Thomas Sunday

“Let us celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” … Elsewhere the Apostle says: “‘Let us run with fidelity’ the race that has been set before us, with our eyes on Jesus, the origin and the goal of our faith.”
So a man who openly despises the accolades of this world and rejects all earthly glory must also practice self-denial. Such self-denial means that you never seek your own will but God’s, using God’s will as a sure guide; it also means possessing nothing apart from what is held in common.
In this way it will be easier for you to carry out your superior’s commands promptly, in joy and in hope; this is required of Christ’s servants who are redeemed for service to the brethren. For this is what the Lord wants when He says: Whoever wishes to be first and great among you must be the last of all and a servant to all.
Our service of mankind must be given freely. One who is in such a position must be subject to everyone and serve his brothers as if he were paying off a debt.
Moreover, those who are in charge should work harder than the others and conduct themselves with greater submission than their own subjects. Their lives should serve as a visible example of what service means, and they should remember that those who are committed to their trust are held in trust from God.
Those, then, who are in a position of authority must look after their brothers as conscientious teachers look after the young children who have been handed over to them by their parents.
If both disciples and masters have this loving relationship, then subjects will be happy to obey whatever is commanded, while superiors will be delighted to lead their brothers to perfection. If you try to outdo one another in showing respect, your life on earth will be like that of the angels.
St. Gregory of Nyssa

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