Leaders are meant to go that extra mile for their team or organization. They need to set a great example for others. They inspire people to do their best. People want to work for great managers. Athletes want to play for great coaches. But being a leader isn’t easy. You can’t phone it in or be a hypocrite — creating rules that you don’t follow.
Jesus calls us to lead
I was thinking about great leadership when I read the Gospel for Wednesday, March 23. Here Jesus talks about fulfilling the law.
Jesus said to his disciples:Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent | USCCB
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus is telling us that we need to be great leaders in our spiritual life. He is telling us how God calls us to follow Him in all ways, both big and small. We may not know it, but the way we live sets an example for others. It may be for our kids, our family, friends, or coworkers. They all see us as a representative of a group whether that be a family, community, company, or faith. Jesus tells us we need to be great leaders and examples of the Catholic faith for others to follow.
Not acting as leaders
Unfortunately, I think many of us take our calling as leaders of the Catholic faith too casually. We don’t realize that the way we live paints a picture of Catholic life to others. When we don’t attend Mass, receive the sacraments, or do not acknowledge the importance of Jesus in our life, others will think that’s what Christianity teaches and promotes. And that is what Jesus in the Gospel tells us we can’t let happen.
I feel like we Christians are called by God to be his elite leaders. We are like the star athlete or rock star employee. God asks a lot of us and He expects us to come through. An athlete can’t ignore the rules of the game or slack off in the middle of a big game. A manager can’t ignore the needs of the company or his employees. And a Christian can’t ignore God’s plan.
As you go through Lent, think about what God asks of you. Be thankful that He wants you to succeed in living a Christian life. All those rules and laws are there to help you achieve that. They help mold and shape us into the humble leaders God intends us to be. Lent is that period of sacrifice and prayer that can strengthen us in our faith and eventual joy if we choose.
Mary’s example of leadership
Meditate on Mary in the Fifth Glorious Mystery. She wears the crown as Queen of Heaven because she accepted God’s calling for her to be a humble leader. She obeyed God’s Will in all ways, big and small. Imagine the difficulty, sorrow, and confusion she faced when you meditate on her seven sorrows:
- The Prophecy of Simeon
- The Flight Into Egypt
- The Loss of the Child Jesus in Jerusalem
- Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Mary Holds the Life Less Body of Jesus in Her Arms
- Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
God laid out this challenging path for Mary to follow and she did. He lays out a path for us to follow as well. It may not be an easy path, but it’s one that we have the ability to traverse and ultimately succeed. We don’t do it alone. We have the help of Mary, the saints, the Holy Spirit, and our Christian brothers and sisters. Rejoice that God has put a path before you that ultimately leads to His Kingdom of Heaven.