The Shepherd vs. The Hired Man

As Father Ed pointed out in last Sunday’s homily, when it comes to taking care of sheep, they are much better off with a real shepherd who cares for them than with someone just in it for the money.

In John 10:12 Jesus said, “He who serves for wages, and who is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf seizes them and scatters the sheep.” As leaders, are we in it for the salary or the opportunity to serve and protect others’ well-being? We need money for things that have to be paid for. The fault arises when people become a source of income to buy what we need. If we have to pay a personal price for their well-being and protection we shy away.

In a sense a manager is a ‘hireling’ paid to care for a flock. Have you ever seen a manager’s job description require them to actually care for the people they supervise? But they do if it is a family business and it’s the manager’s own children, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts or uncles. They are his/her kin. When we manage non-kin the care tends to falls away and we do it for the money. How do we avoid that fault?

Jesus said “Love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34. We were not children of Mary and Joseph. We were non-kin, but He loved us before we loved Him; then He adopted us into His family by faith. If we see others as Jesus saw us, as potential family members pending belief in Him, then we should treat them as kin as shepherds do for sheep they own. If anyone needs assistance or protection we don’t run away from them, we run to them; not for the salary but because we love them.

By the way, there is a direct and scientific correlation between the level of care and concern a manager exhibits for his or her employees and the employees’ productivity. Care turns into more money for the business and maybe a raise for the managers who made it happen. What were we hired for? God wants us to have money as a reward for love, not for seeing people as a means to our own end. Father Ed quoted Mother Theresa after someone said to her about her mission work in the bowels of Calcutta, “I wouldn’t do what you do for a million dollars.” Mother Theresa replied, “Neither would I.” As Knights, we serve in the workplace and in the Church, not for money but for His and our family.

Joe Cox <[email protected]>

Membership Director, Council 12240

Knights of Columbus Council 12240

St. Bonaventure Catholic Church

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