Third Sunday after Easter, April 10, 2016
Ezekiel, Chapter 18, Verse 14-17
14 But, in turn, if he (a sinful man) begets a son who sees all the sins his father commits, yet fears and does not imitate him— 15 a son who does not eat on the mountains, or raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, or defile a neighbor’s wife; 16who does not oppress anyone, or exact a pledge, or commit robbery; who gives his food to the hungry and clothes the naked; 17who refrains from evildoing, accepts no interest or usury, but keeps my ordinances and walks in my statutes—this one shall not die for the sins of his father. He shall surely live!
It is easy and common for us to blame our character defects on our parents. However, when God adopts a person through the blood and work of the Holy Spirit a new person arises and begins doing works of mercy and justice of His or Her heavenly father.
This is the beauty of discipleship it gives us time to discern our spiritual leadership. To increase your leadership discernment: 
- Examine your past successes. What actions have enabled you success?
- Assess each person based on their particular situation. Are you stereotyping? Are you treating people as things and not people? Are you treating others as you wish to be treated?
- Listen to your heart and your head-do the right thing.
- Learn from wise leaders. A Study and read the lives of other leaders.
Third Sunday after Easter. Traditionally the church exhorts us on how Christ's flock is to conduct itself and an oblique allusion to the Ascension.
Encouragement to Patience in Adversity
“You shall lament and weep.” John xvi. 20.
Many think that true happiness on earth consists in honors, riches, or pleasures, but Christ, calls, not the rich, but the poor and persecuted, “blessed.” He even predicts to His disciples nothing but sorrows in this world while to the rich and great, who set their hearts on this world, He predicts nothing but woe, mourning and weeping in the world to come. How much, therefore, are they to be pitied, who, regardless of this truth, think only of spending their days in luxury, but encourage themselves in the illusory hope of reaching heaven, when Christ and all saints have ascended thither only by the way of the cross, and of suffering, and when it is certain that no one can have part in their joys who has not also first borne part of their sorrows.
In what does the perfection of the Christian life consist? In the perfection of love (Col. iii. 14). The more a man separates himself from the world, and unites himself with God, the more perfect he will be. We can attain to the perfection of the Christian life by means of certain excellent practices known as the evangelical counsels which Jesus Christ lays before us, and to which He calls us, without directly commanding us to adopt them. So that the difference between the commandments and the evangelical counsels consists in this that the commandments bind us by an indispensable obligation, but the evangelical counsels do not. The evangelical counsels are: 1. Voluntary poverty. 2. Perpetual chastity. 3. Entire obedience under a spiritual director. By voluntary poverty is understood a free-will renunciation of the riches and goods of this world in order to follow Jesus Christ in His poverty. By perpetual chastity we understand a free-will, life-long abstinence, not only from everything that is contrary to purity, but also abstinence from marriage, in order to live only for God and His holy service in virginal purity. By entire obedience we are to understand a voluntary renunciation of one’s own will in order to follow the will and command of a superior whom one chooses for himself. In practicing the evangelical counsels there are three points to be observed, in order that they may serve, or help to eternal salvation: 1. They must be practiced with a pure intention, seeking thereby nothing else than to please God and to praise His holy name. 2. with great humility, in no way giving ourselves preference over others. 3. By great fidelity in observing not only what one has vowed, but also what is commanded. Also, one should live diligently and strictly according to the commandments; otherwise the practicing of the evangelical counsels will be of no avail.
Today is the anniversary of the creation of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals back in 1866. Some people note that dog is god spelled backward.
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