Spiritual Works of Mercy: Bear Wrongs Patiently
The Spiritual Work of Mercy we look at this week is to bear wrongs patiently. The “wrongs” that we can include under this work of mercy are: offenses against our person, persecution, mockery, racism, bigotry, insult, injustice, immorality, maltreatment, discrimination. These and many other evils are the wrongs we have to endure because of the reality of sin in the world perpetrated by other persons with whom we are in relationship or who we encounter in life. As a spiritual work of mercy, we are asked by the Holy Spirit to live our Christian identity by a willingness to bear these wrongs patiently. One of the many ways we reveal our Christian discipleship is the way we react to wrongs done to us or against us. Patience as a fundamental Christian virtue provides us other virtues such as endurance, longsuffering, fortitude, temperance, and strength. Once again, the Word of God applies here, “Because you are God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with heartfelt mercy, with kindness, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another; forgive whatever grievances you have against one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you.” (Col. 3:12-13) In a more radical understanding of this work of mercy, the Lord teaches us by these words, “If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world.” (John 15:18-19)
As disciples of Christ, let us bear wrongs patiently and forgive one another as God has forgiven us. Together, as we face the people of the world who are not concerned with the Kingdom of God, let us realize why we are hated, persecuted or maltreated and ask the Holy Spirit for the strength and charity to do the will of God even in the face of wrongs and difficulty.