Friday, September 27, 2013

Respect Your Leaders in the Faith

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.  Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thess 5:12-13)

See how well he is aware that unpleasant feelings arise?  He does not merely say "love," but "very highly," as children love their fathers.  For through them you were begotten by that eternal generation.  Through them you have obtained the kingdom.  Through their hands all things are done, through them the gates of heaven are opened to you.  Let no one raise divisions, let no one be contentious.  He who loves Christ, whatever the Priest may be, will love him, because through him he has obtained the awesome mysteries.  Tell me, if wishing to see a palace resplendent with much gold, and radiant with the brightness of precious stones, you could find him who had the key, and he being called upon immediately opened it, and admitted you, would you not prefer him above all men?  Would you not love him as dearly as your eyes?  Would you not kiss him?  This man has opened heaven to you, and you do not kiss him, nor pay him honor.  If you have a wife, do you not love him above all, who procured her for you?  So if you love Christ, if you love the kingdom of heaven, acknowledge through whom you obtained it.  On this account he says, for their work’s sake, be at peace with them.

John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Thessalonians, 11

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