I have been listening to a podcast entitled, Executive Disciple. The moderator is Doran Oancia. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of West Edge, an energy company that transports, stores, and distributes refined energy products. He studied at Queen’s University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Heriot-Wat University (Scotland).
In a recent episode, he spoke with Father James Mallon. Father James Mallon is the part-time Episcopal Vicar for Parish Renewal and Leadership Support for the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the former pastor of Saint Benedict Parish in Halifax. Based on his experience at St. Benedict, Father James wrote the best-selling book Divine Renovation: From A Maintenance To A Missional Parish and The Divine Renovation Guidebook, a step by step manual for transforming a parish. He currently leads Divine Renovation Ministry, an engaging process for parishes seeking to cultivate vibrant and dynamic faith communities centered on missionary discipleship.
Both men travel nationally and internationally. In their conversation they mentioned that they have visited thriving parishes and have been to parishes that are not doing so well. Father Mallon discussed how a lack of leadership is a big part of the issues in many places. Both men also discussed the challenge that parishes have in terms of appropriating the faith seen on Sunday, and transferring that to Christ-like action from Monday through Friday.
Father Gregory Friedman is a Capuchin Priest living at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land. In a recent video, he discusses four ways by which we can get from Sunday-to-Monday based on today’s Gospel of Luke.
- Reordered priorities: Jesus says, “Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost?” Do we know the cost of following Jesus? Have we “done the calculus?” Are we willing to pay that price? Where do you spend your time? That will offer a good indication of your priorities in your life.
- Self-sacrificing love: Jesus says, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and comes after me cannot be my disciple.” This conversation with how followers takes place while Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem. We all know that happens there. What kind of self-sacrificing charity have we expressed this week? What can we do in the week ahead.
- Right relationships: Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus is using a literary device of exaggeration called hyperbole. He is challenging his followers to put the person of Jesus front-and-center in their lives – even in front of family and friends.
- Proper attitude towards possessions: Jesus says, “Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Jesus is not saying that we shouldn’t own stuff. He IS saying that we need to make sure that the stuff doesn’t own us. What can – and should – you keep around in your life? What can you give away, throw away, give to charity?