Apostolate February 4
So that our apostolate is authentic, we work for the integral development of our neighbors, always listening to them and collaborating with them and other agents of development (Congolese Regional Statutes, 3.5).
“It will not be like that among you” (Mt 20:26). With these words, Jesus put an end to all misguided ideas about the role of leadership in the Church. The minister of the Church, whether ordained or lay or religious, must quickly forget the model of authority experienced in worldly societies. The text, “they lord it over and . . . enslave” (Mt 20:25) can never be the description of relationships between pastors and their so-called “charges.” The minister approaches people as their servant and not as the master of their destinies; as guest and not as the owner of the space of their lives; as accompanier and not as director in the accomplishment of their projects. Even in the name of God, ministers cannot lay claim to the life of another, cannot diminish the person’s responsibility. The first pastoral act is that of listening, followed quickly by collaboration. To begin otherwise risks ending up like “the leaders of the nations” who pretend to be “benefactors” (Lk 22:25). It will not be like that among you.
The chief’s gourd comes from the same jungle as everybody else’s.