Read 1 Kings 2:1-4,10-12, 1 Chronicles 29:10-12, Mark 6:7-13

“Keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself.” (1 Kings 2:3)

Today’s first reading chronicles the end of David’s life. God chose David for leadership as a young man by asking Samuel to anoint him. Unlike Saul, David struggled for years before ascending the throne. After forty years of kingly reign, David, now on his dying bed, called Solomon, his heir, to advise him. As the saying goes: “Experience is the best teacher.” David’s advice to Solomon was born out of his painful experiences, and this advice remains valid today.

1. Be Strong and Show Yourself a Man: To be an effective leader, you must avoid timidity (no gree for anybody). Writing to his spiritual son, Timothy, St. Paul notes: “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7). David recalled that it was his battle with Goliath that brought him to glory. Leadership is not for you if you are too scared of confronting Goliath.

2. Put God First: David observed that all the problems he faced during his reign as king resulted from ignoring God’s commandments. Having painfully learnt his lessons, David concluded: “Keep God’s commandments, and everything will go well for you.” One mistake we often make is thinking we can disobey God without suffering the consequences of our misdeeds. The truth is that God’s commandments are a covenant. If we want God to do his part, we, too, must do our part. To get a good meal, you must follow the rules of cooking. In the same way, to enjoy prosperity as a leader, you must never ignore God’s words.

3. Proper Parenting - Raise God-fearing Children: Proper parenting is always a problem for many leaders. Eli failed in this. Samuel failed as well. David also failed. You are in charge of thousands as a leader, but don’t be too busy to neglect your home. Raising God-fearing children is a full-time ministry. You must be close to God and exemplary in conduct because children learn by observation. They know when you don’t practice what you preach. David said to Solomon: “If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and soul, there shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel.” (1 Kings 2:4).

4. Authority Comes With Responsibility: In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus empowered the Twelve by giving them authority over unclean spirits before sending them in pairs to preach the Good News. A leader without authority is like a car without an engine. However, never forget that power comes with responsibility – there are terms and conditions. Jesus said: “Take nothing for your journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in your belt; do not put on two tunics.” To exercise authority over unclean spirits, we must avoid greed because it is a form of idolatry. You cannot serve both God and mammon. Many leaders have failed today because they saw leadership as an opportunity to amass wealth.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, make me an exceptional leader. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of week 4 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: 1 Kings 2:1-4,10-12, 1 Chronicles 29:10-12, Mark 6:7-13).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu