Sunday, March 22, 2015

Openhearted Leadership

Year B – Fifth Sunday of Lent



Jeremiah 31: 31-34

How beautiful are Jeremiah’s words in today’s first reading, prophetically describing the charism of leadership? It’s a vision of leadership where the law is inscribed so deeply on the hearts of the faithful that all who know them will be inclined to follow in their ways of knowing and loving God.

So many models of leadership are known in our world, many of them with real validity and credibility across various aspects of life. We can all bring to mind people who are known, for better or for worse, to be leaders. Corporate leadership, educational leadership, church leadership, family leadership, team leadership, each of these (and many more we could include) carries with it specific terminology, practices and definitions, to be sure. Ultimately, however, true leaders in any arena of life reflect what Sheila Mellick’s Uniquely His spiritual gift inventory book describes as the spiritual gift of leadership:

“The special grace to share a vision or ideal with others in such a way that they desire your direction and become motivated to work together to make it happen.”

Jeremiah’s vision of leadership calls all of us who are the church today to pay attention.  How is the Spirit moving within our selves and within our communities, inviting us through the charism of leadership to become part of bringing God’s love into the world?  Whose leadership style shares hopeful vision and ideals in such a way that we are motivated to join in bringing goodness into existence? Where can we see evidence of leadership from the heart? What challenges a person to step into a leadership role?

Imagine how much more holy goodness we can bring into the world when our open hearts encourage, affirm and join with the leadership proclaimed in Jeremiah’s vision! How will you encourage that kind of leadership this week?

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