Friar’s Corner: Jesus wanted leadership focused on serving others

FbHilzphotoWisdom 2:12, 17-20; Ps 54:3-5, 6-8; James 3:16 to 4:3; Mark 9:30-37

Dear Holy Spirit, please fill us with our wisdom.

As I stated with Mark’s gospel section last week, we are at a turning point. Jesus has finished his “glorious” ministry of healing countless numbers of people, feeding thousands and having leftovers and teaching. No one else was doing what Jesus was doing. The apostles and disciples, men and women, were filled with awe and joy. For the second time Jesus predicts how he will end up. It takes “the air out of their balloon.” No wonder they don’t grasp what he is telling them.

The Galilean work closes down and Jesus and his companions slip away, not wanting to be noticed as they move toward Jerusalem. On the way to Capernaum they were arguing about who is the greatest in the “new order.” Peter’s house was their early home base. Once inside the house Jesus asks them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”

Then Jesus teaches them that service and availability in the new order are to be the key for his leadership. As an example Jesus sat down, and taking a child in their midst, Jesus said, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not (just) me but the one who sent me.”

Leadership in the church obviously has developed over two thousand years but our leadership needs to be more service-oriented rather than controlling others. Pope Francis is having a lot to say about this kind of service. Lord Acton once said, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

So as we reflect on these things let us see how God wants to empower us to serve our brothers and sisters and help him make our country and world a better place to live for all of us. When we are served by others we feel good. When we help serve others we are blessed by Jesus with his joy. Remember that he told us, “Whatever you do to the least you do to me.

Peace and all good,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz.

(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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