A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The greatest among you

must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself
will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself
will be exalted.

Matthew 23:11-12

In this passage, our Lord gives very clear guidance for those who aspires to or who exercise leadership within the Church. Sadly, some leaders and aspiring leaders have strayed from that guidance: focusing on self-aggrandizement and on power for its own sake.

Other Church leaders have been falsely accused of these things simply for doing their job. Bishops who are widely known as being personally humble and gentle are denounced as being focused on “ego” and “control” just for trying to be clear about the teaching of the Church and about liturgical guidelines that go back to the New Testament itself.

(Many times, the real “ego” or “control” issues usually belong to those who think more of their own personal opinion than the teaching of the Church.)

Individuals who lead within the Church must be personally humble and fully devoted to the service of the people. They must always remember that they are not worthy to lead. No human being can be wise enough or pious enough to exercise leadership or ministry within the Church. Only by being constantly aware of one’s own weakness can one let the power of God shine forth – for it is only by the grace and power of God that the Church can grow and people be saved.

Humility about oneself, however, should never be confused with timidity about the truth. I may be a flawed human being, but that does not change the truth of what Christ teaches – quite the opposite, for Christ came to save us all and to bring us into the fullness of the truth. I may be imperfect, but if I equivocate about the truth, I only add to my sin.

Son of man,
I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel;
whenever you hear a word from my mouth,
you shall give them warning from me.
If I say to the wicked, `You shall surely die,'
and you give him no warning,
nor speak
to dissuade him from his wicked way and save his life,
that wicked man shall die for his sin;
but I will hold you responsible for his death.
Ezekiel 3:17-18

It’s not about “ego” or “control” – it’s about the truth.