n today’s Office of Readings, Saint Cyprian offers these words on the value of patience. He writes:
“Patience is a precept for salvation given us by our Lord, our teacher: Whoever endures to the end will be saved. And again “If you persevere in my word, you will truly be my disciples; you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. ”
Dear brethren, we must endure and persevere if we are to attain the truth and freedom we have been allowed to hope for; faith and hope are the very meaning of our being Christians, but if faith and hope are to bear their fruit, patience is necessary.”
Advent is all about patience. We wait for the glorious coming of our Lord and savior. But it’s easy for us. Advent lasts less than a month. First century Jews had been waiting for thousands of years. Those who didn’t accept Jesus as the Messiah are still waiting, another 2,000 years later. We’ve come to the end of the first week of Advent. Our wait is almost over.
But that doesn’t make patience any less important the other eleven months of the year. Cyprian concludes by saying,
“And in another place he says: Bear with one another lovingly, striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He shows that neither unity nor peace can be maintained unless the brethren cherish each other with mutual forbearance and preserve the bond of harmony by the means of patience.”