January 19th, 2007
Tom Bannantine, S.J.
School of Nursing
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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.
to the writer of this reflection.
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