Daily Reflection
January 19th, 2007

Tom Bannantine, S.J.

School of Nursing
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Hebrews 8:6-13
Psalms 85:8 and 10, 11-12, 13-14
Mark 3:13-19

In our modern world it is increasingly difficult for one person to manage a great enterprise all alone. We often hear of terms like consultants, analysts, and board of directors. These terms refer to those who help chief executives to carry out their duties. Political leaders, business executives, and university presidents all need the help of many other people in order to successfully manage the responsibilities entrusted to them. The Catholic Church is no different. The Pope depends upon the College of Cardinals and the congregations of the Roman Curia to help him govern the Church. The job is to big for one man alone. He needs a lot of help to do his job properly.

In today's gospel we are reminded that from the very beginning of the Church there was a collaborative style in which Jesus shared his work with chosen helpers. Jesus called his apostles to help him in his work of preaching and teaching. He trained them and he sent them to teach and preach in towns that he could not visit himself. Later on, after Jesus returned to heaven, the apostles became the leaders of the infant church as it spread to many countries around the world. They in turn depended on others to help them in their work. Jesus himself gave us this example of seeking helpers to accomplish his work here on earth.

So, in seeking help to do their jobs, the Pope and other leaders today are following the example of Jesus. They need to follow his example also in choosing good and worthy people to help them in their work. Their helpers should be known for their good character as well as their intellectual and physical gifts. Indeed, the character of the apostles was the main criteria that recommended them to Jesus. The apostles were men of good moral character but they weren't especially gifted intellectually. Jesus taught them to be men of virtue and holiness. The Holy Spirit gave them courage and the ability to preach and teach in strange lands. They were prepared to face the many challenges they encountered.

The work of the apostles, the spread of the Church during the short period of their lifetimes, is truly astounding. The example of the work that they did should be an inspiration to all those who need help to do their jobs in our modern world. Let us pray that the example of the apostles may be such an inspiration.

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