TUESDAY: Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Humility, Leadership and Spirituality
Acceptance of our mortality is essential to our holiness; it dictates the quality of our stewardship. It keeps us humble and ever mindful of our accountability to God. In other words, our mortality keeps us humble and mindful of the three last things: death, judgment and closure. This notion finds profound meaning in the first Beatitude, which reminds us that heaven is the destination of the poor in spirit (Matt.5:1).
A humble person is not a hoarder. He/she believes that his/her own transcendence depicts the truth and reality of the nature and brevity of all things – even power, wealth and leadership – they are all temporary (Is.40:6-7; 1Pet.1:24). Qoheleth, son of David, expressed it well in his theory of “Vanity of vanities”. Laboriousness, sleepless nights, inheritance and succession are all vanities (Qo.1:2; 21-23). However, the word of God is eternal (Ps.14:1; Is.40:8; 1Pet.1:25).
The death of Moses and the transition of leadership over Israel speak with the same clarity. Humility encourages those at the helm of things to remember that stewardship does not start and end with them. Genuine stewardship challenges them to keep transitional leadership in mind. The mission of the Church in the world is based on change and continuity. Not change and interruption. Moses training and preparing Joshua to carry the mantle of leadership after his death prefigures the actions of Christ and the appointment of Peter as the head of the Church on earth.
The arrogant person thinks he/she is invincible even in the face of death and will not relent. He/she stifles growth, procrastinates change and continuity and hinders even the progress of faith. The one who is an obstacle would better put a millstone round his neck Jesus said. This kind of behaviour is suicidal.
Matthew 18:1-5.10.12-14 in collaboration with Deut.11:1-8 challenges believers to be strong in faith, resilient in their stewardship but never despise, never belittle those place in their charge. Always be mindful of their mortality and prepare others to carry on the mission of Christ in the world.
Lord, keep me ever mindful of my mortality and brevity here on earth so that I will always walk in humility in your presence.