Patience and Forgiveness

Photo credit: The Kiss of Judas by Giotto di Bondone

Photo credit: The Kiss of Judas by Giotto di Bondone

Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over (Matthew 26:14-16).

“How great is your patience, most gentle Jesus, and how great my impatience!

“Alas! How poorly I tolerate a brother when he has said or done something against me. But you, for so long a time and without complaint, have endured your disciple Judas, who would soon sell and betray you, while I, for a paltry insult, quickly yield to anger and think of various ways of vindicating myself or of offering excuses. Where then is my patience, where is my meekness?

“Help me, good Jesus, and instill the virtue of your meekness in my heart in greater abundance, for without your inspiration and special grace I cannot enjoy peace of soul amid this life’s many vexations.”

– Thomas à Kempis, On the Passion of Christ

Reflection Question: It is sometimes difficult to do as Jesus asks, to “bear wrongs patiently and forgive those who injure you,” but the Lord does not ask the impossible of us. He asks that we do what we can and ask for the grace to do the rest. Remembering how Christ suffered and died for our sins, do I resolve to try, with God’s help, to be more patient with others?