THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
November 4, 2016
Today’s readings provide six action principles for effective
and authentic servant leadership.
look for exemplary brethren and imitate them. “Join
with others in being imitators of me, brothers, and observe
those who thus conduct themselves according to the model you
have in us.” (Phil 3:17). We are supposed to imitate
Christ, but we cannot physically see or hear Jesus. We do
not know his body language, his tone of voice, his manner
of speaking and acting. We need to see concrete examples of
how authentic Christians conduct themselves and interact with
be prudent in using God’s resources, entrusted to us
as stewards. These are our time, talent and treasure, which
actually all belong to God and should be used according to
His intent. In the parable of the dishonest steward, “the
master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.”
(Lk 16:8a). Unfortunately, worldly people like astute businessmen
and seasoned politicians make prudent use of all these to
further their own human interests, but the people of God do
not use His resources to further His interests. “For
the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with
their own generation than are the children of light.”
beware of the enemy within. There are very many Christians
who, wittingly or unwittingly, act in ways that ally themselves
with the enemy. For example,
Those who do not like to embrace the cross of Christ and
even disdain it. “For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies
of the cross of Christ.” (Phil 3:18). As disciples,
we are supposed to embrace our crosses daily. But many prefer
comfort and convenience, and shun suffering and pain. If
they look to the gospel it will be the prosperity gospel.
Rather than going out to engage the enemy, they are on permanent
R&R, sipping piña coladas at the Country Club.
Beware. “Their end is destruction.” (Phil 3:19a).
Those who look to satisfaction of the flesh, even to carnal
pleasures. “Their God is their stomach” (Phil
3:19b). They are those who focus too much on eating and
drinking, on how they look and what to wear, on what they
possess. They are defined by their worldly pursuits and
Those who have worldly or earthly ways of thinking. “Their
minds are occupied with earthly things.” (Phil 3:19d).
They are those who are legalistic, corporate, bureaucratic,
political or machiavellian in handling spiritual matters.
They think they are great, but they are in reality a shame
before God, as “their glory is in their ‘shame.’”
look for those who understand and love the Eucharist, such
that if they have the time (or they make time), they go to
Mass every day. “I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let
us go to the house of the Lord.’” (Ps 122:1).
They are eager for the grace of Holy Communion. They know
they are blessed by the Eucharist.
“stand firm in the Lord” (Phil 4:1b). No matter
what. No matter the difficulties, the challenges, the disappointments,
the betrayals, the oppression, the persecution, the suffering,
the pain. Stand your ground in the spiritual war that is raging.
Stand in the breach when faith, family and life are assaulted
by powerful enemy forces.
long for heaven, where we will be with Jesus for all eternity.
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also
await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil 3:20).
We are eager to know how it will be in heaven, how Jesus “will
change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by
the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection
to himself.” (Phil 3:21). We cannot wait to walk through
the pearly gates of heaven, the New Jerusalem. “And
now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem.”
all the above, each of us can refer to our brethren in community,
as “my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and
crown” (Phil 4:1a).