Off the Cuff. “Take me to your leader”

Sep 25, 2015

I like this simple and relevant catch-phrase allegedly from a science-fiction story about an alien arriving on earth. The marriage reflections based on the Ephesians 5 reading of 21st Sunday began with the question “Who is the boss in your home?” Week by week there were further questions for dialogue about couple relationships for themselves and others, even those not married. This week’s 26th Sunday reflection asks “Are we being a good example?” and invites couples, especially, to take a moment for stock-taking and reconciliation.
Is that what true leadership is about, not self-interest but dialogue and examining how well we are serving one another? Is that not what Pope Francis on his travels in the US is speaking about? Even on the subject of refugees Pope Francis asks world leaders to look beyond numbers at the human reality, to see the faces of suffering.
Is serving others what the UN General Assembly as a meeting of world leaders is about? When someone is caught out for dishonesty or malpractice what does a true leader do? The debacle over the dishonest practice to cheat on gas emission levels resulted in Volkswagen’s CEO resigning. Back home in South Africa what is common practice? Right now the police commissioner is “on trial” and the head of the SABC alleged to have lied about his educational qualification is digging in his heels for self-gain. Aggression and violence in acting out disagreements has become a norm. Leaders at every level are asked to examine their conscience on the question of corruption and the Church also supports the planned anti-corruption march on 30th September.
But there must be more than violence and marches or rallies. Back in our own homes, when caught out in unfaithfulness do we give up or forgive? True leadership devoid of self-interest is a calling for everyone and, beginning in their own small way, is taught explicitly or implicitly in families. It is practised there by every individual in every configuration of relationships, parent-child, grandparent-grandchild, sibling, in-laws and extended families.
changeIs there enough of the dialogue Pope Francis speaks of. This week’s reflection is especially a call to couples searching for balance so that they can be the example that will promote the BEAUTY OF THE SACRAMENT OF MARRIAGE to one another, their family, the Church and society. A suggested Couple Reconciliation service published on can be used for personal reflection and couple dialogue.
After many other meetings Pope Francis will be addressing the WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES this weekend and the SYNOD ON THE FAMILY begins in just over a week. In his words, “let us care for our families, true schools for the future. Let us care for our families, true spaces of freedom. Let us care for families, true centers of humanity.”

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