Saturday, January 16, 2016

Come to Call

Then, from a flask he had with him, Samuel poured oil on Saul’s head; he also kissed him, saying: “The LORD anoints you commander over his heritage. You are to govern the LORD’s people Israel, and to save them from the grasp of their enemies roundabout. “This will be the sign for you that the LORD has anointed you commander over his heritage.”  1 Samuel 10:1

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Mark 2:16B-17

Rule of St. Benedict
Chapter 2: Qualities of the Abbot or Prioress
Above all, they must not show too great a concern for the fleeting and temporal things of this world; neglecting or treating lightly the welfare of those entrusted to them. Rather, they should keep in mind that they have undertaken the care of souls for whom they must give an account. That they may not plead lack of resources as an excuse, they are to remember what is written: "Seek first the reign and justice of God, and all these things will be given you as well. (Mt 6:33)" and again, "Those who reverence the Holy One lack nothing (Ps 34:10)."

The parallels between the themes of the daily readings and the themes of the Rule of St. Benedict are sometimes uncanny.  Today, we have several different models of leader to consider. 

There are the Pharisees:  They are leaders who conform to the norm.  They stay in their comfort zone.  They abide by the rules so much that they hide behind the rules.

There is Samuel:  He is literally and figuratively the kingmaker.  After he was called, Samuel lived between two eras in biblical history, ultimately anointing the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David. He lives out in the desert, far from the people so Saul has to work to find him.  Samuel is comfortable straddling the two historic eras.  He is a prophet, judge, and wise Leader of Israel, and treated as an example of fulfilled commitments to God. Samuel abides by his calling but has to be careful that his ego as kingmaker does not overshadow his mission. 

There is Jesus:  He is the rebel leader who reacts against the worst of the past to build a new model of leadership for the future.  Jesus abides by his calling lone.  That is his true and only compass. 

What is your model of leadership?  Who embodies that?  Some of my greatest leadership models are people who have attained great status and position power in the temporal world and stepped aside to put their talents toward a greater mission.  People like the corporate CEO and founder who stepped aside twenty years ago to start his own foundation.  People like the corporate vice president who quit and moved all the way across the country to run a local charity right here in Washington, DC.

However, leaders are not always others.  Our Cursillo promises call us to be leaders one and all.  Just because you do not wear a Roman collar, a uniform, or have military rank, does not mean you can shirk the responsibilities of leadership.  You do not need a mitre or a crozier or a cathedra to be a leader every day in the church.  We need to pray for our leaders but we need to act like leaders ourselves.

Cursillo Leaders' Prayer

Lord, grant that we may understand the necessity for depth in our movement, rather than surface glory.  Convince us of the truth that colorful programs do not constitute success.

My God, give us a spirit of self sacrifice so that we may offer everything for your cause:  our time, our abilities, our health and even our lives if necessary.

Instill in us courage in our initiatives, good judgment in our choice of the right means, and that determination which in spite of failures assures victory.

Move away from us the tiny rivalries, sensitivities, discourtesies, pride, everything which distracts from You, everything which divides or discourages.

Help us to maintain at a high level a meaningful supernatural and mutual charity among ourselves, so that each one will seek by preference the most humble tasks and will rejoice at the good performed by others so that all our spirits united in a common purpose will have one single sprit, Yours Jesus, and that this spirit may let us see Your attractive goodness marked in all our faces, Your warm accents in all our words, and in our lives something superior to the world, something that proclaims Your Living Presence among us.     Amen

St. Paul, Patron of Cursillo - Pray for us.

Our Lady of Guadelupe, Patron of the Americas - Pray for us.

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