Thursday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: James 5:7-11 (NKJV)
5:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
“My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.”
Once again the Word of the Lord calls us to patience. He uses the example of the patience of a farmer. In particular, we are admonished not to grumble against one another. What a terrible sin gossip is, and how sadly common it is even among believers! Rather, we are faithfully to endure suffering with patience as we await the coming of the Lord and the ultimate revelation of the compassion and mercy of God.
He singles out the prophets as examples of suffering and patience. There are important reasons why we recognize festivals of noteworthy saints in the Church. We give thanks to God that He forgave their sins, we give thanks that He used them to accomplish good things in this world, and we ask God to help us follow their example. Here we are invited to follow their example of enduring suffering and remaining patient. God grant us this! He will have His use of our sufferings, and His everlasting compassions and mercies shall be ours at the last.
We pray: Oh Lord, we long to experience the fullness of Your mercies. Give us patience through the course of our lives in this broken world. Use also our sufferings, even as we trust in the sufferings of Christ to atone for our sins and give us everlasting life. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.