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2nd Sunday of Advent
Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you. (Romans 15:7)
Jesus sure has a lot of patience, doesn’t he? Day in and day out, he puts up with our erratic behavior, especially the way we treat each other. We know that Jesus doesn’t like to see us manipulating or deceiving or hurting each other. But he is incredibly patient with us, always holding out hope that we will change and treat each other with love. He never abandons us. He never gives up on us.
Think about how Peter tried to convince Jesus not to embrace the cross. Or think about the Last Supper. Jesus was about to be arrested and put to death, and what did he hear? His apostles asking where he was going and arguing over which of them was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Was Jesus frustrated? Probably. Did he lose his patience? No.
Now, if this is the way Jesus treats us and if Jesus wants us to love one another as he loves us, then we ought to try to have patience with each other. We ought to try to hang in there with each other—just as Jesus hangs in there with us. We ought to try to welcome each other, simply because of the way Jesus continues to welcome us.
St. James tells us that big and small trials will come our way, and many of them will have to do with relationships. When these trials come, we need to see them both as issues to resolve and as opportunities to grow in our faith—particularly as they help us become more patient (James 1:2-3). As we see these trials as opportunities, we will find ourselves remaining peaceful and even joyful, no matter what the situation.
So whenever you face a challenge that tests your patience, try to step back for a moment and say, “Thank you, Jesus, for being so patient with me. Now give me the grace to be like you.”
“Jesus, help me to be patient with others, just as you are with me.”
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Matthew 3:1-12
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