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How do we serve?

How do we look at and think about leadership, power or service? It is an important question in Hong Kong at this time, as the government of Leung Chun-ying comes under increasing pressure to answer that question.

It is necessary that those who are asking the question also propose a response and equally as important that we should all respond to the same question, as leadership is not just the prerogative of governments, but we are all called to be leaders in our own way.

Look at the leaders you know, how do they fit the model that Jesus offers? He preached and witnessed to a form of leadership that highlighted service and sacrifice, to the point of giving his life for all people.

We should ask ourselves, “What type of a leader am I?”

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, two of the earliest disciples to be called and two favourites of Jesus, were nicknamed by him the sons of thunder!

They show in the reading for today’s liturgy that they had still not grasped what it means to follow Jesus, as they ask special favours from him.

They wanted one of the two to be the supreme authority and the other one to have the next most highly favoured position next to the master.

The other disciples expressed their discontent with this. However, Jesus sets them on the right path. He tells them that Christians cannot go around lording it over other people, but that we are called to serve.

To be a Christian means to strive to live and love like Jesus.

On this World Mission Sunday we are reminded that as followers of Jesus we are called not to live off the work of others, or to exploit the poor, but to share our wealth with those who are excluded from their rightful share in the economic pie of the world.

We are asked to give, because we can give. And it is especially important to remember that we are giving to other people who are also created in the same image and likeness of God.

They too have the same right as we do to live with dignity.

In doing this we are placing our trust in God. A good suggestion for today is to spend a bit of time meditating on the words of the psalm, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”

Consider how much courage it takes for us to trust completely in God rather than tell God what to do! We can also consider how much attention we pay to the word of God.

St. Jerome wrote, “The gospel is the body of Christ; for me, the holy scriptures are his teaching. When we approach the Eucharist, if a crumb falls to the ground we are troubled. Yet when we are listening to the word of God, and God’s word and Christ’s flesh and blood are being poured into our ears we pay no heed, what great peril should we not feel?”

Diocese of Sandhurst Bulletin