An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2016
Patience is a virtue. At least that’s what they say. You might think Geoffrey Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales first used the saying. There he wrote, “patience is a great virtue of perfection.” However, William Langland first used the saying in 1370 in his poem, “The Vision of Piers.” The poem was in Middle English, so the saying reads, “Suffraunce is a soverayn virtue.” But you get the picture and you have something to store away for your next trivia contest.
Jesus hadn’t read Chaucer or Langland when he was talking to his disciples in Luke 12 about the servant who begins to act improperly towards his charges because he believes there has been a delay in the master’s return. But Jesus was talking about the values of patience and commitment. He was urging them to stay ready and keep working to spread the Good News. It is easy for a person to get complacent and let down their guard. It is easy for a person to get tired of waiting and then turn to other sources of satisfaction.
The stewardship way of life is just that: a way of life. It is 24/7. We sometimes want to reduce it to a series of activities or take a break from giving of ourselves so much. We are not only talking about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but the ways that Jesus comes to us daily in the form of people in need. If we are not vigilant, we run the risk of being found asleep or even worse when the Master comes to call.
A virtue is trait or quality that we see as morally good or a necessary component for a moral life. Patience is important because staying the course and carrying the Cross of Jesus is not easy. But Jesus, and Chaucer and Langland, are sure the reward at the end of the road is well worth it.