I always find it heartening to read this text as it is important for us all to remember what it is that God wants us to do. There is a seemingly never ending list of things that need to be done, but the real question is which of these things has been assigned to your responsibility. It is no good doing many things that others are sup[posed to be doing as it will mean that the ones you are supposed to do will not be done and the others will have nothing to do as you are doing it all for them! The apostles recognise that too much administrative type work was keeping them from their essential mission of preaching the Gospel. Therefore they raised up men, later to be known as deacons to look after some of this administrative work so that they would be freed to focus on other things.
It is important to note that this is not saying that one thing is more essential than another but it is an affirmation that in the Church there are roles for each of us to play. God has a will for each of us and our greatest fulfilment will come when we follow His will for our lives and are not just given to doing what we think might be a good thing at the time.
The further up one moves in the hierarchy of the Church the more one needs to pay attention to the principle the apostles establish in today’s reading. Too often the bishops and even priests of the Church can become disenfranchised, so to speak, from the people whom they are supposed to serve. All leadership roles are roles of service to the people of God and as such our leaders must seek to be accessible to the people as well as aware of their difficulties and needs. This is a big challenge when there are many administrative demands upon our leaders as well as pastoral ones; perhaps it is time for the Church to examine how it can lessen the administrative responsibilities of its pastoral leaders.
Let us pray for our leaders, both lay and clerical that in responding to God’s call upon their lives they will always have the grace and strength to make the right decisions regarding where they place their priorities.
Lord Jesus, help me to know precisely what your plan is for my life so that I may be faithful in contributing to the work of building up the Kingdom of God.