Servant Leaders

Readings for Thursday May 7, 2009

First Reading:  Acts 13:13-25
Responsorial Psalm:  Psalm 89
Gospel:  John 13:16-20

"When Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, he said to them:  'Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.  If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.' "  (John 13:16-17)

What does it mean to be a leader?  Does it mean having a take charge attitude?  Maybe it means giving great motivational speeches.  Better yet, perhaps being a leader is all about the specific title a person has.  Our world had many definitions and ideas of what it means to be a leader, but from the gospel today, we get a different idea of what it means to be a leader (as well as a follower).  Jesus shows us in the gospels that being a true leader means humbling yourself and washing the feet of those who serve you, even though you are greater than them, it is still a great act of love and the sign of a true leader.  This teaching of leadership was, and still is very astounding and so counter cultural.  I remember after my conversion, I finally began to get this passage and I began to apply it with my staff.  Even though I was the one with the more prestige and the higher up position, I realized that I still had a responsibility as their leader.  I had to show them that I was willing to do the things that they did and to be there to help them out and take care of them.  By being more humble and by having a "servant leadership" I noticed a great difference in myself as well as my staff.      

True leaders are not the ones sitting in the nice corporate office, leading their team to victory, or even running for political office; true leaders are the ones out their modeling the behavior that Christ modeled for His disciples and for us.  Jesus says "if you understand this, blessed are you if you do it."  None of us are too good for the things that Christ calls us to do.  I pray that we may all understand what it means to be grounded in humility and to go out and be the servant leaders that Christ calls us to be.  

Father above we thank you for the gift of this day.  Lord, we praise you and give you thanks for our lives and all that we have.  Lord give us the strength and courage to go out and be servant leaders for you.  Help us to never think that we are too great for the jobs and things that you call us to do.  Lord, we pray for all those seeking truth and meaning in their lives, may they find it in you.  We ask this all through Christ our Lord.  Amen.    

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