The care for others, without counting the costs has been described as the hallmark of Christian leadership. The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, Most Rev. Matthew Ndagoso made the assertion in his homily at the celebration of the Mass for the installation of Most Rev. Matthew Ishaya Audu as the third indigenous Archbishop of Jos and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province.
The installation ceremony took place at the Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral, Jos, Plateau State, with number of people in attendance in conformity with the Federal Government directive as part of the efforts to control the spread of the Corona Virus pandemic in the country.
According to Archbishop Ndagoso: “The first mark of authentic Christian leadership is the care for others no matter what they say about the leader or even do to him. In other words, the loyalty of a Christian leader to Christ defies circumstances. Jesus is the yardstick or model of Christian leadership and not anyone out there. Consequently, and strictly speaking, a Christian leader does not have, so to speak, a personal business. The church is his business. His commission comes from the church, within the church and for the church.”
He continued: “For us Christians love is the greatest privilege we have which also brings the greatest task and responsibility. It brought Peter a task and a cross. Peter may not have had the intellectual capacity of John who had the gift of deep thought. He may not have had the gift of Paul who travelled to the ends of the earth to spread the gospel. He, however, had the lovely honour and task of being the shepherd of the sheep of Christ.”
Archbishop Ndagoso told the new Metropolitan of Jos that, this special privilege of Peter is what he is also enjoying as he assumes the pastoral leadership of the Archdiocese of Jos. He added that like Peter, he can guide and guard the flock entrusted to him; pastoral care from going astray and, feed the lambs of Christ with the Word of God and the Sacraments.
Using the readings of the day to buttress his point, the Metropolitan of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province outlined the responsibilities of an Archbishop in his Archdiocese and as an overseer of the Sufrigan dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province. He continued: Our leadership role must serve the common good and not a select few, even when our kith and kin are involved.” He added: “… our success as religious leaders in whatever we do depends to a very large extent on our faithfulness to the will of God because, as priests, we are called not to success but to faithfulness.”
Archbishop Ndagoso also reminded the new Archbishop of the social responsibilities of his episcopate with regards to the situation of Plateau State in terms of religious and ethnic crises and sustenance of justice, equity and peace. His words: “Given the incessant crises that have ravaged Plateau State since 2001, you have in your hands, from B/Ladi to Jingir hundreds of thousands of the poor made poorer by the conflicts eagerly waiting to hear the consoling good news of Jesus Christ proclaimed to them; broken hearts waiting to be mended; captives waiting to be set free; mourners waiting to be consoled and the despondent waiting to be given hope.”
He added: The justice you are commissioned to bring about is not Catholic, COCIN, ECWA, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Muslim, Jewish etc. It is God’s justice. Meaning you are Archbishop for all regardless of tribe, religion, political affiliation etc. Every Christian religious leader must be mindful of the fact that there are other sheep of Jesus that do not belong to the fold which must also be brought in (cf. John 10: 16) and this can only happen when the gospel is offered in a respectful manner and open dialogue.”
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