Ordinary Time, 25th Sunday. Jealousy is an irrational anger at the success of others. One author put it this way: Every time a friend of mine succeeds, something in me dies. Our second reading details how destructive jealousy can be:
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice…. Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?
Our Gospel shows jealousy in action. Jesus has just predicted his rejection and death and the Apostles respond by arguing which of them is the greatest. It also shows the antidote: be content with what you have. You will not covet your neighbor’s truck if you are happy with yours. Even more importantly, we must be content with who we are. Jesus wraps his arms around a little child to show us that we are children in the arms of our Father. That is worth more than any possession, reward or achievement. Jealousy tears us apart; humility puts us back together again.
(23 Sep 2012)