Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
(Acts 25:13b-21; John 25:15-19)
In his classic book Childhood and Society Erik Erikson outlines eight stages of psycho-social development. He begins with basic trust that infants are to develop and proceeds to ego integrity, the goal of a successful life. In today’s gospel Jesus calls Peter to the penultimate stage of generativity where he is to assist others in the quest for happiness.
In their conversation, Jesus commissions Peter to pastor his church. He wants his vicar to keep the people united on the road to the fullness of life. Since it is not an easy task, Jesus requires that Peter give full allegiance. He calls Peter to be ready to sacrifice his life in carrying out the duties of his office.
Just as we are to be generative in our social development, we are to give life in our development as Christians. This means that we call others to Christian discipleship and model for them its meaning. It will demand sacrifice, but the integrity to which it leads us will be crowned with eternal life.