Friday of the 6th week of Easter, May 27, 2022
Acts 18:9-18; Ps 47:2-7; Jn 16:20-23
Blessed are those who are patient, for they will have everlasting joy. Oh, wait, that is not a Beatitude that Jesus spoke, was it? I think the closest one is, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I think the one I said should have been a Beatitude because it sounds better, and we all can relate to it. And, if you listened close to the Gospel today, Jesus laid it out pretty good for us. He says to have expectations of being persecuted and going through anguish. While he did not say it in those exact words, it is pretty close. But, if you read between the lines, it is all about being patient and waiting on the best outcome there could be.
For myself, I take the act of being patient very personal. On the way to work every day, I say a little prayer. In that prayer, I pray for patience throughout the day. It is not that I am a particularly impatient person, it is just that when things are going rough, I do not always sit back and survey the situation to see what is truly going on. It seems the Proconsul, Gallio, had a unique gift for seeing through situations and recognizing what was really going on. In fact, he scolds the Jews for bringing to him something that they should have taken care of themselves. And Paul, through a vision, knew that everything was going to be ok. Paul had the patience to see through what the Jews were trying to do and carried on as the Lord commanded.
Jesus uses an interesting analogy to describe being patient, one of childbirth. Obviously, I cannot relate other than being there when my children were born. But that it is a different type of patience, I was not the one going through it! But I can relate to the longing for the kingdom of heaven. The older we get, the more life seems to fly by, and I think we can all relate to that. It seems like yesterday we were starting our adulthood. And now, years later, we can look back and see all the ways we were impatient with what was going on. Yet, all through it, I am sure we felt the presence of God, carrying us along, and then the pure joy of completing the task, event, or whatever it was that He carried us through. At least in hindsight, we can see that.
We are still going through trials and tribulations, and be prepared because it seems like it is going to get worse. If there are any young adults here, know that you, too, will go through many trials and disappointments. If we truly listen to Jesus and believe what He says, then “your grief will become joy.” Going through persecution or tough times, while not fun, is not the end of the world. The end game is to be with Jesus in heaven where all our joy will be complete, and it will never be taken away from us. So pray, pray for patience to make it through the next minute, the next hour, or the next day. Pray to our Father in Jesus’ name who wants us to have joy, and if you pray in Jesus’ name, He will give it to you. Jesus says this with a double amen, and you all know what that means, if it is said with a double amen, it is true. Pray for patience, pray for peace and pray for joy.