Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.
They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.
And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
We have one teacher, one Father, one instructor, who teaches us that our actions speak louder than our words.
As if becoming human wasn’t humbling enough, Jesus then showed us what it means to lead: inviting the poor and marginalized to be his companions, valuing the witness and wisdom of women and outsiders, and humbly serving and washing the feet of his students and followers.
Those of us who find ourselves in positions of leadership and power—as teachers, parents, directors, managers—do well to remember who the real leader is and to imitate him.
Christ shows us the way of humility and enriches our efforts towards the greater glory of God and the benefit of humankind.
How can we follow Christ’s example today in the tasks and encounters before us?
—Thomas Bambrick, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Midwest Province studying at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, CA.
Christ, we long to follow your example.
Help us to use our privilege and power
to empower others
rather than ourselves.
Help us turn to you
as our teacher and guide
to direct our steps
and sanctify our work.
—Thomas Bambrick, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!