THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
SURVIVING AND THRIVING - 10
We finished our camino yesterday, as we went to the
end of the earth at Finisterre. This morning we just had a
short two-hour tour of the Old Town of Santiago de Compostela,
with the Cathedral at the center. But the Lord continues to
speak. So here we are again with more principles. Jesus sent
out the Twelve, and later seventy others. So I round out the
instructions on “How to Survive as a Servant Leader,
and Even Thrive” with 7 additional principles, making
a total of 70.
Principle #64: Live a pure life. On the top of one building,
there is a statue of Atlas carrying the globe. The legend
here is that if a virgin passes by, Atlas will drop the globe.
But as of now the globe is still there on his shoulders. That
would be funny if it was not so tragic. But that is a reality
in Europe, where sex between consenting unmarried adults,
and even teen-agers, is common. Faith in Jesus means to live
pure, but for the world, the norm is licentious sex. You need
to be pure--chaste in your marital relationship, clean of
mind and heart, holy in all your intentions. Remember: you
are Christ to others. You do his work, you carry his name,
you witness to him, you are his ambassador. You need to pursue
righteousness if you are to be a vessel for lofty use, dedicated
and beneficial to the Master.
#65: Realize that many in the world are lost and sick, needing
a physician. In the Old Town there are very many farmacias
(pharmacies), some not very far from each other. Asked why,
our guide said, “because we are sick people.”
I don’t know if she was kidding, but she touched on
an unfortunate truth. People in the world are far from God,
many even rejecting Him. Many Catholics are lapsed and nominal
in their faith. They all need the healing hand of the Great
Physician. They need to be brought back to God and back to
the Church. This is your task. By evangelizing those in the
world, and by taking care of those already in the community,
you share in the healing and salvation that happens to those
who respond. Like Jesus, look with pity on the crowd, who
are like sheep without a shepherd. Go and participate in the
#66: Walk the narrow road of righteousness. The Old Town is
quaint, with its many ruas (streets) paved in stone.
There is one particular way that is the narrowest in the town.
It is called Ruela de Entrerruas (small way among
the other ways). While many were walking along the ruas,
there was no one passing through the ruela. In the
world, many are also walking on the wide road, while very
few go on the narrow road. The former often leads to destruction,
while the latter is what leads to God and to heaven. You must
not flow with the crowd in the world. You live a counter-culture.
You are to be holy, that is, set apart. Do not take the comfortable
path, and know that if you do what is right, you will be opposed
and oppressed. Do not try to please the crowd, but only the
#67: In this spiritual war, you have the angels and saints
fighting with you and for you. Galicia had been conquered
and was under the Moors for a century. During one particular
trying time, the Christians, living under the Moors, were
being persecuted and they cried out to St James for help.
Legend has it that Santiago came down from heaven on a white
horse with a sword and decimated 300,000 Moors in one hour.
Thus one prominent depiction of St James is him riding on
a white horse holding a sword. He is “Matamoros”
(killer of the Moors). At the end of time, the King of kings
together with the armies of heaven will also come mounted
on white horses, and out of the Lord’s mouth will come
a sharp sword to strike the nations. Christians are in warfare,
both human and spiritual. Christians in Muslim lands are persecuted
and killed. Evangelizers are assaulted by the devil’s
forces. You as servant leader are at the forefront of this
war. You face strong evil forces. But you have Jesus, the
stronger man. And you have the angels and saints in heaven.
Do not be afraid. The victory is already yours.
#68: Look to the greatness of the Church manifested in its
great celebrations. There are holy years declared for Santiago
de Compostela. If July 25, the Feast of St James, falls on
a Sunday, that year is declared a holy year. The next one
is in 2021. Then the holy door to the Cathedral is opened
on Dec 31, 2020, and kept open all year 2021. In the Philippines,
the year 2021 is also very significant. It is going to be
the celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the nation.
Our Church is 2,000 years old, founded by Jesus himself. Celebrate
such spiritual grandeur. And work such that the celebration
would truly be well deserved and significant. What good is
a holy year if God’s people are not holy? What blessing
will 500 years of faith be if Filipinos are lacking in true
faith? Work such that God’s people grow in holiness,
and really have something to celebrate.
#69: Receive the empowerment of the Spirit in your life and
service. At the end of today’s Pilgrims’ Mass,
just as when we attended last Friday, a huge censer with incense
was swung over the people. The censer is called botafumeiro
(expel smoke). It is an incredible sight (see the movie The
Way). The fire in the censer can be seen and smoke fills
the church. Spectacle of fire and smoke signify the presence
of Almighty God, as at Mount Sinai. Fire came down on the
disciples as tongues on the day of Pentecost. Incense exalts
and venerates. The people, especially the peregrinos,
were greatly blessed at this Mass. You too, with your baptism
in the Spirit, have been empowered. God is with you. Jesus
is the one who sends you forth. You are to be his witness.
Go with confidence in the power of the Almighty.
#70: Do the work of an evangelizer with faith that works wonders.
At the Cathedral, there is a sign on the Ano de la Fe
(Year of Faith) and a particular door called Puerta de
la Fe (Door of Faith). Under that sign it says, everyone
is invited to enter. We are in the Year of Faith and the call
to the New Evangelization has been sounded by the Catholic
Church. There are many lapsed Catholics whose faith needs
to be renewed. Then there is the missio ad gentes.
CFC-FFL is an evangelistic and missionary community. This
is our reason for being. You must press on with the work of
evangelization. You have already entered that wonderful door
of new life in Jesus. Invite many others to do so as well.
Well, my wife Gerry and I are off in a few hours, on our way
back to Manila. The Camino de Santiago is done. I miss it
already. There were very many challenges, and I rejoice in
how the Lord helped me endure (thanks again for all your prayers),
and how He taught many things to me .... and to you.
look forward to my continuing walk, with the Lord and with
His people. There will be many challenges, but these should
only serve to energize you even more. You are God’s
servant leader. Be deserving of that great privilege.
CAMINO! God bless you all.