Newsletter of the District
Patience of Our Lord
St. Gregory the Great (+604)
the Lord did in reply to the fury of those who stoned Him we have
been told; for immediately there follows: Jesus hid himself,
and went out of the temple. It is a thing that greatly arouses
our wonder, Dearest Brethren, why the Lord should turn away from
His persecutors by hiding Himself; He Who had He willed to use His
divine power could have frozen them in their assault by the silent
command of His mind, or overwhelmed them forever by the sudden chastisement
of death? But since He came to suffer, He willed not to exercise
in the hour of His passion He had truly shown what He could do,
yet suffered that which He came to endure. For when He said to
His persecutors who came seeking Him: I am He (Jn. xviii,
6), with His voice alone He struck down their pride, and laid them
all prostrate upon the earth. He then Who on this occasion could
have escaped the hands of those who stoned Him without hiding Himself,
why does He hide Himself if not that our Redeemer, being made a
man among men, tells us some things by His words, and yet others
by His example? What does He here tell us by His example but that
we should humbly turn aside from those who, in their anger worketh
pride (Prov. xxi, 24); even when we are able to resist them.
And for this same reason Paul also tells us: Give not place
unto wrath (Rom. xii, 19).
man then carefully consider with what great humility he should fly
from the anger of his neighbour, when God, hiding Himself, turned
away from the fury of those who raged against Him. Let no one then
rise in anger against the injuries he receives; let no one give
back injury. For, imitating God, it is more glorious to turn away
in silence from insult, than to triumph over it by answering in
the proud in heart will say: ‘It is a dishonourable thing that
a man who has received an insult should take it in silence. For
whoever sees you receive an insult, and keeping silent, will not
believe you are exercising patience, but rather admitting guilt.’
But how do such words arise in us against the virtue of patience
if not because we have our minds fixed on this lower world, and
care nothing about pleasing Him Who looks down on us from heaven?
If we have received injury, let us give ourselves to reflection
on the words of God: I seek not my own glory: there is one that
seeketh and judgeth.
which was written of the Lord; that He hid Himself, can be
understood in another sense. He had preached many things to the
Jews; but they had mocked the words of his Teaching. And because
of it they became even more perverse: going so far as to stone Him.
What does the Lord then teach us by hiding Himself, if not that
Truth hides Herself from those who continue to despise Her words?
For Truth flies from the soul it does not find humble.
many are there even now who execrate the Jews for not hearing the
words of God; yet what they were whom they reprove, in regard to
believing, that are they themselves in regard to the works of grace?
They listen to the teachings of God they see His miracles, but they
refuse to change their evil ways. Behold He calls us, and we refuse
to return to Him! Behold He waits for us, and we ignore His patience!
While there is yet time, Brethren, let each one of you forsake his
own way of evil, and let Him stand in great fear of the patience
of God, lest later he may be unable to escape His wrath Whose mildness
he now despises; Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and
reigns world without end. Amen.