The Role of Servant Leaders

Matthew 18:15-20
Ez 9:1-7,10:18-22 / Ps 113

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
(Matthew 18:20)

Resolve conflicts without enmity,
More than justice employ charity;
Look for ways where we can all agree
For the sake of our community.

(Jesus said), “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:15-20)

Reflection

Conflicts in the community are often unavoidable. The need for reconciliation starts on a one-on-one level. If this fails because one party refuses to reconcile, then one or two mediators are called in to help and at the same time act as witnesses. If this still fails to resolve the conflict, then the case is brought to the leaders of the group or community, or the so-called council of elders. In this way, the brother who errs, and refuses to be reconciled will be advised to leave for the good of the community.

We believe that the leaders of our community were placed in their positions of authority by our Lord Himself. Therefore they hold the responsibility of teaching the members the culture and values of our Church and our Brotherhood. They have also received the grace of discernment to counsel those who are in the wrong, encourage those who are lagging in spiritual growth, and help those who are in need of assistance. Our Brotherhood is our extended family, and the elders are like surrogate parents. Their stewardship is essentially the servanthood principle taught by our Lord, and incumbent upon His leaders. If our Lord could wash His apostles’ feet at the last supper, then they must also follow His example by serving their brothers and sisters, by washing away their faults and mistakes through good counsel and well prepared teachings. As Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you if you put it into practice.” (John 13:16-17)

In the Final Judgment we will all have to face God, and He will evaluate how well we have served His “little ones” in this life. As a Shepherd, He will separate the sheep from the goats. Those who, in their own personal interests or pride, never served as God’s stewards should, or by their negligence or bad example, caused a sheep to be lost, will face God’s judgment. But those who served others with love and compassion — as Jesus had commanded — will inherit eternal happiness in God’s kingdom. Remember what the Master said: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt. 25:40)

Let none of the members in our community be lost, Father, during our watch; help us to be vigilant as Your shepherds at all times. Amen.

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