Fr. Maxwell 07-18-21 Weekly Letter

Coming together as people no matter the background nor the intellectual aptitude, there has to be someone to steer affairs within the group be it a family, a small community, a state, church etc. This is where leadership roles and responsibilities come in and that is the reason why Fr. Nick and I have been sent by Bishop Knestout to be your shepherds in your Cluster of churches. In the New Testament, we see the leadership of the church in Christ since He is the head of the church (Ephesians 6) and by the calling of the 12 disciples (cf. Mt 10) who were later made apostles, and specifically the call of Peter to lead them (Mt. 16:19) with the divine mandate to make disciples of all nations, Christ’s authority as leader and head was given to Peter and his colleague apostles (cf. Mt. 28:19ff). Through the Apostolic succession, this authority of leadership is transferred to the Pope and all the bishops who possess it in full measure, with priests sharing in the mission of the bishops and thus called their collaborators. Lay persons sharing in the salvific mission of the church are included in the call to collaborate in the apostolate of the hierarchy by assuming leadership roles in the church as catechists and in other ministries. In a sense, every Christian is called to what is termed in Latin “representatio Christi” (representation of Christ) because all baptized persons have clothed themselves in Christ by living in Him and He living in them, and as such should bear witness to Christ in deed making Him present.
Nevertheless, according to Vatican II, all baptized Christians share in the 3 functions of Christ as prophetic, priestly and kingly (Cf. 1 Pt. 2:5-10). Hence, there is a common shared responsibility of all Christians in the church, and this means that specific roles have to be played. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians illustrates the special task of the ministry – the various forms of service: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers etc. Therefore, the official ministry as addressed to individuals in the church is for service by keeping it alive, nourishing it, purifying it, sanctifying
it, leading it, governing it, etc. On the other hand, various bodies in the church comprising the Christian faithful such as the parish staff, financial council, various ministries, volunteers etc. in our Cluster of churches are given the opportunity to exercise their common responsibility. This indeed is a leadership of service (Cf. Lk. 22:25-27; Jn. 15:15; 2 Cor. 1:24 (not Lording over but working with joy). More volunteers are therefore needed to help in our churches.
Together let’s build a community pleasing in the eyes of God and for the sanctification of souls
Fr. Maxwell.

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