THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
THE GOOD SHEPHERD - 4
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are his flock whom he fully
cares for. “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing
I lack.” (Ps 23:1). Jesus will do what he can to care
for his flock. “When he disembarked and saw the vast
crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were
like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them
many things.” (Mk 6:34).
is now back in heaven, but he continues to care for his flock.
This time, it is through human shepherds or servant leaders
whom he appoints. Their task is to care for God’s people
as Jesus would care for them, and to help assure they make
it to heaven. People were lost, but were brought back to God
through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. “But now
in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near
by the blood of Christ.” (Eph 2:13). Unfortunately,
God’s flock today is dispersed and many Catholics are
among the lost sheep. This is a situation not pleasing to
wants all his flock to make it to heaven, to our eternal home,
and that is something we can all look forward to. “I
will dwell in the house of the Lord for endless days.”
(Ps 23:6b). But that will happen only as Jesus’ human
shepherds do their task right.
is why God’s judgment on shepherds who do not truly
pastor His sheep will be severe. It is not just neglect of
the flock, but also being the cause for their falling away
from the sheepfold. “Woe to the shepherds who destroy
and scatter the flock of my pasture” (Jer 23:1). Sinful
actions of shepherds are not just disservice to the Master,
but, given that the flock might be lost and not make it to
heaven, are grave sins and will be punished. “You have
not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil
deeds.” (Jer 23:2b).
is a shepherd to do? Servant leaders are given authority in
order to lead. In doing so, they are to do what is right and
just. “As king he shall reign and govern wisely, he
shall do what is just and right in the land.” (Jer 23:5b).
What is right is to care for the flock as Jesus would. What
is just is to give to the flock what is their due, that is,
the care that comes from God.
God wants no one to be lost. God’s people are journeying
together to heaven, being their brothers’ keepers so
that no one is left behind. A servant leader’s task
is also to keep the body united in Christ, “who made
both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity”
(Eph 2:14b). A servant leader looks to protecting the body
from enmity among the brethren, keeping the peace among them
all. In establishing the Christian community, Jesus intends
that “he might create in himself one new person in place
of the two, thus establishing peace” (Eph 2:15b). To
attain peace in the body, the brethren need to look to Jesus
and how his sacrifice on the cross won for us our salvation,
reconciling us with the Father and restoring us all to being
children of God. We are one family in Christ, loving one another.
The aim is to “reconcile both with God, in one body,
through the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.”
human shepherds, the servant leaders in the Church, care for
the flock by working for justice and peace in the body. In
this way will God’s flock truly attain to the fullness
of salvation. “In his days Judah shall be saved, Israel
shall dwell in security. This is the name to be given him:
‘The Lord our justice.’” (Jer 23:6). “For
he is our peace” (Eph 2:14a).
call to servant leadership is a great calling. Let us be truly
mindful of God’s intent: “I will raise up shepherds
for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer
fear or be terrified; none shall be missingoracle of
the Lord.” (Jer 23:4).
you all in heaven!