14 August 2007 Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time
Deuteronomy 31, 1-8 Delegation
In the first reading, Moses is about to die when he delegates to Joshua the leadership of the Israelites. Moses’ task of bringing the Israelites out of
Let us look on a leadership technique from Moses. Moses accepts and recognizes that the central mover of this project is God himself. He takes the emphasis away from him; and puts the limelight on God. So, Moses doesn’t throw a tantrum asserting that going to the
Many of us would rather work alone, than with others. We feel that working with others makes the work slower and less efficient: we spend more energy improving our working relationship, than accomplishing the tasks given to us; or our emotional investments in group work become an added burden. And so we would rather have the style of leadership that is centralized like a bureaucracy. We feel assured when we can control the outcome or output of a certain project. We feel good when the project takes on our personality, vision and direction. Some projects may begin as a response to God’s invitation like a foundation for children with cancer; and ends as an institution built around the personalities of the founding members. Wait for the founding members to die, and the institution dies with them. This becomes the problem of continuity.
The parish depends on the personality of the parish priest. The colors of the building and the spirit of the community mirror the favorite color and the energy of the priest. The programs are amended as the parish leaders are changed. There seem to be no proper relinquishment or turn-over; there is no program that is followed through. When I was sent to
In the end, the work is God’s work. And God is not limited to the persons sent to perform His work. The realization of the
As Moses teaches us the humility involved in relinquishment, we too must remember that our work is also God’s. We are able to delegate the tasks and the office to the next generation of leaders. We are able to turn-over completely the project or the program to someone else. We acknowledge that above all it is God who is the author of the things that we do. We accept the truth that our work is also God’s work. We are able to let go of our life's pet projects and trust the new generation to bring it to another level, and if not, to modify it to make it more relevant in their lives.
Just as Moses and Joshua recognize that Yahweh is the central character of their long journey, so should we. We give our best to a task given to us, but also remember that our work is also God’s.