Get over the fear of being caught being yourself

There’s a business podcast out there called Executive Disciple, the purpose of which is to help people at all levels of the work environment “reconnect Sunday and Monday.” In other words, don’t let the lessons you learned during Sunday Mass stay in church. Bring them to work with you the next day and put them to work. In a recent episode, host Doran Oancia, who works in the energy industry, told his audience how easy it is for his own company’s faith-friendly culture to attract like-minded talent. He welcomes them with open-arms as they depart competitors who use employees only “from the neck down.” In other words, their employers weren’t interested in their brains—or in their hearts, for that matter. Both Oancia and his guest that day agreed that holistic employment—including faith as part of that whole—“creates a happier, more loyal and committed worker.” His guest added that he lived by the St. Francis philosophy of always preaching the gospel, and when necessary, using words.

It’s refreshing to hear CEOs cite the strategic value of faithful living, considering how many pages the daily newspaper devotes to the punishments levied against business people who tried preserving their public veneer of respectability while leading their companies down dark and crooked backroads to profit. CEOs and all people attending Mass this Sunday will hear the scriptural moral to those sad stories and will do themselves a favor by remembering them on Monday. That moral: Always be caught doing the right thing.

The first reading from Isaiah (Is 2:1-5) may inspire CEOs residing atop their organizations to reward employees who make the effort to rise to the top using the wisdom that comes from working and living in a faith-filled culture.

… the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.”

In Sunday’s second reading (Rom 13:11-14), Paul expands on that afore-mentioned philosophy of walking the gospel’s talk by encouraging the Romans to internalize Christ’s example until it forms an exterior self that others can see and emulate.

Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day.

In Sunday’s gospel reading (Mt 24:37-44), Jesus offers a lesson suitable for any school of management—about the wisdom of that kind of ready authenticity:

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

The first Sunday of Advent celebrates that coming and is a good reminder for all of us to connect this day with the rest of that and every week—by staying faithful to His timeless example of being good and ready.

–Tom Andel

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