(Mutual Services Life)
Nature of Kingly Function
LLMS Constitution, Chapter 3, Article 2, Section 2:D
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as benefactors; but among you it shall not be so. Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant….. I am among you as the one who serves.” (Lk 22:25-27)
“If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (Jn 13:14-15)
Our Lord as Servant King constantly manifested His love for the Father through the services and guiDance that He gave to the people around Him. His being king was not “lording it over” but rather serving, inspiring, supporting, guiding and encouraging.
Christian leadership in Lord’s Leaven is not based or dependent on a position of honor but rather on one’s unselfish service whether one has position of honor or none.
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (Mk 10:43)
Our Lord revealed the function of King as a function of humble service. To be great in the Kingdom of God is to be the lowliest of servants to the “least of the Lord’s brethren.”
He looks into the welfare of each member of the kingdom beginning with the poorest of the poor and the lowliest.
“Whatever you do for the least of these brethren of Mine, you do it for Me.’ (Mt 25:40)
The more one serves and helps others to serve for the sake of God the more one becomes a Christian. So, a Lord’s Leaven does not seek any position of honor, but rather seeks the opportunities whereby one may be able to serve as many as one can possibly serve whether there is position of honor or none.
In Lord’s Leaven the position or title given to someone is not a position of honor conferred by the Society. It is rather only an acknowledgement, confirmation and certification of the Stage of Mission with its corresponding responsibilities and functions based on one’s love and effort to qualify oneself through the Courses and Lessons of the Pastoral Management Institute (PMI).
It is the individual himself who qualifies oneself through the formation requirements of the Pastoral Management Institute and the practicum service that one be trained unto in guiding as many Family Cenacles in the Basic Ecclesial Communities as one possibly can. It is one’s humility, silence, love and service for God in others as one reaches out to as many as one possibly can that will determine one’s position in the Mission.
“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire…. So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter….
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, is like a wise man who built his house on the rock…. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Mt 7:18-27)
Lord’s Leaven Missionaries do not serve the poor because are poor; but rather that the situation of their poverty or need becomes our indicator, our reason and opportunity for creating programs that would lead the Missionary to work not for the poor but together with the poor in the building of the Kingdom of God.
The service of love we give to others is borne out of recognizing the Lord in the heart of others and in knowing the process of the Mission Society. We serve the Lord in one another. Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Sisters of Charity serve Jesus in the poorest of the poor in India and around the world. The more we see and serve the Lord in the heart of others the greater is our dignity as children of the King in the Kingdom of God.
The frame of mind that a Lord’s Leaven should have in serving “the poor, the destitute, the hungry, etc.,” is not to make people objects of charity and service but rather to train them to stand up on the power, charism and opportunities that God has given them by nature and by grace in order to become effective instruments in making themselves and others become one with the Lord Jesus and humble witness to the reality of the Kingdom in Cenacles and in Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC).
To satisfy the needs of people is not the end-goal of Christian love, but rather that their basic needs serve as the opportunity, the occasion and the vehicle by which the generosity and the love of the Lord from within our hearts may be made manifest and be proclaimed for His glory.
“No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but on the lampstand, so as to give light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:15-16)
We do not help the poor because they are poor but we help them because the Lord has given us their poverty as an occasion and invitation for us to help ourselves to exercise our kingly function. The temporal poverty around is an invitation from the Lord to lead us into the spiritual poverty which is our true nature in front of the Lord. Of ourselves there is nothing we can claim as absolutely our own. Everything belongs to God. And to return of all these to God for the sake of uplifting His people is a Christians greatest glory.
Poverty for the sake of the Lord is a source of power of God’s love. Poverty without the Lord is misery; but poverty for the sake of the Lord is the fulfillment of our true nature which is what the Lord wants for us. Hence poverty is one of the three evangelical counsels along with chastity and obedience. They are essential virtues of one who dedicates one’s life for God. We empty ourselves of anything for the sake of the Lord. In this way we will receive from the Lord’s promise a hundredfold of whatever we give up to help our people for the sake of God.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Mt 19:29)
A Lord’s Leaven does not do acts of charity simply because people are needy or poor; rather a Lord’s Leaven creates programs of charity that will enable the people to stand on their feet and walk the way of the Lord. This is what the Lord meant when he said:
“You always have the poor with you, but you do not have me always.” (Jn 12:8)
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I have none, but what I have I give unto you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)
The Kingly Function deals with the exercise of faith in serving the Lord in one another beginning with the poorest of the poor through activities of mutual services for one another in the many temporal needs of the members of the Christian communities.
To satisfy the temporal needs of man is not the main aim of the Kingly Function, but rather the witnessing of the spiritual principle of faith and love among members of the community at the occasion of temporal needs of the poor as much as the spiritual needs of those who are well.
Unless the bond of common unity in the Lord is achieved the temporal order is not attaining its purpose. Our Lord Jesus pointed out the priority of faith when he said, “The poor you always have them with you; but me, you do not have me always.”
These temporal needs are indicated in the various needs of man in the different values of human life, namely: physical, economic, political, social, cultural, etc. This function involves activities that address socio-economic needs as well as the socio-cultural needs of the community based on the instructions of the Lord in Sacred Scriptures and the Social Doctrines of the Church.
“The laity… exercise their apostolate in the world as well as in the Church in the temporal order as well as in the spiritual.” (Vat 2 Laity Ch 2 No 5)
The Canon Law encourages the members of lay association to animate the temporal order with the Christian spirit.
Canon #327 Lay members of Christ’s faithful are to hold in high esteem associations constituted for the spiritual purposes… especially those associations whose aim is to animate the temporal order with the Christian spirit, and thus greatly foster intimate union between faith and life.
A Lord’s Leaven never stops to practice the love of God by doing acts of loving unselfish service for others in order to help them unite themselves and become mature individuals in Christ. In this way they also can help others do the same and spread the Kingdom of God on earth.