WITHOUT LOSING PATIENCE
Luke gathers Jesus’ words about future persecutions and tribulation, underlining especially the need to face the crisis patiently. The term used by the evangelist signifies integrity, endurance, perseverance, capability to remain firm in the face of difficulties, active patience.
We hardly talk about patience in our days, and yet how many times it’s been as necessary as in these moments of serious crisis that spreads far and wide, of uncertainty and frustration.
Many today live outdoors, and when they can’t find cover anywhere to offer them meaning, safety, and hope, they fall into discouragement, tension or depression.
The kind of patience the Gospel speaks about isn’t a virtue proper to strong and hardened men. It’s more the serene attitude of one who believes in a patient and strong God who breathes within history and guides it, sometimes so incomprehensible to us, with tenderness and compassionate love.
The person who’s animated by this patience doesn’t allow themselves to be disturbed by the tribulations and crisis of our times. They maintain a serene and trusting spirit. Their secret is God’s faithful patience, who in spite of so much absurd injustice and so much contradiction, keeps God’s work until God’s promises are fulfilled.
To the impatient person, the wait drags on and on. That’s why they get irritated and end up intolerant. Though they seem firm and strong, in reality they’re weak and don’t have roots. They run around excitedly but construct little, constantly criticize but seldom sow, condemn but don’t free. The impatient person can end up in discouragement, weariness or bitter resignation. They no longer await anything. They never instill hope.
The patient person, on the other hand, doesn’t get irritated or let herself get depressed by sadness. She contemplates life with respect and even with sympathy. She lets others be, doesn’t anticipate God’s judgement, doesn’t try to impose her own justice.
That’s why they don’t fall into apathy, skepticism or giving up. The patient person struggles and fights day after day, precisely because they live animated by hope. «The point of all our toiling and battling is that we have put our trust in the living God» (1 Tim 4,10).
The patience of the believer is placed in the God who is «friend of life». In spite of the injustices we meet in our path and the blows life gives us, in spite of absurd and useless suffering, God keeps to God’s work. It is in God that we believers put our hope.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf