Jesus is our model for patience
By Kristen Bourgeois
Love is patient.
It’s in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, where we find the very popular scripture reading describing love. I am still working on the first part of the Scripture verse from St. Paul. Love is patient. For me love is hard, and patience is really hard. Patience is really hard with young kids especially when I haven’t slept well or haven’t eaten yet because of tending to the needs of others.
But you know who is patient? Jesus. And Jesus shows us how to be patient.
In Mark 3:20-21 we read: Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again, the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this, they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
I remember doing a lectio with this reading as I stood in my kitchen eating a late lunch while my 1-year-old was wrapped around my legs fussing at me. And, I had to laugh out loud.
Jesus was also having a hard time feeding himself, because people were in his personal space. But how did he respond? And, how do I respond?
Jesus was patient. He never hurried anyone. He let people in on his personal space. He allowed people to come close who were sick, all the while others thinking Jesus was crazy and they were going to seize him to get out of the situation. Because, even during Jesus’ time, people found his ways radical.
We are called to do things differently than the world says to do things. Just like Jesus. Jesus did things differently.
We started homeschooling our children this school year. Homeschooling is hard. Not because of the curriculum, but because of the logistics. Balancing housework, schoolwork and self-care. I was finding myself irritable, and I was unsure why. I was trying to hurry up our school time because I knew I had other tasks/errands to complete for the day. And, my hurriedness was leading to irritability.
I brought this to prayer and was led to that Scripture verse in the book of Mark. Jesus is our guide. Jesus is patient. He is showing me how to be patient.
When I let fear be in control, I become controlling and irritable. I grasp at solutions. I hurry. I yell. I become impatient with myself and others. I force solutions.
Mother Angelica was the one who said: “When I was a young novice I used to pray in the early morning, ‘Dear Lord, today I am going to be patient come hell or high water.’ And, by 9 o’clock, came hell and high water! I blew it!”
Mother Angelica’s wit reminded me I want to be patient like Jesus, but I can’t be patient like Jesus by my own power. Only grace can help me be patient like Jesus.