St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

2nd Sunday of Lent (21 Feb 2016)

Leadership, Authority and Collaboration

1. Leadership: Leading is God! He makes things happen. We have only to second, to come along, to make space for His work. Our main function is to identify Him happening - to remain open to recognise Him in events, people, facts and enlightening the perceptions of others.

2. Authority: Once the authority is established the first task is to choose authorities. How to choose collaborators: here we come back to the first point. It is not a matter of opinions, sympathies or relationships, it is a matter of obedience! He brings about people, perhaps some of them are not those that we planned to be our collaborators. Authority comes from God. It is a matter of faith, not politics or opinions, sympathies... can prevail. We don't follow because of sympathies or similar opinions. We follow and we trust those who have authority because we believe that that person has been put there by God.

3. Collaboration: Once this is said, of course, we make our observations, contributions, objections, but these are from within, not from gossiping. Gossiping only brings confusion. If you don't agree, keep expressing your opinion and insist. But don't use your different opinion to put distance and don't use your dissension as an excuse not to follow. If you follow, you will understand. If you don't follow you will not understand. Without this position of openness to the one who is leading, you won't resist for long. In time, you either follow or you abandon.

Also, the other way round. The authority has to listen to others. Four eyes can see better than two. The other, with his or her different view, should be perceived with a positive prejudice as something good, as a possible contribution. I ask not in a formal way but because I am open to learning. The authority creates a space where the other can express its own opinion. Afterwards, whoever is in charge should then be free to take a precise position. We don't lose our moral authority if we change our mind at the last minute if we have good reason to change. It is because of the truth, not because of politics.