Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - 24 January 2021

It’s about leadership!

Occasionally, our Sunday Scriptures report aspects of this important role in our society.

Our world, currently, is experiencing many challenges to perceived forms of leadership. The rather horrific clamp down in Hong Kong, the less than transparent governance model in Russia; not all democracies are pure from that point of view either. Much of our world has been saturated by pro and con versions of true and fake leadership in America. Mark moves rapidly in chapter one of his work from the arrest of John the Baptist for proclaiming TRUTH, with the many consequences, including his beheading, to the first words of Jesus:

 “The time has come,
The Kingdom of God is close at hand,
Repent and believe the Good News.”

Another proclamation of truth, in a sense a mission statement, that will end in violence and crucifixion!

It is one thing to make a proclamation, another to attract followers to implement the mission or vision.

What is it in the human condition that alerts some to follow?

What is it indeed that governs leaders to choose followers?

In a sense, the rest of the Gospel story is Jesus’ attempt to proclaim new rules for the governance of the Kingdom of God. He does not want us to simply accept the rule of oppression, divide and conquer, my way or the highway!

To do that he needs help; then and now.

So, he changes the rules for selection. He did not go to Jerusalem, the seat of power, both civic and religious. He did not go to the new cities springing up under Herod. Somehow, he recognised a yearning in the fishermen, gave an opportunity to the Tax Collector to change profession, and to those of doubting minds an opportunity to arrive at faith. Not all ‘yes men’.

Why not women? One answer, he already had a mother and many women doing their bit, and we know that that society had these new women replacing the Judiths and Esthers of bygone years.

We are all called to leadership.

We live in changing times.

There will be more opportunities, at all levels of governance in civic and religious society, for all!

The call is here. But, will we bring HIS model of governance with us?

Happy Australia Day as we grapple with these pertinent questions.

Mons Frank