And what has our generation taught us to do? When you are in crisis, go to another happy choice. When you are frustrated, leave the situation. When you are hurt, break the relationship. When you are discontented, resign. When you don’t like the people around you, get out…but does it solve? No.
Do you believe in God’s love? and I am sure you will say yes.
Do you believe that God is all-powerful? Yes. Do you believe that God is merciful? Yes. Do you believe in God’s timing? Do you really believe that God’s timing is the best?
We have faith but we are impatient. We have faith but we are impatient, especially impatient with God. That is the trouble of our time. We do not like to wait anymore because we believe that we are entitled to happiness. We believe that we are entitled to be loved and therefore when we pray, we also say to the Lord – Lord, give me patience, now na (at once)!
You’re asking the Lord to give you patience and yet we are so impatient waiting for the prayer to be answered. We have become impatient and some of us have also lost our faith because of our impatience with God. Why did God not answer the prayer to stop this pandemic. Why did God not answer our repeated Oratio Imperata to stop the deaths even in our families? Why is God not doing anything?
Lord, are you sleeping? Lord, have you forgotten us? Are you aware that people are dying here? Are you aware that there is corruption? Are you aware that the criminals are walking around? Lord, what are you doing?
Maybe we have a right to be impatient because in our human reckoning, we believe that God takes so long a time to answer our prayers. But my dear brothers and sisters, keep in mind that the timing of God is different from the timing of men and women. The parable in the Gospel lays it out before us.
Why doesn’t the seed instantly grow and sprout? Why must we wait one week, two weeks?
Why doesn’t the seed just instantly grow fruit like in the story “Jack and the Beanstalk”?
Overnight, the seed bears fruit. Overnight, the stems grow in length. Overnight, the plant grows many leaves? Why not? Why do we have to wait? Why do we have to wait for the seed? Why do we have to wait for the tree? Why do we have to wait for the fruits? Why not “Now na!” (at once!)?
And this is our situation. We have forgotten to wait and we don’t like the feeling of being frustrated. We don’t like the feeling of being incomplete. We don’t like the feeling of an unfinished assignment. We don’t like the feeling of loneliness.
But is that possible? Is there a marriage that is completely free from loneliness? Is there a married person who has never been tempted by adultery? Is there a celibate person who has never faced sexual stress? Is there a teenager who has never experienced identity crisis? Is there a professional who has never questioned whether I am in the right career or not? Is that possible? It is not possible. What I want to remind you, my dear brothers and sisters, is frustration is normal.
A sense of incompleteness is normal. A sense of struggle with our emotional energies, with our sexual energies, with our passions, with our drives, that is normal. And if you are struggling with sin and your struggle has led you to discouragement…to dryness…to crisis, I want to assure you again – Frustration for human beings is normal. Crisis for human beings is normal. Dryness is normal. Loneliness is normal. Being tempted is part of our humanity. So, what are we to do?
Brothers and sisters, it is good to be reminded of the prayer we pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary – Hail holy queen, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Why are we mourning and weeping in this valley of tears? Because we are living indeed in a valley of tears, a valley of imperfections. A valley that does not respect the clock. A valley that does not respect time. Because it is a valley that is full of frustrations, disappointments, crisis, dryness, and what has our generation taught us to do when you are in crisis? Go to another happy choice. When you are frustrated, leave the situation. When you are hurt, break the relationship. When you are discontented, resign. When you don’t like the people around you, get out. But does it solve? No.
Because while frustration is normal, living with frustration also builds character. While incompleteness is normal, living with incompleteness builds character. While dryness, while crisis is normal, crisis and difficulties and dryness builds you up and makes you better. If we are not seeing enough growth in our lives, could it be because we cannot live with frustrations anymore? You are given permission by our faith in the Lord. You can live with those frustrations. You can live with that sense of incompleteness. You can live with that sense of loneliness. You can live with that sense of crisis and dryness. Live with it. And if you know how to live with it, you’re going to build character and make yourself a better person out of it. That is the parable today. Learn to wait when we are asked to wait. It is not because God is testing our faith. It is because God is respectful of the rhythm of growth. God is respectful of the rhythm of life. I say it again. Crisis – live with it. You’re going to be better. Frustrations – live with them. Make friends with them. You are permitted to live with your frustrations. And believe me, you’re going to build character no matter how old you are. Do not change gear. Do not change course. Do not change relationships. Simply because of dryness. Simply because of difficulties. Simply because of crisis.
Stick it up. Stick it out. We will mourn. We will weep in this valley of tears and what do we pray? Show unto us the face of Jesus.
What matters, brothers and sisters, is this. It is not that we have no frustrations. It is not that we are accomplished. It is not that we are happy and satisfied and fulfilled all the time. But rather even if the symphony is unfinished, even if the kwento is bitin (the story is left hanging), even if the story is incomplete, even if the dream is frustrated…live with it.
But look at the face of Jesus and Jesus in your frustrations will make you a better person. We’ll make you bloom. We’ll make you bear fruit. Fruit that lasts and to life everlasting. Do not forget. We will mourn. We will weep in this valley of tears. Make friends with dryness. Make friends with crisis. You are permitted to live with your frustrations. Allow Jesus to enter into them. Jesus will change them not in your time but in God’s time.