BALIK-TANAW: The humility of true leadership

November 5, 2023

Our Gospel lesson Matthew 23:1-12 holds a valuable lesson on humility, leadership, and faith. In a world filled with challenges and struggles, we must seek to be humble, for in humility, we find strength, grace, and a deeper connection to our faith.

We see from the narrative that Jesus confronts the religious leaders of his time, admonishing them for their lack of humility and their desire for recognition and power. He warns his disciples not to follow their example, for they “love the places of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others” (Matthew 23:6-7). Jesus calls us to a different path, one that is rooted in humility.

The first lesson that we can draw from this passage is the importance of servant leadership. True leadership, according to Jesus, is not about titles, prestige, or power. It’s about service, compassion, and putting the needs of others before our own. In verse 11, Jesus reminds us that “The greatest among you will be your servant.” To be humble in the midst of struggles, we must lead by example, showing compassion and a willingness to serve others, especially when they are in need.

Humility requires us to recognize that we are all equal. As Christians, we believe in a God who loves all without exception. When we acknowledge this truth, we understand that no one is above another, and we must treat all with the same respect and dignity. It is not our position or status that defines us but our love and compassion for one another.

Matthew 23:12 encapsulates the heart of humility: “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” This verse reminds us that true exaltation comes not from self-promotion by from a humble heart. In the midst of our challenges and struggles, we can find strength in knowing that our humility, our willingness to acknowledge our limitations, and our trust in God, will ultimately lead to our spiritual exaltation.

Let us embrace the teachings of Matthew 23:1-12 as a guide to living a life of humility and faith, even in the midst of challenges and struggles. Our humility is not a weakness but a source of strength, a reflection of our dedication to Christ’s message of love and service.

As Christians, we must lead with humility, serve with compassion, and treat all people with the love and respect they deserve. In doing so, we fulfill Christ’s call to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, bringing hope and transformation to those won need.

May our lives be a testament to the power of humility, and may we find strength in knowing that, as we humble ourselves, God exalts us, guiding us through life’s challenges with grace and love.


Gospel reflection of Rev. Homar Distajo, UCCP/ PCPR for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time. Mal 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10, Ps 131:1, 2, 3, 1 Thes 2:7b-9, 13, Mt 23:1-12

Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action.

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