In today’s readings I discover the importance of the lieutenant. We read about the early bishops Titus and Timothy. The success of the holy endeavor is foretold. Jesus grants a special status to his disciples. We see the importance in the grand scheme not only of the Lord, but of Paul and the early church leaders.
This is the time of year when a new congress starts to move forward. This is the time of year when the governors outline their priorities. This is the time of year when the academic world hires for the next academic year.
I think of how many jobs are filled with people on the basis of technical competence. I think of how many jobs are filled because of status. I think of how many people work at jobs to which they have no internal connection.
I look at the success of the early church. I imagine the hearts on fire. These were people with a mission. Their life and their work were not divorced from what was inside. The church grew and prospered because of its ability to identify who had the talents for each the many roles that needed filling. Today we honor the church’s bishops. This job was not then and is not today an easy task. These men are called to be peacemakers, shepherds and administrators.
At the moment our school is in the process of selecting a new dean. I look at the procedure. It involves many people of good will. They bring different things to the table. I see this position has many of the same challenges and needs as those that faced the church’s early lieutenants. People of wavering faith, the service demands, the need to direct resources where they bring the greatest good, the need to sometimes correct people (sometimes even when they believe they are acting with good will) – These are burdens that faced the early church administrators; these are the burdens that face the dean of an institution with a mission. There are good administrators, but the great lieutenants need the drive from the heart.
My prayer today is for success in our search for people to fill these roles. I pray for our bishops. I pray for those in government. I pray for our academic leaders. I pray that we find leaders committed to a life of service that we saw in the early church. I pray that our leaders experience their mission.
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