A Question of Leadership

What do they choose to see?

Greetings on this the Friday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Tm 1:1-2, 12-14; PS 16:1b-2a and 5, 7-8, 11; Lk 6:39-42

As I near my tenth year, this resonates with me deeply:
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry.

It is in the series of letters to Timothy that we learn of the qualifications for bishops and deacons.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful, not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain, holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Moreover, they should be tested first; then, if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons (1 Tim 3:8-10).

A link for complaints at the bottom of the reflection.

First reading
What a beautiful world we would create if we greeted one another this way!

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul/Apostle = you/believer.
Timothy = every person you know in faith.

I don’t mind if you call me child in the faith.
It is to the childlike the kingdom of heaven belongs.

Responsorial Psalm
You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Alleluia Verse
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.

Gospel Portion
This gospel saying of Jesus is about leadership.
Who is competent and faithful in leading the people in worship of God?
Who should we follow?
See cross references Mt 15:14; 23:16–17, 24.

Spoiler alert: A Tree Known by Its Fruit dialog is right after this reading today (Lk 6:43-45).

But let us stick with today, today.

Does the letter of Timothy help out?

This saying is trustworthy: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children under control with perfect dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of the church of God? He should not be a recent convert, so that he may not become conceited and thus incur the devil’s punishment. He must also have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, the devil’s trap.

Plenty to work from here!
I gave away tomorrow’s gospel message and Timothy’s qualifications lists but, ready?
None of that matters as much as the key question:

Who is his TEACHER?
The psalmist gives the best answer of who should lead and who isn’t blind:

  1. Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
    I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
  2. O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
    you it is who hold fast my lot.
  3. I bless the LORD who counsels me;
    even in the night my heart exhorts me.
  4. I set the LORD ever before me;
    with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
  5. You will show me the path to life,
    fullness of joys in your presence,
    the delights at your right hand forever.

THAT is the right guy to follow.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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