TRUE LEADERSHIP

Wednesday 27th May – Wednesday of week 8 of the year

Reflection: Mark 10:32-45

TRUE LEADERSHIP

Our Blessed Lord called His disciples to himself and taught them what true leadership means. For His disciples, leadership involves service – a leader is one who is to serve and not to be served. This concept of humility in leadership is illustrated in the parable of the grain of wheat. “Truly I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24). The grain of wheat can boast of its great potential; however without first dying, it remains only a grain. But if it surrenders itself to death in the dirt of the soil, it bears much fruit and is respected for what it is.

In the same vein, to be a successful leader, one must necessarily learn how to serve. The mark of nobility in Christian leadership is the privilege to serve and not to be served. To lead is to live by example; it entails dying to our own personal desires and working rather for the good of all. The world, is “power-drunk”, and can never thoroughly grasp the paradox that only humility really leads to greatness. The strength of a leader is measured by the safety of his followers and his followers can only feel safe in the hands of a servant-leader.

Beloved, we all have been chosen to lead; either as leaders of a group, a class or even as elders to our younger ones. Our responsibility is that of service. Christ calls us to lead by example, serving the common good and not our own interest. Dear friend, always remember, every opportunity you have to lead is a privilege and you will have to give an account of your stewardship in the end.

PRAYER: Lord help me that in discharging my duties I may learn humility and give me the grace to daily die to myself and daily rise to new life in you. Amen

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 89 – To whom does Jesus promise “the kingdom of God”?

God wills “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4). The “kingdom of God” begins in those who allow themselves to be transformed by God’s love. In Jesus’ experience these are above all the poor and the lowly.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Whoever would be great amongst you must be your servant” Mark 10: 43 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Sirach 36:1-2, 5-7,13-19, Psalm 79: 8-13, Mark 10: 32-45

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH


Sunday 22nd March – 5th Sunday of Lent

Reflection: Hebrews 5:7-9

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH

Words are effective means of communication anytime any day. We can even say that they are the best means of communication. When you speak, people hear you through the sound you make and the same happens in prayer. When we pray, God hears us. Yes! He does hear us, but sometimes we assume that coining so many words or using beautiful intellectual or emotional language when praying would make God hear us quicker. This is not the true dear friend. Beyond the words we utter during prayer, we must also pay the most attention to our inner disposition. That is, the level of humility and devotion that accompany the words we utter.

In today’s first reading, we are told that Jesus made “loud cries unto God” in His life on earth and was heart because He was humble and devoted. Humility in prayer appeals to God’s heart because “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Pride makes us think that God’s blessings are a reward for our self-righteousness. Only in humility do we see our true selves, weak, fallen and in need of mercy and grace. Beloved, let your words in prayer be accompanied by great humility and submission like those of Christ and God will hear you for He is faithful and merciful. 

PRAYER: Dear Father, save my soul from sinking in the mud of sin. Help me to come to You in humility and trust always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2611: “The prayer of faith consists not only in saying ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father, Jesus calls His disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do all these in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion as the Spirit leads.” Ephesians 6:18a GNB

Today’s Readings: Jer 31:31-34; Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15; Heb 5:7-9; Jn.12:20-33

HUMBLE YOURSELF!

Sunday 8th February – 5th Sunday of the year

Reflection: 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19, 22-23

HUMBLE YOURSELF!

The mandate to evangelize by its very nature calls us to embrace humility. The Catholic Encyclopedia describes humility as “a quality by which a person considering his own defects has a lowly opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God’s sake”. As Christians, we must humble ourselves completely in order to let God work through us. Humility is a virtue through which we can preach the gospel to others even without words – our lives would speak volumes about Christ.

St Paul explains: “I am a free man, nobody’s slave; but I make myself everybody’s slave in order to win as many people as possible” (2 Cor 9:19). Just like this great Apostle, our lives must exemplify humility if we truly consider drawing people closer to God as part of our Christian duty. Our Blessed Lord, whose gospel we proclaim is Himself the perfect example of humility: “For even though he had the nature of God…he took the nature of a servant…he was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death (Phi 2:6-8). Christ was able to reach out to the sick, oppressed, demon-possessed and sinners and ultimately grant us salvation because he humbled himself and took the form of man.

Let us take as our most important mission the need to draw others closer to God by laying aside our ego for “those who humble themselves shall be exalted and those who exalt themselves shall be humbled” (Lk 18:14).

PRAYER: Help me to remember oh Lord that my life is but a breath and teach me to be humble. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 300Why do we have to work to form our character?
We must work at forming our character so that we can freely, joyfully and easily accomplish what is good. A firm faith in God, in the first place, helps us to do this…with God’s help, firm dispositions, not having ourselves over to disorderly passions, and directing our faculties of intellect and will more and more consistently towards the good.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised”. Matthew 5:5 GNB

Readings for Today: Job 7: 1-7; Psalm 147: 1-6; 1 Corinthians 9: 16-19; 22-23; Mark 1: 29-39

WHAT ARE YOU CLINGING TO?

Tuesday 20th January – Feast of Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi

Reflection: Philippians 2: 1-11

WHAT ARE YOU CLINGING TO?

His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave…” (Philippians 2: 6-7)

The mystery of the incarnation continually baffles man through the centuries. To think of the immense love that led God to come and live amongst us as man is indeed very puzzling. However, it is not enough to simply reflect on God’s love. It is more important to imitate that love – to return love for love; loving God and our neighbour in response to the love His has shown to us (1 John 4:19).

In today’s first reading, St Paul reminds us that Christ did not cling to His equality with God, but emptied Himself. As human beings we tend to hold tightly to our possessions. The desire for permanent comfort and fear of future lack often prevents us from letting go of that which we have be it wealth, position, power, privilege, fame etc. Man tends to hold tightly to whatever good he possesses, often times to the detriment of himself and his neighbour. What are you clinging to? What are you holding on to so tightly that is preventing you from seeing the needs of those around you?

Dear friends, it is only when we let go of an unhealthy attachment to mundane things that we can empty ourselves like Christ. It is only when we do not allow our possessions to possess us that we can truly humble ourselves and treat others with love and compassion. Only then would we be able to look out for the interest of others and consider others better than ourselves as St Paul admonishes us to today (Philippians 2: 3-4). Today, let go of that which you are clinging to and let the love of Christ shine through you to all.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for loving me so much. Please free me from all worldly attachment that I may extend the love you have shown me to those around me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2779 – Before we make our own this first exclamation of the Lord’s Prayer, we must humbly cleanse our hearts of certain false images drawn “from this world”. Humility makes us recognise that “no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to who the son chooses to reveal him,” that is, “to little children.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Philippians 2: 1-11; Isaiah 12 (canticle); Matthew 13: 44-46