In the Name of Jesus

I just finished reading a book that someone from the St. Donatus parish lent to me. It’s In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen and it’s a great reflection on how the temptations of Jesus are present in our lives as Christian ministers.

And the book is very short – 81 small pages with large print. Gotta love that!

In the book’s conclusion, he writes:

My movement from Harvard to L’Arche [a community for mentally handicapped people in Toronto] made me aware in a new way how much my own thinking about Christian leadership had been affected by the desire to be relevant, the desire for popularity, and the desire for power as ingredients of an effective ministry.

The truth, however, is that these are not vocations but temptations. Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” Jesus sends us out to be shepherds, and Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led to places where we would rather not go. He asks us to move from a concern for relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity to communal and mutual ministry, and from a leadership built on power to a leadership in which we critically discern where God is leading us and our people.

Until next time, keep fit and have fun! And have a great Triduum!

(The snow is starting to melt. Yay!)

2 thoughts on “In the Name of Jesus

  1. Yay Nouwen!
    He’s a fabulous writer…I should at least finish reading one of his books one day…:).
    Ya, we’re still getting snow here. It’s rather white outside. And cold. But I could go tobogganing with Chelsey (cute kid). Anyways, I think I’m hungry, so happy … um…Wednesday. n’stuff. er. yah.
    and a good end of lent season. n’things. :D

  2. Popularity and power can really go to one’s head. I know from experience! A good antidote is a constant, daily focus on humility – which is easier said than done.

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