15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 15/7/2018 - Gospel: Mk 6:7-13
Twelve heads
Biblical tradition tells the twelve tribes of Israel who were descendants of Jacob, the name was given by God. The names of the twelve tribes are: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh Gn 9. They are the descendants of one family, when Jacob entered Egypt his family formed the Israelites.  They received the Torah from God at Mount Sinai and it became their law. After 40 years of wandering in the desert before entering the land of Canaan they came under the leadership of Moses. They conquered the land and each tribe was given a territory to govern and Saul ruled over all the tribes and Eli as their priest. Civil war broke out because some tribes followed Saul, some preferred David. Finally David received support from all the elders and became their king. Solomon took the throne after the death of his father. Soon after Solomon's death, the twelve tribes were divided to be Northern kingdom and were called Israel while Southern kingdoms were led by the tribe of Judah.

In the New Testament Jesus chose twelve apostles to form the new people. Those who follow the way of Christ and are Baptised are the new chosen race, the royal priesthood. They become brothers and sisters in Christ. They have one leader, Jesus, and have God as their Father. While on earth they belong to the Church established by Jesus and Jesus himself had appointed Peter as their head and his successors. The whole Church body is guided by the Spirit of the Risen Lord and when our pilgrimage has ended we will enter God's kingdom. We are heirs in God's kingdom because our leader, Jesus Christ who rose from the dead has gained it for us.  The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert before entering the Promised Land; the royal priesthood of Christ will spend a whole life time doing pilgrimage on earth. While on earth we are called to be the ambassadors for Jesus, spreading the Good News of the Risen Christ for everyone we meet on the road. And whoever accepts the message and is baptised in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit will be a member of God's family.

The Israelites had the Torah as their way of life; the royal priesthood have one single rule Jesus gave them and that is the rule of love as their way of life. All the baptised persons must learn from Jesus to live a life of love and service - Love one another as I have loved you. By this sign people know that you are my disciples: love one another. Jn 15,12

The way of Jesus is the way of love and humble service. Leaders learn to serve because Jesus told us that he comes to serve not to be served Mt 20,28. Love and humble service are the keys characteristic of our leadership. Humble service would help to eliminate the leadership tension. Recognizing the sacred and God's love in other person changes the way of leadership and that is what God calls us to live a life of seeing Christ in others.