Three Masons

St. Trinity Monastery of Ishinbay Russia

St. Trinity Monastery of Ishinbay Russia

In the early 14th century in Central Europe, an ongoing project in the construction of a magnificent cathedral was continued. The works supervisor was a monk who has been assigned to monitor the work of all laborers and craftsmen. A time came when the monk decided to check on his masons, and he chose three masons, as representatives of the different positions presented in their profession.

Approaching the first mason, he said “my brother, tell me about your work.”

The mason pulled away from his work and answered with a voice full of anger and resentment, “as you can see, I’m sitting in front of the stone stove three feet in height, foot and a half in length and width. And with each blow of the chisel to the stone, I feel like I’m chiseling away a piece of my life. Look, my hands are rough and covered with calluses. My face and hair, are full of gray hairs. This work will never end, it continues indefinitely, day in and day out. This exhausts me. Where is the satisfaction? I will die long before the Cathedral is to be built.”

Then the Monk went to the second mason. “My brother”, he said, “tell me about your work”.

“Brother” the mason said in a quiet calm voice, “as you see, I’m sitting in front of the stone stove three feet high and a foot and a half in length and width. And with each blow of the chisel on stone, I feel that I’m creating life and a future. Look, I can do so for my family, now they live in a comfortable house, much better than the one where I grew up. My children go to school; without a doubt, they can reach more success in life than I did. Thank God, for all this has been possible because of my work. I give the Cathedral my skill, and the Cathedral gives me security.

Finally, the Monk approached the third mason. “Brother”, he said, “tell me about your work.

“Brother”, the mason answered” his voice full of joy while smiling widely. “You see, I’m sitting in front of the stone stove three feet in height and a foot and a half in width and length. And with each touch of my chisel to the stone, I feel that I carve my destiny. Look, do you see what lovely features appear from the stone. Sitting here, I not only fulfil my skill and my craft, I’m making a contribution to what I appreciate and what I believe in. The magnificence of God’s creation is reflected in the Cathedral and He will reward each one of us. Here, near this stone, I am at peace with myself, and I know that, although I will not see this Cathedral complete, it will stand still for a thousand years, personifying what is true in us, and serving the purpose for which the Almighty placed on this earth even me.

The Monk retired and for some time pondered over what he has heard. He slept a peaceful sleep, like he hasn’t had for a long time. The next day he offered the post of works supervisor to the third Mason.

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy… It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.”
David Platt, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream

Let us receive from our Lord the Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord

Grace and peace be yours in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first born from the dead, and the rulers of the kings of the earth.

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