Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence and keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that comes with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!

Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….

Set your heart on what pertains to higher realms.

Be intent on things above rather than things of earth.

Be faithful to your higher calling.

(Colossians 3:1-3)

Be confident, optimistic and patient and desire to please the Lord.

God will bless us for our faithfulness.

Be still. Dwell on these thoughts for a few moments.

 Ezekiel, son of Buzi, served God as his prophet for twenty years during one of the most difficult period in his people’s history. He was among the first group of exiles who were forced out of their homeland into Babylon in 507 B.C.E. It was in exile that he heard God’s call and he was overwhelmed by the message he had to deliver and so he did nothing for some time….just sat seven days among the exiles that he was called to serve.

He was overcome with the burden of the message, with the pain of the rejection of his people, with the sins and obstinacy of his fellow exiles. However, he was moved by God’s call, zealous for his mission, filled with hope, saddened by his people’s sinful ways, bitter and angry. With all these, Ezekiel delivered God’s message to God’s people and hearts of people were, once again, turned to God (Ezekiel 17:22-24). Ezekiel encouraged his troubled people with the promise of God’s kingdom to come. God’s kingdom will be one of peace and prosperity ruled by the Messiah, the anointed king. God will do what seems impossible. So have hope, be strong. God will let the tender shoot grow and become fruitful and it did!

Be confident, optimistic and patient and desire to please the Lord.

God will bless us for our faithfulness.

Jesus said, “A man scatters seed on the ground. He goes to bed and gets up day after day. Through it all the seed sprouts and grows without his knowing how it happens. The soil produces of itself first the blade, then the ear, finally the ripe wheat in the ear. When the crop is ready, he wields the sickle for the time is ripe for harvest” (Mark 4:26-29).

This short parable reminds us of our “helplessness and insufficiency”. The farmer does not make the seed grow. He does not even understand how it grows. The seed that is sown in the field grows of itself without the sower being aware of it. It has a secret of life and growth of its own. No man ever possessed the secret of life and its mysteries. Man neither creates nor invents. He only discovers what God has already put in place.

We do not create the Kingdom of God. We only participate in the Kingdom’s life and growth. Human efforts are spasmodic with increase and decrease, health and ill health, good deeds and bad deeds….The growth of the Kingdom is constant and imperceptible from day to day – the growth goes on because it is God’s work, God’s ongoing creative activity.

The farmer must wait patiently for a good harvest. So must we!

Jesus said, the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade. The small seed that is sown in the field grows of itself into a large shrub and provides shelter for the birds without the sower being aware of it. (Mark 4:30-33)

The farmer must keep sowing, be optimistic and wait patiently for the seed to sprout and grow and be fruitful.

Jesus gave us another parable about a farmer sowing good seed and enemy sowing bad seed while the farmer was asleep. The servant suggested that they pull the weeds to free the seeds to grow. The farmer said, “Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn” (Mathew 13:30-35).

The farmer had the wisdom to be patient and wait for a time when good choices, proper discernment can be made.

St. Paul advises us as he did the Galatians, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Paul preached a message of hope. He encouraged the Galatians and all his converts to be patient and confident and courageous and desire to please the Lord. God will bless us for our faithfulness. Be patient!

St. James advises us as he did the early Christians. “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. … (James 5:7-12)

St. Francis De Sales advises us…..

Be patient with everyone but especially with yourself; I mean that you should not be troubled about your imperfections and that you should always have courage to pick yourself up afterwards. There is no better way of getting there in the end in the spiritual life than always starting all over again and never thinking that you have done enough.

Be confident, optimistic and patient and desire to please the Lord.

God will bless us for our faithfulness.

Patience is a way of being present on our journey. It is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances. It is perseverance in the face of delay. It is being focused and staying on the task in adverse conditions, without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way. It is forbearance under strain, especially, when faced with long-term difficulties. It is self-discipline and self-control. Patience is the quality of being steadfast, firm and persevering in purpose.

Be steadfast, persevering, my beloved brothers, fully engaged in the work of the Lord (1:Cor.15:58).

It has never been easy to be patient, but it’s probably harder now than at any time in history. In a world where messages and information can be sent across the world instantly, everything is available with only a few clicks of the mouse or an 800 number. Fortunately, patience is a virtue that can be cultivated and nurtured over time.

Patience is one of the virtues that call us to try and try again…..seven times seventy times! Patience is at the root of being steadfast. Without cultivating patience, no one can be loyal, faithful and steadfast.

Patience is presented as a prominent virtue and an important personal trait in the Hebrew Scriptures. The wise man tells us:

Better is the patient spirit than the lofty spirit. Do not, in spirit, become quickly discontented, for discontent lodges in the bosom of a fool. (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9)

A NYC Taxi driver wrote……..

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly..

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’ The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Be confident, optimistic and patient and desire to please the Lord.

God will bless us for our faithfulness.

Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs