Read Titus 1:1-9, Ps. 24:1-6, Luke 17:1-6

“Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.” (Luke 17:1-2)

The future of any society depends on its leadership. In today’s first reading, St. Paul lists out the qualities to be found in a bishop. These are qualities also required of any leader and they include 1. BLAMELESS.  2. NOT ARROGANT. 3. NOT IRRITABLE. 4. NOT A DRUNKARD. 5. NOT AGGRESSIVE. 6. NOT GREEDY. 7. HOSPITABLE. 8. A LOVER OF GOODNESS. 9. TEMPERATE. 10. JUST, HOLY. 11. SELF-CONTROLLED and 12. HOLDING FAST TO SOUND DOCTRINE.

Why did Paul have to take the pain to mention qualities required for anyone seeking to occupy the seat of the bishop? The simple answer is that it is not every human being that qualifies to be a leader. It is the duty of both the leader himself and the people to ensure that those in positions of power understand the responsibility involved and possess the expected qualities.

Even the Bible attests that “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2) If wicked persons take over leadership, the people not only suffer, they become scandalized; that is, they are not able to distinguish between right from wrong any longer. Jesus acknowledged this fact when he said: “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to him by whom they come!”

A good leader inspires the best in people but a bad one destroys every atom of morality in them. This is why leaders; especially spiritual leaders will suffer a greater punishment than others if they are bad shepherds. A lot of young people in our society today aspire for leadership but the painful truth is that having been scandalized, they dream of taking up leadership positions not to serve the people, but to amass as much of the commonwealth as possible.

Is there any hope for our nation? Can we ever have such a leader who would possess these qualities listed by St. Paul in his letter to Timothy? Can we find leaders who would as Jesus mentioned in today’s Gospel passage be willing to forgive continuously? The apostles, realizing the enormity of what Jesus was preaching prayed: “Lord, increase our faith.” Jesus replied by saying that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, everything would be possible.

So yes, there is hope for our nation. It begins with you. God is calling you today to become a different type of leader, one who would be blameless in all ramifications. However, if in all honesty, you know that your quest for leadership, be it civil or religious is motivated by your selfish desires, save yourself from judgment. Leadership is an enormous responsibility and to whom much is given, much more will be expected. (Luke 12:48) 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, give us the grace to lead by example. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 32 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Titus 1:1-9, Ps. 24:1-6, Luke 17:1-6)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu