First Reading: Daniel 7: 13-14
Psalm Response: Psalm 93: 1, 2, 5
Second Reading: Revelation 1: 5-8
Gospel: John 18: 33B-37
Dealing with Kings, or royalty in general, is not something that the American people are used to doing. The history of our country is one in which royalty was not a factor. Leadership is by election of one among equals. So this led me to the question: What makes someone a good king? Or perhaps an even better question for us is: What makes someone a good leader? Just a few suggestions might be useful here.
A leader is centered. A leader has self-knowledge. They know their strengths and weaknesses. They are present to those around them and they are a “rock” in the face of crisis.
A leader is decisive. A leader shows practical wisdom and can share that wisdom is such a way as to make others see their point of view and want to follow.
A leader has integrity. A leader keeps his/her word, is honest in their dealings with others and takes responsibility for their own actions.
A leader protects those who follow. A leader looks for the good in others and shines a light on that good. A leader also sees the challenges that others face and helps others to move through those challenges. A leader stands with those who follow.
Jesus never wanted to be a king, but Jesus was a leader. Jesus was centered in his Father and was about doing the will of the Father. Jesus shared his knowledge of the Father through his life and his work. He made his teaching clear and people wanted to follow those teachings. People know what Jesus stands for and Jesus invites them to follow. Jesus asks us to use our strengths and our weaknesses to give witness to his teachings. Jesus asks us to testify to the truth of his teachings by letting our lives speak those truths. How have we responded?
As we come together this Sunday to recognize Jesus leadership in our lives, we also ask for the grace to be faithful followers. We ask for the grace to let God’s ways be our ways, God’s thoughts be our thoughts and to bring peace to our world through living our lives in union with God.
Peg Maher, OSF