First Reading: Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2; Psalm: 9. R. v. 9; Gospel: Lk 11:15-26
DO NOT SLANDER
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Slander is the child of envy; for unrestrained envy births slander. Envy is a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possession or success. Envy is destructive if not tamed or controlled for it could lead to the sin of slander. Slander is the evil act of fabricating untrue malicious opinions about a person so as to tarnish the person’s reputation. Put differently, slander is the assassination of character. It is evil and a product of unbridled envy.
In the gospel of today, we see how the good works of Jesus was repaid with slander. Evidently, the opponents of Jesus have been envious of his good works and fame and are uncomfortable that Jesus commanded large followership. They couldn’t match or challenge the reputation of Jesus; so they resorted to slander by accusing Jesus of casting out demons by the help of Beelzebul, the prince of demons. But Jesus punctured their claim by reminding them that any kingdom divided against itself is ruined.
We mustn’t pull someone down to succeed. Sometimes we deliberately plan to tarnish other people’s image in order to project ourselves. This reveals how evil we could be at times. Sincere appreciation reveals the good in us. It destroys slander and helps to build and develop our gifts and talents. When we try to suppress the good deeds of people through slander so as to project ourselves; we will be standing alone. But sincere appreciation builds and unites because it nurtures a healthy atmosphere where growth can thrive. We must resist slander with every effort. It is evil. It destroys us more than those we hope to destroy.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, take away from us the spirit of envy and slander; and grant us the humility and disposition to appreciate one another. Amen.