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Good to Great: Easter Vigil Homily 2023

You may know that I like bookstores. Every city I travel to, including New York City, I find that I spend an inordinate amount of time in them with no goal except to look around. I browse the shelves to see what seems to be the newest, the most popular, and the staff picks, but also what are the “good old faithful” ones that keep showing themselves and may even seem to be somewhat timeless.

Recently, on my browse, I came across again, one of those good old faithful ones … one that I read a long time ago, you may have heard of it or even read it yourself … that book entitled Good to Great written by influential management professor Jim Collins. It’s not new, it was released in 2001.

It is the story of how effective leaders can take a business that is already doing well and take it to the next level. I believe that is a dream for most of us.

· To not only do something that is good in quality but to do something that is exceptional.

· To not only be good at something but to be great at something as well.

That is a topic that gets my attention because I happen to believe that if we have the choice of building a good church or a great church, a good business or a great business, a good marriage or a great marriage then we would all choose doing something great, yes?

Reflecting on that book summarizes what we have celebrated here in these last days, and more importantly what we celebrate tonight … learning to move from good to great.

We heard clearly in the Sacred Scriptures from the book of Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth with the capstone of creation being man and woman … and God saw that it was good.

We started at good … but in reflecting on the life of Jesus, we are challenged to become great … to live our best lives … to use what we have been given not only to reach our best potential, but to contribute, a meaningful contribution with our time here on this earth … and not just to coast or float along day after day.

In his research, Collins found that successes resulted from three main factors:

1. disciplined people

2. disciplined thought

3. disciplined action

The word discipline comes from discipulus, the Latin word for pupil, which also provided the source of the word disciple. It seems to me that for us to get from good to great, the challenge is that we need to be all in, pupils of the Lord, A students, who are willing to form our thoughts and direct our actions in conformity to his.

To discipline our thoughts, we might:

1) Lead with questions, not answers – seek