Patience like the patience of a farmer
Jesus is the patience of God. God is, undoubtedly, great and does wondrous deeds. Yet he is merciful at the same time.
We need patience, those of us who are in a hurry. So, little wonder we love fast food.
We do not like, besides, long lines of people at the bank or elsewhere. So, not having the patience to wait, we make do without personal contact. We settle instead for the impersonal service that time-saving apps and other technological tools give.
In a hurry, then, and with little patience, we look for quick self-fulfillment. We know we do not have all the time in the world. In effect, we give ourselves away as torn between what we are and can be. This, in turn, shows we lack absoluteness.
God, on the other hand, is absolute. That is to say, there is no other god who has the care of all. What is amazing is that the mastery over all things of the one who is the source of justice makes him lenient to all.
And the God that Jesus embodies and teaches is the same almighty God who has patience with sinners. His true image is the shameless friend of tax-collectors and sinners. Jesus describes himself as the house-holder who calms down the reckless. He tells them, “No, if you pull up the weeds, you might uproot the wheat along with them.”
It is a description that suits country people who are not like the learned. Jesus is the embodiment of the God that the lowly can reach—touchable and tender, rather than intelligible and stands to reason.
And the little folks need to hear precisely that their patience in hardships is not for naught.
Jesus lets them feel that the patience of the meek is like that of the Son of Man. The Son of Man puts up meanwhile with the children of the evil one and waits with patience for the end of the age.
When the age comes to its end, then the self-absorbed will also bring their basic choice to its full and painful end. Always uncaring of others, they will end up in a solitary confinement without end. Those going in abandon all hope.
And Jesus points out to the little ones that God will bring forth unstoppably out of their littleness something big and far-reaching. They will be a leavening force for the good.
Lord Jesus, give us patience with ourselves. Grant that we make distrust in our own strength the basis of our trust in God (SV.EN III:143). Deliver us from all self-righteous thought that the Eucharist is a prize for the perfect that the weak do not deserve (cf. EG 47). May we always acknowledge that the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.
23 July 2017
16th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Wis 12, 13. 16-19; Rom 8, 26-27; Mt 13, 24-43