July 31, 2022 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/073122.cfm)
Somehow, we may discern about two types of leaders and leaderships nowadays: the go-getting and go-giving leadership, or the go-getters and the go-giving leaders. Both share the same passion, but differ in motivations.
Go-getters are leaders who aspire, work, and strive on things in order to GET – that is, to acquire, accumulate, possess, own, and have things only for themselves; while go-givers are leaders who aspire, work and strive on things in order to GIVE and to share things with others. The big differences here are the motivation, objective, and beneficiaries of leadership. Go-getting leadership is motivated by GREED while Go-giving leadership is motivated by SERVICE. Go-getters are more concerned of themselves, and aiming for hoarding power and wealth, while go-givers are more concerned with others, aiming for sharing power and wealth. Go-getting promote individualism, selfishness, self-centeredness, consumerism, materialism, and greed, while go-giving promote community, other-centeredness, selflessness, inter-relationship and service. In other words. Go-getters do everything to get what they want, while go-givers do everything to share what they have.
Our modern high-tech western world today has obviously promoted go-getter leaders. In our schools, government, workplace, business, media world and even in our church, go-getters have been recognized and praised. People nowadays prefer go-getter leaders, who have a lot of everything – money, influence, power, connections, latest gadgets, and cars. We can sense go-getters mentality in the air. Slogans like: “obey your thirst”, “why settle for less”, “satisfy your cravings”, “be an addict”, “go for the best”, “be a millionaire” are just few of its catchwords. Go-getters are clearly personified by “Gollum”, a character in the Lord of the Rings. He does everything for His precious, even to the point of murder, betrayal, and deception. All his life was directed toward getting back the ring, his precious.
It is only here in the Philippines that have the concept of bring house. We do not only attend parties but we also extend it to others who are not able to attend by bringing them some food – to make them part of the party. It is only here in the Philippines that have the concept of PasaLoad, or Share a Load. Imagine, sharing your telephone bills with others. Same way with Balikbayan box. Until now, foreigners have a hard time understanding Filipinos saving and sending goods to Philippines where you could now get anywhere. For we know that those goodies are not for themselves but for others to share – for lolo, lola, igsoon, utod, barkada, neighbors and others. Best example for this is the “eat-all-you-can” spree in restaurants. Although tempting and reasonable, it did not work well because of its “no sharing, no left-overs, no bring house” policy. Yes, Filipinos like to eat, but we like to eat with others. It’s not the food but the fellowship, agape, salusalo, punsyon in eating, whatever the food there is, that matters most.
Jesus in our gospel today openly criticized go-getter leadership and mentality in the world. He reminds us that life and God’s grace are meant to be shared with others and not to be hoarded for oneself. Go-getter, amassing power, and wealth for oneself are all meaningless – vanity of vanities, does not bring lasting happiness in life.
For Jesus, what God has given us is not only for ourselves but for us to share with others. God’s graces are Shareware, not private property, intended not for your own reign but God’s reign.
While our world today advocates Go-getting leadership, as Filipino Christians, we must be Go-giving & Go-givers in life and in God’s kingdom. Remember as the Lord once said: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. And store up for yourself treasures in heaven.”
Let us then seek what is essential and righteous before God, and go-give & share with others for that gives us life, happiness and meaning. Amen