Page 30 - Lent2012v3b

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Lenten Weekday
Isaiah 1:10, 16-20
Psalm 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 and 23
Matthew 23:1-12
In today's gospel Jesus presents us with his vision of leadership that
is in vivid contrast to the behavior of the religious leaders of the
times, and to the self-serving motivations of many in positions of
power throughout time. He outlines the conditions for what has come
to be known as Servant Leadership.
Jesus is unimpressed with the ministrations of the Pharisees as the
religious leaders of the times. It is a familiar theme in the gospels. We
can almost see him sitting with his disciples, shaking his head in be-
musement, as they observe the well-dressed men going about their
public duties with great self-importance and little sensitivity to the re-
alities and needs of those they are to 'serve'.
In his 1970 essay, The Servant as Leader, Robert Greenleaf coined
the term Servant Leadership. Key characteristics of the servant leader
were outlined in this piece: "The servant-leader is servant firstˎ It
begins with the natural feeling that one
wants to serve, to serve first. Then con-
scious choice brings one to aspire to lead.
That person is sharply different from one
who is leader first, perhaps because of the
need to assuage an unusual power drive
or to acquire material possessionsˎThe