Most of us are familiar with the famous and beautiful passage from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians,( Chapter 13:4-7) …. “Love is patient, love is kind,…love is not jealous, etc, etc., etc..……”
It’s a beautiful and poetic description of love and also describes an essential aspect of God…for God is love. When I read the passage and try to meditate on it, I usually rush thru it. I’m not patient enough to stop at the very first statement… “love is patient”.
Patience is a terrific attribute…. “able to accept delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed … understanding.” The Psalmist tells us that “God is patient with us….slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness ”(Ps. 103:8). “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2Peter3:9)
Parents must be patient with their children. Often it takes much time and many occurrences for our children to learn a life lesson… time and time again they may fail and the parent is called to not reject them and give up, but to reach out again and again. To those parents who have older children who might be trapped in addictions, patience is developed in the “crucible of humiliation”… the parent must learn and relearn patience, going deeper and deeper in this important aspect of love. Love is patient. But what happens in the process is that the parent becomes a man or woman of love….you begin to see it in their face, in their countenance, in their hope, in their patience, in their love. They become more and more like God.
And it’s not limited to parents with children… what about you and me? God is patient with us. How often could he have just cast us aside…”hey, you maxed out on the 7×70 forgiveness chart”. God has been so patient with us. He is so kind and gracious and patient with you and me. Saint Cyprian, a great saint and martyr, says “ In this world, for as long as it remains, no act of repentance is too late…The path of approach to God’s pardon remains open and to those who seek it and understand its truth, access is easy.” (Magnificat, 9-16-20)
So, it’s a time of mercy, a time when God’s patience is available to us. But let us not delay. Let us not presume on his patience. Let us avail ourselves of his mercy and turn from our sins and fall into the arms of our loving God. Jesus, I give myself to you…please forgive me my sins, I proclaim you as my Lord and savior, please send your Holy Spirit to help me. I love you Lord.
God is love and love is patient… we are so blessed.