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Last year I took one of those online classes on leadership. At one point during the course, we had to take a survey to assess our skills in this field. I did not do as well as I thought I would do. The survey told me that I was an average leader, but I was not a great leader. An average leader is someone who is focused on getting the job, done as efficiently and successfully as possible. There may be a few dead bodies on the way, but the job gets done. A great leader is one who shifts the focus. The most important concern is not the job but the people who are helping. Are they engaged in their work? Are they appreciated and feel valued? Do they love their job? Great leaders will bring out the best in the people around them so that they realize their full potential.
Jeremiah, the prophet, was not happy with the leadership in Israel. The leadership’s focus was on itself. It wanted better palaces, bigger gardens, larger armies, and expanded borders. Meanwhile, the people were slowly drifting away from God and from each other. But God told Jeremiah that he would send great leaders who will focus on the people and bring the best out of them. People would be inspired to work for God and one another. Who were these leaders that God is talking about? These leaders are ourselves. How do I know that? Because God sent His Son to us and Christ gave us everything we need to be great leaders. With Christ we are generous, kind, slow to anger, compassionate, merciful, all the qualities we need to be great leaders.
Not long ago my father went to the trout club and his friend came over to him and said, “I brought my grandson to fish but he hasn’t caught anything all day. Can you help him out?” So Dad went to the pond and took a look at the grandson’s fly-rod. He replaced the leader and put on one of his “special” flies and gave the kid a suggestion on how to retrieve the fly in the water. Dad and the grandfather watched the boy from the picture window inside the clubhouse as he made three casts and caught three nice rainbow trout. Needless to say, the kid was really happy. A few days later the grandfather bumped into me and told me the story. He told to me, “You know, your father is a remarkable person.” I replied, “I know that.” And then he stated, “You are very lucky to have him as a father.” And I replied, “I know that…that is why we are best friends.”
Do people say that about us? Do co-workers, family members, neighbors, or friends say “I am lucky, I am blessed to have you in my life.” God made a promise to send great leaders. He sent Christ to give us everything we need to be good leaders so we can be the answer to God’s promise.Back to All Homilies