Obedience September 20
In your eyes he shall hold the first place among you by the dignity of his office, but in fear before God he shall be as the least among you (Rule of St. Augustine, 46).
It is a given of Gospel faith that the choice of a leader in the Church is made by the Spirit, even if the process of discernment follows human dynamics (consultation, vote, etc.) Concerning the replacement of Judas Iscariot, we read “Then they prayed, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen . . . Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.’” (Ac 1:24, 26). This conviction of the intervention of God justifies the respect that the members of the Church give to their pastors. Because the superiors in religious communities are authorized by these pastors, the communities revere their superiors in the same way. But there is another given in Gospel faith that proposes the place of the Christian leader as that of the servant, otherwise said, the last social place. “Jesus summoned them and said to them, ‘You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them . . . But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.’” (Mk 10:4-44). This is the Gospel correction for the exercise of authority in the Christian community. The leader is chosen by God to assume the status of a servant. The choice of honor assigns to a place of self-abasement. And the final judgement of the one honored will be in terms of his service.
The person who has no chief is chief of nothing. (Rwanda)