“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be so to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow- servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow-servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.” (Matthew 18:23-31/NIV).
This is a well known parable of Jesus. Jesus told this story upon Peter’s question how often he should forgive his brother.
Currently I am not writing on forgiveness but on patience. Two times in this narration we hear somebody plead: “Be patient with me and I will pay back what I owe.”
I chose this narrative to illustrate the meaning of St. Paul’s words: “Love is patient, love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4a/NIV).
Here we find two individuals pleading for patience. Both of them are debtors and currently unable to pay what they owe.
The king was patient and compassionate with his servant. He acknowledged his servants willingness. He realised that his servant was not able to pay this sum.
One lesson we can learn here about patience is the following. It is good to be patient with those who for some reason are unable to do what we (perhaps rightfully) expect of them.