It is a little comforting to read, yet again, that all was not well with the followers of Jesus. Leadership woes seem to paralyse Australian life at this moment, so perhaps our focus this day on the challenge of, and to, leadership is timely.
Gentile: Roman power in Jesus’ time was exercised primarily through force, intimidation and a network of patronage that tried to ensure absolute loyalty to the Emperor. Sounds like many States today. Beware of visiting a Saudi consulate, especially if you are a journalist. Another form is a parliamentary majority that provides the pictures on TV of MPs hugging and cheering when they pass a vote to make abortion legal. They never consulted the unborn.
We witness the battle Jesus has in trying to proclaim a “service model” and, indeed, we witness a similar battle in Rome. At this moment, Pope Francis has issued a document called Episcopalis Communio (EC) in which he writes, “The Synod of Bishops must increasingly become a privileged instrument for listening to the People of God.” Now that is a change!
We, as followers of the Gospel, are called to imitate he who said, “I have come not to be served, but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many.”
Some of the Apostles saw the opportunity to sit at the top table. Others got mad either because they did not think about the opportunity or because they objected to the brothers hogging both positions.
Leadership in family, at work or on the sporting field is not easy. The temptation to take the Gentile part is ever present. We strive to adopt the other way.