Today, the Church celebrates the lives St Peter and St Paul, the two great disciples of our Lord who laid the foundation of our Church. In the Scripture today, we read about the persecution of the early Christian leaders in the hands of King Harod:
“About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also.” Acts 12:1-3
“After he saw that it pleased the Jews,” the Scripture says. What does this say about Harod as a leader? Reflecting on this, Archbishop William Goh of Singapore wrote the following:
“Many political and even religious leaders are pandering to the wishes of the majority regardless of whether those things they ask for are good or bad for them. Instead of leading the people into the fullness of truth, they are being led by the people. This is the consequence of democracy, truth by consensus. Or rather, a pragmatic approach to life. Give them whatever they want. The leader is reduced to a coordinator, no longer one who leads. The truth is that most people behave like little children. In a world of technology and consumerism, we must get what we want quickly. We cannot wait. So, do we pander to the desires of our children even when they ask for things that could harm their future? But this is what we do for the so-called adults in the world today. The world is no longer ruled by truth but by consensus and desires.”
Our Lord Jesus was a true leader. Against the common consensus of the time, he showed mercy to the adulterous woman, praised the repentant tax collector, evangelised to a Samaritan woman, and refuted those who demanded signs from heaven. There is much we can learn from Jesus, especially if we are in a leadership position, whether it is realm of commerce, politics, church or just our own family.