So here’s Jesus, faced with an enormous challenge. Five thousand people to feed, sitting on the grass for as far as the eye can see. It’s perhaps one of the most important management challenges of the scriptures, as it is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels.
So what did Jesus do? Being omniscent, he already knew what Father Paul Holmes would write in the Pastor’s toolbox, so he did four things.
First he made a plan, surveying the available resources.
Then he organized the work and seated the multitude in groups of fifties and a hundred for speed and fairness in the distribution.
Third, he made sure he had an adequate group of works in the person of the twelve, standing ready to distribute.
Then he gathered every available loaf and fish before saying the blessing.
He planned, organized, inspired a group of workers and brought together the needed resources.
And that’s not the only time he followed sound management principles. Whether he was making wine at Cana or breaking bread in the upper room, there is a plan and a structure to the Gospel which should inspire each one of us.
We who are, or God-willing will be called to the ministry of governance in the Church, the ministry of the Good Shepherd, who does not get lost when looking for the errant sheep, or eaten by the wolf or does not keep track of each of the sheep he knows by name.
May you be the good shepherd, whose heart and mind and experience are laid down with his life in service of the sheep who are placed in his care.