The Office of Stewardship
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait–it’s how we behave while we are waiting.” Joyce Meyer
This Sunday’s 2nd reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians, cautions the Christian church in Corinth (and us!), not to grumble as some of the Israelites did in the desert and “suffered death by the destroyer.” Yikes! It seems a strong rebuke — death — for something which we experience seemingly every day– grumbling! We grumble, our spouses grumble, our kids grumble, our co-workers grumble. The media we consume is full of grumbling. Sometimes we joke about it, realizing we perhaps shouldn’t be grumbling. “First world problem!”, we cry, for instance. Other times though, the problems and the challenges are serious and real and our grumbling seems justified. Whatever the case may be, it seems wise, given St. Paul’s strong counsel, that we should be on guard against our temptations to grumble.
What weapons do we have against this temptation? I think one weapon is the virtue of patience. Patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and as Dr. Gray says in the video below is also an attribute of love. “Love is patient,” St. Paul writes in the 1 Corinthians 13.
The Christian Steward is, as the USCCB document reminds us, “always the joyful bearer of the Good News of salvation.” Grumblers aren’t joyful. And grumbling inevitably leaves us feeling discouraged and empty. I am inspired and challenged by this Sunday’s reading and Dr. Gray’s comments to strive to root out my own grumbling and to strengthen the virtue of patience so that I might more authentically be a witness of the Joy of the Gospel.
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