First Reading: Job 1:6-22; Psalm: 17. R. v. 6b; Gospel: Lk 9:46-50
THE EVIL OF JEALOUSY
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The argument among the disciples of Jesus on who was the greatest could be a possible development from their encounter with the man who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Apparently, after they tried to stop this man from healing in Jesus’ name, they began to think who should be their leader to control what should and shouldn’t happen among them when they take over the ministry of Jesus. Jesus perceived their argument and had to intervene. It was after his intervention that John opened up, “Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he does not follow with us.”
It is surprising to hear the disciples do this because casting out demons is a good thing especially when done in Jesus’ name. John would have thought they did a good thing until Jesus berated them for taking such action. But what could have motivated the disciples to doing this? If they were uncomfortable to see someone doing something worthy of praise and tried to stop him; if they were divided on who was the greatest among them; then they must have been men filled with jealousy and ambition. They were not perfect after all.
Jesus’ reprimanding words to them leaves us with a lesson. “Do not forbid him; for he that is not against you is for you.” When we carry out good deeds we edify one another. Good deeds have never caused harm to anyone. If we felt uncomfortable about works of charity done by others just because it was not coming from us, then we are the one who have a problem. The evil of jealousy is that it doesn’t allow us to see the good in good deeds. Rather we feel only our selfish passion. The only way we can overcome the evil of jealousy is to learn to appreciate good works even when it comes as a struggle. When we make effort to overcome a sinful habit, God’s grace will surely come through for us.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to appreciate the good deeds of one another. Amen.