To wait and be patient are human virtues. We are Christian men and women who day-to-day are developing and implementing in our lives the virtues of patience and waiting. Yet a question has always emerged regarding how we cultivate it and from whom did we receive such a beautiful treasure.
Digging into memories, those wise phrases of comfort and hope from my mother and grandmother during the many situations we endured as a family come to mind, and which I am sure many mothers and grandmothers continue saying today with the situations facing their families each day. In those days when everything turned out contrary to what we desired they said, “Don’t get upset, tomorrow will be a better day!”, or during Christmas and New Year’s, after reflecting on how the past year had been, “You’ll see, next year will be more prosperous and everything will turn our better for everyone.”
Memorable phrases because, even when the economic situation did not change, or the materials things we wanted had failed to appear, hope, love, and charity were nurtured in a patient manner, with a profound waiting in God, and in the reflection of how to be better human beings in our daily lives, and how to face it day by day. To some people such phrases may sound like settling or accepting things that don’t make sense to any human being. The fact is that with the passing of years and the daily routine we tend to fall into, our life experiences and our relationship with God are blurred. This drags us into a process that hardens our spirit, which could be referred to as a spiritual resistance that is given to a fundamental hope in senseless materialism and consumerism. A spiritual resistance and false hope, because it closes the door to waiting patiently and to the possibility that the Divine Mystery, God, works in our reality; instead wanting everything to happen instantly before our eyes and without the possibility of being mistaken, since the wait cultivated by the profound respect in the love of God has been broken, and there is no room for waiting.
We are human beings called to a full life and to show our solidarity with the situations that surrounds us and to have compassion for the needy. We must remember this, otherwise our patient waiting in God will not happen or touch our hearts. There was one person who believed, knew how to wait patiently, and let God act into her heart, Mary. A humble and simple woman that from her poverty knew how to receive the Word of God, form her son, and surrender him to the world. Perhaps she was just like one of those many mothers and said to her son, Jesus: “Don’t get upset, tomorrow will be a better day! God doesn’t forget us!” Their reality was probably not very different from that of any family today.
May each one of us reflect during this Advent on the importance of “waiting patiently” in God’s graceful actions in our lives and how to apply the values of the kingdom and make them present in the lives of others, to continue growing in our faith, and building a better world for those around us, as well as for those who will come later.
Remember, “Tomorrow will be a better day and God does not forget us.”