Sunday, December 12, 2010

Because We Must "Be Patient. . .Until the coming of the Lord"

Third Sunday of Advent,
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

In School of Community Tuesday night, we gave ourselves an assignment: Each day this week, we are to pick a person to whom we offer up our suffering so we might ease theirs. This discipline has led me to examine exactly what I think constitutes suffering. I'm an employed, happily married mother of two healthy, happy sons. We own a cozy, well-heated home in a safe community. We have full cupboards and stomachs. We are surrounded by wonderful friends.

And so I have come to realize this week how ungrateful I can be for all the blessings God offers. My "suffering" this week has included: driving behind a slow-moving truck on my way to work, or having to forage in the car for lunch in boxes of crackers and clementines because I forgot my lunch money. By Friday night, a friend was telling me that every time I spoke with him this week I'd seemed deeply irritated.

How far I am from the sentiment of this reading for the third Sunday of Advent. How much I need to hear these words.

Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.