At Home in Our Faith -
Reflections on the Gospel of the Fourth Sunday of Easter, John 10:1-10
The Christian community could not have endured without some people coming forward to be leaders. The apostles received the great commission from the Lord to be the first shepherds of the flock. They took this call seriously, eventually giving their lives for the Good News. As infant church, really "Jesus communities" within Judaism, grew, more leaders were needed to care for and teach the people to follow him. It was essential that some people answered the call to organize the community and call forth the gifts within it.
Major changes in leadership of the early Church happened almost immediately. People from other cultures--the Greeks, mainly--came into the faith, and brought their own flavor to the group. Structures for leadership continued to respond to the needs of the church as time went on. Eventually, the orders of bishops and priests were developed. Today, we are seeing more lay people stepping up to lead in Christian movements and organizations, and they serve as their gifts allow. Each of us, ordained and lay people, are empowered by our baptism to do this service.
In every age, in changing times, Christ sees to it that the Church provides shepherds to lead people to him. Without leaders taking responsibility for gathering people, CFM will not happen, either. CFM leadership also changes and develops to meet the needs of families that join. How does one know if he or she is called to be a leader of CFM? The key is found in the image of the Good Shepherd's love for his flock. That love and concern for others, a deep desire to shepherd them rightly, will be at the heart of any vocation to ministry. Is there a deep love in your heart for God's people? Do you want to help families grow strong and holy? It may be the voice of Christ. Follow it.