During my senior year in college I was invited to a job interview at a factory in IL. It was somewhat unconventional because they also invited 9 other people to interview on the same day. They interviewed us individually and then put us together for a group problem solving exercise. The panel of interviewers encouraged us to work on the problem together and told us they were accessing our leadership skills. As you can imagine, when 10 people competing for the same job are asked to work together to solve a problem, leadership skills quickly deteriorate into the person with the loudest voice. None of us could lead the group because there was no real authority, and no one had done anything to earn any respect. It was chaos, but maybe that’s what the interviewers were looking for.
Our Gospel today gives us an example that is exactly the opposite of that chaotic job interview. Instead of having 10 people pretending to lead, Jesus alone, spoke with real authority. He astonished the people with His wise teaching and gained their respect when he cured a man suffering from an unclean spirit. His example of servant leadership is exactly what the people needed, then and now.
Consider reflecting this morning on how we are being called to be spiritual leaders…in our homes, at our jobs, in our community. Are we up to the task or do we need more formation and discernment?
Our 1st reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians reminds us the Holy Spirit is always ready to guide us on this journey of discernment…but we need to be open to the Spirit’s revelation. St. John Paul II told us our heart is the organ God has given us to discern the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our challenge is having a prayer life that allows us to listen.
As we come together in the Eucharist, let us pray Psalm 51: A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.
-Deacon Steve Whiteman