I’m being tempted to bundle these readings to reflect on leadership, which is in crisis in our culture. Leadership is something we both want and do not want. The art of leadership walks a fine balance between animating or commanding, We are ambivalent about which style, and so the leader has to do both very carefully. The good shepherd in the readings creates a relationship with the flock of trust. Trust occurs out of faith and faithfulness (consistency) and these arise as a gift, from both the leader and the followers. Earthly leaders disappoint, as we have always experienced in our politicians; Jesus has never disappointed.

Yet, the whole people of God is called to a leadership in bringing about and maintaining communion, in animating one another, in building relationships. This is not just the pastor’s job. We shy away from leadership because we know the dangers and the risks as well as the frailty of our human condition. Yet this is what we are all called to be.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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