Those who carry the Church forward are the ones who bear with joyful patience the trials of everyday life. This was the sentiment expressed by Pope Francis this morning during his daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

The Pope reflected on the first reading from the Letter of James, focusing on the apostle’s invitation to “Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.”

This joy, the Holy Father said, means to bear with patience those trials in our lives that we don’t want but “makes us mature in life.” One who doesn’t bear with patience becomes like a capricious child, who is only fixated on what he wants. Another temptation, he warned, is the omnipotence to want something immediately, as exemplified by the Pharisees in the Gospel who asked for a sign.

“They confuse God’s course of action to that of a sorcerer,” the Pope said of the Pharisees. “And God does not act like a sorcerer, God has his way of going forward. The patience of God. He also has patience. Every time that we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we sing a hymn to the patience of God!”

“But the Lord, how he carries us on his back, with such patience, with such patience! Christian life should unfold on this music of patience because it was precisely the music of our fathers, of the people of God, those who believed the Word of God, who followed that the Lord had given to our father Abraham: ‘Walk before me and be without reproach.’”

However, the people of God, he noted, who have suffered so much and endured so much persecution, bear their burden with patience. This patience is what we should have.

“How patient is our people! Even now! When we go to parishes and we find those people that suffer, that have problems, that have a disabled child or a sickness, but go forward in their lives with patience.”

“They do not ask for signs, like these [mentioned] in the Gospel. They said: ‘Give us a sign!’ No, they do not ask, but they know how to read the signs of the times: they know that when the fig sprouts, that spring is coming; they know how to distinguish that. Instead, these impatient people in today’s Gospel, who wanted a sign, did not know how to read the signs of the times, and for this reason they did not recognize Jesus.”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis invited the faithful to follow the example of the people of God, whose holiness and patience in life’s difficulties “bring the Church forward.”

“May the Lord grant all of us the patience, the joyful patience, the patience of work, of peace, may he give us the patience of God, that which He has, and may He grant us the patience of our faithful people, who are so exemplary.” (J.A.E.)