There was once a story of a henpecked husband who was advised by his psychiatrist to assert himself. "You don't have to let your wife bully you," he said. "Go home and show her you're the boss." The husband decided to take the doctor's advice. He went home, slammed the door, shook his fist in his wife's face, and growled, "From now on, you're taking orders from me. I want my supper right now, and when you get it on the table, go upstairs and lay out my clothes. Tonight, I am going out with the boys. You are going to stay at home where you belong. Another thing, you know who is going to tie my bow tie?" ” I certainly do," said his wife calmly. "The undertaker."
|Pichona's, Albay * 2013|
Rejection hurts. The Samaritans were the outcasts of society during the time of Jesus. They did not belong to the pure blood that flowed from Abraham. Theirs had been tainted with the intermarriage among people from foreign lands.
So, how dare they not welcome Jesus, who was a Jew, and his Jewish contingent? How arrogant and proud could a Samaritan village be and refuse a son of David?
And yet, that is what they did.
James and John, who is very much like us in many aspects, knew what power and authority they possessed with Jesus there in their midst. They believed that Jesus is the Christ of God and that they could do anything extraordinary just to teach ordinary men and women, like the Samaritans, a lesson.
So, they asked the Lord Jesus whether they have to call down fire from heaven to consume these Samaritans who refused them welcome.
One thing that we all know by now is that God is patient.
How many times when we, like James and John, had been eaten by anger because people were not nice to us? If only fire and brimstone would consume these people, proud and arrogant as they are. If only heaven agreed with us and sent those fires of retribution upon these obnoxious people. If only God was on our side.
There is virtue in patience. That is the lesson Jesus is telling us.
We have to be patient when things do not go our way. We have to be patient when people are not good to us, even most of the time. We have to be patient when it appears that everything and everyone seems to be against us.
Why, you ask? Because that is how Jesus confronts our anger, our pride and our impatience. Why, you ask? Because if we have to really follow our Lord, we should realize that His way is very different from our ways. And, why you ask? Because loving demands patience and being patient is our constant challenge and struggle in our homes, our workplaces, and our lives. Patience is the closest relative of love.
God is patient. He was patient to the Samaritan village that did not welcome them. He was patient to the anger that James and John felt. He was patient with those who said they would follow him, and decided not to because of the inconveniences they encountered. He was patient with those who set their hands to the plow, but kept on turning back.
We are that Samaritan village who sometimes do not welcome God. We are James and John when sometimes we burst out in anger over reasons justified or not, over matters trivial or essential. We are those people who sometimes turn our backs on him, though we have already set our hands to the plow.
And yet, you know what? God is continually being patient to you and me. Jesus is patiently waiting, watching and hoping.
He was on his way to Jerusalem when all these events happened. We are finding our way to the heavenly one. Yes, rejection hurts. But, be patient.
30 June 2013