by Danny Tariman

“You know that those who are recognized as rulers… lord it over them…” (Mark 10:42)

One cold December evening, I had the opportunity to be in a company of rural folks in a remote mountain village. I and my family had a real great time spent with these people sharing the Lord and His love. We shared on our faith walk and experiences in the Lord, sang “good old” gospel music, shared our laughters and our pains.

There were a number of stories from these poor people that struck my heart. Common in these experiences is the “lack of love” of the people whom they call as “servants” who came from the metropolis.

These servant-leaders “make their authority over them felt” (Mark 10:42B). They eat separately, the leaders are aloof, and the locals just have to follow what their servant-leaders would tell them. The poor rural folks plainly say “They don’t see their leaders doing what they are teaching them.”

In today’s Gospel we are reminded to “not lord it over those assigned to you, but be examples to the flock” (1Pet 5:3). Let us take Jesus’ example of a servant-leadership: “whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all” (Mark10:44)

REFLECTION: Are you the “servant” who really serves or a “servant” who commands?

Lord, grant me the grace to genuinely serve You with humility.

[This reflection was first published in Didache on May 28, 2008]