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Sunday, October 30, 2016

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

1 Corinthians, Chapter 4, Verse 21
Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a gentle spirit?

Love demands we tell it like it is. At times because God is a Father he must disciple those he loves. We as children, like those that are gentle with us there are times we must be corrected. Paul tells us that if we are to be true Christian’s we must follow the example of Christ who did not seek self-comfort’s but sacrificed all He had for the love of us. Therefore seek a spiritual leader and honor the parent(s) who will challenge you. Who will not let you be less than you can be! A good spiritual leader teaches by example. Leadership is caught not taught.

Creditable Leadership[1]

Creditable leaders are not afraid and model Christ’s behaviors for all. They do this because they know the law of the picture and people do what they see. Leaders embody the principles they teach. Paul shows us that leadership requires the leader to:

1.      Be on display and open for ridicule.
2.      Be willing to play the fool in order to model the surrendered life.
3.      Be able to endure the mocking of others without wavering.
4.      Be willing to sacrifice luxuries.
5.      Be hard working without retaliating against opposition.
6.      Be fatherly and live an exemplary life for others.
7.      Be encouraging of others to imitate your example.
Amoris Lætitia[2] Love Made Fruitful, Life in the wider family, Being sons and daughters (187-190)
As members of the family of God we need to interact with the wider family made up of parents, aunts and uncles, cousins and even neighbors. This greater family may have members who require assistance, or at least companionship and af­fection, or consolation amid suffering. The individualism so prevalent today can lead to creating small nests of security, where others are perceived as bothersome or a threat. Such isolation cannot offer greater peace or happiness; rather, it drains the heart of a family and makes its life all the more narrow. First, let us think of our parents. Jesus told the Pharisees that abandoning one’s parents is contrary to God’s law. We do well to remember that each of us is a son or daughter. “Even if one becomes an adult, or an elderly person, even if one becomes a parent, if one occupies a position of responsibility, underneath all of this is still the identity of a child. We are all sons and daughters. And this always brings us back to the fact that we did not give ourselves life but that we received it. The great gift of life is the first gift that we received.” Hence, “the fourth commandment asks children… to honor their father and mother. This commandment comes immediately after those dealing with God himself. Indeed, it has to do with something sacred, something divine, and something at the basis of every other kind of human respect. The biblical formulation of the fourth commandment goes on to say: ‘that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you’. The virtuous bond between generations is the guarantee of the future, and is the guarantee of a truly humane society. A society with children who do not honor parents is a society without honor… It is a society destined to be filled with surly and greedy young people.” There is, however, another side to the coin. As the word of God tells us, “a man leaves his father and his mother.” This does not always happen, and a marriage is hampered by the failure to make this necessary sacrifice and surrender. Parents must not be abandoned or ignored, but marriage itself demands that they be “left”, so that the new home will be a true hearth, a place of security, hope and future plans, and the couple can truly become “one flesh.” In some marriages, one spouse keeps secrets from the other, confiding them instead to his or her parents. As a result, the opinions of their parents become more important than the feelings and opinions of their spouse. This situation cannot go on for long, and even if it takes time, both spouses need to make the effort to grow in trust and communication. Marriage challenges husbands and wives to find new ways of being sons and daughters.

[1] John Maxwell, The Maxwell Bible.
[2] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.

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