My baby woke me up at 11, 2, 4 and 6:30 am. The bug bites keep me uncomfortable. I miss my husband – we’ve been apart for almost one month. I am surrounded by my family, the people who I love the best and who know all my buttons. They fix me breakfast and take care of Grace so I can nap. Their love is patient, their love is kind.
But they get annoyed with me and I get annoyed with them. They sometimes forget what “baby nap time/ QUIET TIME” means. I can be royally crabby without five consecutive hours of sleep. It takes a lot of self-awareness to say, They are not deserving of my frustrations. They deserve my patience, my kindness, my love – especially when I do not feel it, I must act thus.
Today’s first reading is 2 Corinthians 4:7-15; it begins:
Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
We must remember that we are always in the presence of Jesus — we have life in him! And so we must love, and be loving, for: “Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.” We must live so that grace overflows — we must love so that people know Jesus and his Sacred Heart, know his Passion.
This may read “easier said than acted upon,” and that is always true. The responsorial today, from Psalm 126, repeats, “Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.” Life is hard, and life has suffering. And life is worth living for the joy we can experience.
The possibilities of overcoming and the want of sharing and giving love to others, not just seeking to receive others’ love. We must rejoice in the challenge, and rejoice in the strength that Christ gives us through his love. He does not leave us unarmed for the hardships, but we must be willing to pick up our yoke and follow him.
It is our patience through our endeavors, and our knowledge that this world is not the final frontier. It is not wrong to seek success, especially if our vocation can bring others to Christ in the process.
Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew (20:20-28) today, “Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We wear many hats in this life. Mine include wife, mother, daughter, sister, editor and teacher. All of these roles I am proud to have, and all of these roles challenge me far beyond my own abilities. It is in my specific vocation that I serve the ones I love, and serve those who need my love.
I practice patience and kindness so as to further the Kingdom, and I love because Jesus loves and shows me how to love beyond my desire — love when I am tired, frustrated, lonely and peeved. Compassion must always prevail.
Love is patient, love is kind, and love is God. May we all love each other better today.