Lk 2:22-35 Coming out of the Dark
Last night my father mentioned to me that Psalm 96 was used against Galileo during his trial. If you have not had the chance to read it, it states, “The Lord made the world firm, not to be moved.” Why in the world would some scholars of the Church condemn Galileo on such a reading? The answer goes beyond an understanding of the Bible. It touches upon man’s constant need to be humble. And one cannot be humble unless one is patient.
Today’s readings point this out in a very profound manner: Fathers (parents) need to be patient with their children; children need to be patient with their fathers (parents) (cf. 1Jn 2:12). Teens need to be patient with their hormones; they also need to be patient with time. For time has the amazing ability to prove our mistakes and to change the way we live, and see people and things. There is a beautiful Italian proverb. “When I was five years old, mom and dad knew everything. When I was 10 years old, mom and dad knew a lot of things. When I was 18 years old, mom and dad knew nothing. Now that I am 30 years old, I wish mom and dad were still around.”
When parents make mistakes, they teach their children to be patient. When we go to Confession, the Lord reminds us of how patient he is! Our Savior is constantly teaching us to be patient by being patient with us. This is the only reason why Jesus took three days to rise - to teach his Apostles the meaning of the words patience, love and trust. Patience is necessary because humans are necessary, and humans need to be patient (loving and trusting) when dealing with others.
A lot of things happen overnight. Love is not one of them. To fall in love with someone (even to fall in love with yourself) means to be patient with them (and with yourself). God is the most patient because He is Love! “Love is patient” because God is. If love does not happen overnight, than it is safe to say that people do not change overnight. It takes years, some times many years. Love does not happen overnight and people do not change overnight. A person proves their love by being patient in their love for them.
“When his hour had arrived.” and “In the fullness of time”, the Lord made his move. There is a time for everything. Even the Lord respects each and every soul he creates. He allows us to be like the Prodigal Son; to go away only to come back stronger than ever! The temptation will always be to settle for mediocrity – to settle for the counterfeits!
The prophetess Anna was married for only seven years. Then she lost her husband and lived as a widow for eighty some years. She settled upon serving the Lord day and night. She never left the temple. She grew in holiness because she grew in patience. The Lord took time to be a child. He went to Nazareth to grow and become strong, filled with wisdom. Patience implies trust. I will never grow in patience if I am impatient. I will never grow up until I learn to trust – first in the Lord and then in his Holy Will. Patience does not mean to roll over and play dead. It means being active and pushy, but never allowing ill-feelings, ruthlessness or evil thoughts to enter into the plan. These things only happen because I am impatient and do not trust. If I am in love with someone then I am patient with them. I know what I must do – I must be firm - and I await, in great expectation, the coming of the Holy Spirit to move the soul in front of me, and allow the “hour” to arrive. Just as it happened with me. I trust in the Lord because when I knock, he opens; when I ask, he answers; when I seek; he is there for me.
Let us ask the holy prophets and the Apostles who were patient in their duties before the Lord, to pray for us so that we may be meek and humble of heart; open to God’s timing, and fulfill the plan for ourselves and those entrusted to our care.
Our day will come, like the Lord’s.