Obedience 10 September
In our communities, the superior holds an important and central place. . . a new place and function in the community, one different from that of any other member (Const. 9.3).
“Whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task,” (1Tm 3:1). Since of the early Church times, the meaning of the name given to the leaders of the communities illustrates well their essential task. “Overseer” means “someone who looks from above” or “a seer of the whole.” The word “overseer” does not speak of a position of social power, but of a position from which the common good of the whole is seen. The “overseer” in the New Testament serves well as the model of Christian leadership everywhere. The effective functioning of a Christian community happens in the good interaction between the members and the superior. The members come to the circle of dialogue from their personal places, with well defined perspectives and interests. They see essentially with the eyes of particular “organs” that compose the community and that live the reality. On the other hand, the superior comes to the dialogue with a view of the parts in their relationship with the whole. He sees the whole “organism” that survives by the contribution of its organs. Deciding together, members and the superior can avoid the risk of short-sighted and self-serving decisions that members can make left on their own. And together, members and superiors can avoid as well inappropriate and superficial decisions that superiors can sometimes make left on their own.
The reed high up on its stalk watches the things happening below him. (African proverb)