HOMILY THEME: Who is a Leader?

BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu



_“Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to him by whom they come!” *Luke 17:1*_

The future of any society depends on its leadership. Poor leaders produce very bad societies because whatever a leader does or refuses to do has a direct impact on every single member of that society. Since we cannot all become individual communities of our own, our lives are largely determined by our leaders and this is why we just cannot afford to be indifferent to politics.

In fact, our refusal to be part of the political process is itself a political decision. In other words, no one is removed from politics. Those who will use dubious means to come into power depend heavily on the silence of those who say “politics is not my business” and given that this silent crowd is a majority, the wicked politicians simply go scot-free. To assume that politics takes care of itself or that it has nothing to do with us is playing the ostrich who thinks that he is safe from danger by hiding its head in the sand.

In today’s first reading, St. Paul lists out the qualities to be found in any leader and particularly in the church leader. 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 to be found in a leader? The simple answer is that it is not every human being that qualifies to be a leader. We all owe it as a right and a duty to ensure that no charlatan ever gets the chance of becoming our leader otherwise, we would have ourselves to blame when we begin to suffer the effects of poor leadership.

Note that in the list above, there is no mention is made of the ability to share bags of rice or purchase voters’ cards. It is sad that our refusal to hold our leaders accountable as well as our indifference to politics has successfully placed our society in a mini-hell; a place where the prayer of 80% of its population is how to get a foreign visa. We have all it takes to enjoy a better version of life than our counterparts abroad but that will not happen so long as we support poor leaders directly or indirectly.

Not everyone qualifies to be a leader. Some leaders inspire people to be good, others do the very opposite. Even Jesus acknowledges the effect of poor leadership when he noted: “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to him by whom they come!” Leaders are powerful and as such are capable of leading many to temptation. A good leader inspires the best in people. A good leader will not live a double life. Woe to me if as a preacher, my life contradicts my words.

Another quality of a good leader is his ability to forgive others. According to the list above, a good leader must not be aggressive, he must be temperate and self- controlled. A person who cannot forgive cannot be a good leader because his decisions would be affected by a desire to revenge rather than a desire to protect, promote and nourish his or her people. A good leader is not one who divides to rule but one who knows how to bring out the very best in everyone to bring about the common good of all.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give us the grace to lead by example. Amen.

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



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