Being A Good Leader
Opening Question: You are leader for a day. What would you change to make the world a better place to live in?
First Reading: Revelations 5:1-8
Jesus Christ is the witness you can trust. He is the first one to be born out of death and the ruler of every leader on earth. Praise to Jesus, who loves us and freed us from our sins by dying on the cross! He turned us into a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father. May glory and power over every people be his forever! Amen!
Look! Jesus is coming in the clouds! Every eye will see him, especially those who shoved the spear into his side. Everyone on earth will cry because of him. Yes! Amen!
"I am the beginning and the end of everything!" says the all-powerful Lord God, "the Living One who always was and will come soon."
Without his knowledge, Joe was elected head of his class' entertainment committee by his classmates. When he found out about his post, Joe didn't know what to say. Everyone said he would be great at the job. Since his was a new position, there were no guidelines. Joe knew that he had to make it up as he went along, and that scared him.
During the school year, Joe tried his best. Sometimes his ideas were great; other times they were duds. But the class never knew what Joe was going to bring into class next, and the anticipation was entertainment enough.
At the end of the school year, the class voted on awards. Everyone was surprised when Joe's name was announced for "Leader of the Year." The message on Joe's plaque summed up the class' feelings:
"To Joe, who, with ingenuity and hard work, served us all faithfully. Help us again next year."
Like Joe, Jesus served us faithfully. Jesus taught us with his life. He served us with his death. And he reveals to us our future with his resurrection. Like Joe, Jesus made our lives better. And, like Joe, Jesus is invited back to help us. We invite Jesus back, so does God the Father. Let us pray for the return of Jesus in silence.
Bridging Question: Have you ever been blamed for something that people misunderstood? What happened?
Gospel: John 18:33-37
Pilate ordered Jesus to come in. The first thing Pilate said to Jesus was: "Are you the King of the Jews?"
"Is this what you think," Jesus responded, "or did others give you this information about me?"
"Do you think I am a Jew?" Pilate shot back. "Your people and their leaders gave you to me so I could judge you. What did you do to get arrested?"
"My Kingdom is not an earthly one," Jesus stated. "If it were, my followers would have fought hard to keep me from being arrested. So, my Kingdom is not from here."
"Aren't you really a king?" Pilate returned to his original question.
"You're the one who says I'm a king," Jesus answered. "I was born into this world, so I could tell others about the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice!"
Leadership has two sides: the head and the heart. Jamie found this lesson out the hard way. As president of the Science Club she made a lot of promises to people. She promised to get new lab equipment, to raise money for a new computer, and to get first prize at the science fair. These were all good goals, but the way Jamie went about achieving them was wrong.
The power of being president went to Jamie's head. Instead of inviting people to help, she ordered people around. Instead of giving people credit for their work, she basked in the glory of the achievement. Instead of thanking people for their work, she expected them to do more. After one month, there were no people to help her. She felt overwhelmed.
Finally, the science teacher sat down with Jamie for a talk. "Jamie, what happened to the Science Club?" her teacher inquired. Jamie talked about her hard work and how everyone let her down. "Did they let you down, or did you let them down?" her teacher responded. The question caught Jamie off-guard. Slowly, Jamie realized that her ambition set her against her friends. She felt above her friends; now she had no friends.
How could Jamie get her friends back and help the Science Club? Why do these ideas lead from the heart?
Jesus said he calls everyone to hear the truth, the truth of the heart.
Closing Question: How is Jesus the king of the heart? How can Jesus help us to lead with our heart?