A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear?
says the LORD of hosts unto you,
O priests, that despise my name. And you say, How have we despised your name?
All Commentaries on Malachi 1:6 Go To Malachi 1
“There is a great distinction, then, between the fear that lacks for nothing, which is the treasure of wisdom and knowledge, and the one that is imperfect, which is called “the beginning of wisdom.” This latter has punishment in itself, and it is cast out from the hearts of the perfect upon the advent of the fullness of love. For “there is no fear in love, but perfect loves casts out fear.” And in fact, if the beginning of wisdom consists in fear, what but the love of Christ will be its perfection, which contains in itself the fear of perfect love and which is no longer called the beginning but rather the treasure of wisdom and knowledge? Therefore there are two degrees of fear. The one is for beginners—that is, for those who are still under the servile dread. In regard to this it is said, “The slave shall fear his master,” and in the Gospel, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing.” And consequently he says, “The slave does not remain in the house forever.” For he is instructing us to pass from the fear of punishment to the fullest freedom of love and to the confidence of the friends and sons of God. And the blessed apostle, who had long since passed beyond the degree of servile fear, thanks to the power of the Lord’s love, disdains lower things and professes that he has been endowed with greater goods. “For,” he says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and selfcontrol.” Those who burned with perfect love of the heavenly Father and whom, from slaves, the divine adoption had already made sons he also exhorts in these words: “You have not received a spirit of slavery again in fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption, in which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” –.