Humility in Leadership

Aug 23, 2014 | [post_view] Views

humility in leadership

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

August 23, 2014



First Reading: EZ 43:1-7A

Responsorial Psalm: PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

Gospel: MT 23:1-12



Jesus in our Gospel today warned his disciples against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Jesus told them to follow their teachings because their teachings are authoritative seating at the chair of Moses. But He exhorted them not to follow what they do. Then Jesus outlined the many things Pharisees do which are contrary to what they preach.  Jesus even described some details about how the Pharisees become a burden to the life of the people.

“They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’”

The Pharisees made the lives of the people miserable and never help them ease their burdens.  They love attention and honor. They use their authority to emphasize their righteousness. These and other things the Pharisees did that pushed the people away by judging them unjustly. Humility in leadership can not be found in them.

Clearly, Jesus does not want His disciple to follow their example. Instead, He taught them to be humble. Yes, they will be leading the flock of Jesus later but they will be serving them not as the Pharisees do. Jesus Footwashingreminded them that to aspire for greatness is to humble oneself in loving service.  He said to them “The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

In like manner, Jesus is also reminding all of us to use our authority not to be served but to serve in humility of heart. Jesus is teaching us that humility in leadership is of primary importance if we are to make a difference in the lives of the people, if we are to serve God faithfully. However, this is not only for those with authority. This is essentially the nature of every Christian.  As Jesus, our Lord, humbled Himself in loving service so too must we.


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