Servant Leader

Readings for Wednesday March 2, 2011

First Reading: Sirach 36:1, 4-5a, 10-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 79
Gospel: Mark 10:32-45

Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mk 10:42-45)

In today's gospel, Jesus introduces the disciples to a new type of leadership model. He doesn't tell them to lead with an iron fist, or to be like rhinos and charge through anyone or anything that gets in their way. Jesus tells his disciples that they should lead as He does, through service.

In the past several years that have been many books written on the "servant leader", someone who is not so concerned with themselves, but rather with others. Jesus tells us today that as disciples, we are all called to be servant leaders, and that it is not our duty to seek positions of power and prestige, but rather we should seek to serve God and others with all that we have. This is our greatest calling, to love and serve, and it is the way that leads to our eternal reward. Throughout the years that have been many servant leaders who have followed the model that Jesus gave us. Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Theresa of Lisieux, Mother Theresa, Padre Pio, John Paul II, and many more. These great men and women understand that we do not lead by our demands, we lead by our actions.

Today ask yourself, am I seeking to be a servant leader, or a selfish leader? Am I more concerned with my own place of power, or with loving others as I am called to?

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for all that we have and all that we are. You are the way, the light, and the truth; help us to always say no to the temptations of the world, and only follow you. Lord, may our heart only be for you, and may we find peace and joy in serving you and others in this life. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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