"Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord comes...” – James 5: 7a
Brothers and sisters,
How patient are you in this pandemic time to stick to your house while working and learning from home? To obey the health protocol? Since last year, we are prisoned in our home and required to carry out the government regulation. It is not easy, isn’t it? We deal with the restriction of our freedom to gather together with our friends or travel to exciting places. During this pandemic, maybe, some of us experience the decreasing benefit in working even loss of employment. Here, our patience is tempted and our perseverance in dealing with failures is challenged.
Last year, when the early pandemic hit my life, I had to study from home. There were many assignments I had to do and accomplish. Initially, I complained because I had no spare time to do my private activities. Slowly, I could adapt to the new situation. I did not grumble about the condition as I could not change the situation. On the contrary, I changed my way of thinking to view that event from another perspective. I remember a quote, “Rather than curse the darkness, it’s better to light the candle”.
James 5: 7 advises us to “Be patient”. The word “patient” - according to Oxford Dictionary – is related also to the meaning of "a person who is receiving medical treatment, especially in a hospital". It means that “be patient” contains our behavior to persevere in enduring the suffering. Thus, when James advises us to “be patient” we are asked to have perseverance in a difficult time. In James 5: 11, it mentions a prophet name as an example. His name was Job. He was an innocent person though he was suffering in his life. He lost his richness and children, and for seven years, he got skin disease on his whole body. However, Job saw what happened to him with grateful feeling.
Today, we are celebrating Ash Wednesday and begin the Lenten season – forty days before Easter. It is a spiritual journey to be aware of our humanity. On one side, we are God’s image, but on the other side, we are like dust – insignificant in the presence of the Almighty God. We are asked to implement abstinence and fasting while praying and accompanying Jesus in his suffering.
Let us ask God to encourage us during this spiritual journey to be more patient and persistent. We are sure that in the name of Jesus, we can. God bless.
Reflection on James 5: 7 - 12 by Fr. Aris Mada, SVD
(Listen to the Podcast here)