A Catholic bishop in the Philippines has cautioned against envy and jealousy, saying that it can lead to “division’ in the Church’s mission.
A report on CBCP News quoted Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones saying that attitudes can “derail” the “unity of our gift of faith.”
The prelate was speaking at the start of this year’s National Laity Week observance.
“If envy and jealousy step in, foul action follows,” Bishop Billones said in his homily from the chapel of the archbishop’s residence in Cebu City.
“That is why the Church is not immune, even among the laity, it can happen that we can be affected. That is why sometimes, we experience heartbreak, division, and separation,” he said.
The bishop also cautioned against the desire for power.
Echoing the teaching of Jesus himself, he insisted that whoever wants to be the leader must be the servant.
“If you want to be first, learn to be the last. If you want to be a great leader, then learn servanthood,” Bishop Billones said.
“The leader on top is the one who bends, who picks up the broomstick first, the one who is willing to wipe the dust on the feet of others, the one who is willing to be humble to serve others even without getting attention for himself,” he added.
The bishop stated that power has its “own purpose” in the Church and believes that wanting power is rooted from “work efficiency.”
“We need this and the Holy Spirit guides us in exercising this in the various ministries in the church, also in the work of Laity, with the different charisms we have,” Billones said.
“I would like to believe it is more out of efficiency, executions, speed of execution, in terms of a project to the poor, in the parish, and so on and so forth,” he added.
He, however, pointed out that problems arise when the recognition of power becomes warped and distorted, which “will hurt people and break relationships.”
“If we think power is only just being there [on top], we can trample on the rights of others, we forget sensitivity to their emotions and what they feel, and we forget that the basic disposition of power is servanthood,” he said.