Leadership by Example

We continue with the farewell discourse of both Jesus, in the gospel, and Paul, in the first reading. These two characters have a lot to teach us. Today, they teach us that whoever we are and wherever we find ourselves, we must ensure that we remain a symbol of unity and encourage others to do same. Both Jesus and St. Paul prayed and wished for the oneness of their followers because they know how important it is for them to have unity of purpose if they needed to make any progress in the ministry. Are you a unifier or a separatist?

Again, both of them did one great act of entrusting or commending their followers to God. Usually when people are departing they entrust their children or important projects to a trustworthy person to manage. This act of committing their follows to God’s care tells us that God is tried and tested and can be leaned upon. There is no better manager of our lives and projects than God, for He neither sleeps nor slumbers. Who have you placed in charge of your life?

Also, St. Paul mentions that in all things, he has shown that by hard work and toil one must help the weak (the aged, the poor and the sick). This means helping the weak is a mandate, a command and a duty which must be taken seriously as our main business and not based on whether you feel like helping because we have surplus. Can you boldly say you have worked and toiled in all things so to help the weak?

St. Paul further adds this familiar and popular saying: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We know this saying – we have heard it severally or we have even said it ourselves, but do we live it? Most often, we are happier when we are at the receiving end when the true happiness lies in the giving; we are usually happier when we are being served, when the real joy lies in serving others. We should seek with our whole being always to be the one giving in all conditions and situations. Regardless of our state we can give to someone not to get something in return but in order to be blessed.

O Divine master, grant that I may seek to give than to receive, that I may seek to serve than to be served, and to love with all my heart rather than to be loved, for it is in giving that we receive, in loving that we are loved, and in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
(Acts 20:28-38; Ps. 68; Jn. 17:11b-19)


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