadership is for the Lord, for the good of the Church and God’s people. We are all leaders in one way or the other. So, we need to emulate the Lord in our humble service and to be careful about our selfish, evil and material gains using the means of leadership for our personal growth than the common welfare. May you have a good day.

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