Today's Gospel is taken from John 10:11-18.
"I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have the power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."
|Jesus, The Good Shepherd|
As discussed in the homily, there are three leadership principles that we can learn from today's reading.
1. Lay down one's life for the sheep. It simply means dying to one's self for others. A true leader never thinks of himself as superior but as a servant who is more than willing to sacrifice his own comforts for the sake of the flock entrusted to him.
2. Know your constituents. Leadership is relationship. Just as the Father knows Jesus and Jesus knows each of his sheep by name, a true leader must also have a personal relationship with each of his constituent. He must know them not just by name but by heart.
3. Lead by example. Take the initiative. Do and your sheep will follow. As the elders in the CFC community would always say, the most effective way of evangelization is by example.
To be a servant leader is costly on our part but Jesus taught us that there's no other way to lead but to be like the good shepherd. He has set an example for us to follow. That's how He leads.
I believe that all of us are leaders. We may not have the same level of leadership but we definitely have our own flock to look after. May today's Gospel be a reminder to us of our responsibility as good shepherds, to be good stewards of the gifts entrusted to us. After all, persons are, first and foremost, gifts from the Lord, and how we take care of them, how we nurture them, is our gift to God. :)