Feb 23, 2011 - Wednesday Meditation (Overcome Envy, In Jesus Name!) Envy and jealousy, its counterpart, are sinful because they lead us to sorrow over what should make us rejoice – namely, our neighbor's good. The reason we may grieve over our another's good is that somehow we see that good as lessening our own value or excellence. Envy forms when we believe that the other person's advantage or possession diminishes or brings disgrace on us. Envy is contrary to love. How can we overcome envy? Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time Sirach 4:11-19 Psalm 119:165, 168, 171, 172, 174, 175 Mark 9:38-40 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us." 39 But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. 40 For he that is not against us is for us. Meditation by Don Schwager Do you rejoice in the good that others do? Jesus reprimands his disciples for their jealousy and suspicion. They were upset that someone who was not of their company was performing a spiritual work in the name of Jesus. They even "forbade" the man "because he was not following us". Jesus' reply is filled with wisdom: "No one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me." Are we not like the disciples when we get upset at the good deeds of others who seem to shine more than us? Paul says that "love is not jealous... but rejoices in the right" (1 Corinthians 13:4,6). Envy and jealousy, its counterpart, are sinful because they lead us to sorrow over what should make us rejoice – namely, our neighbor's good. The reason we may grieve over our another's good is that somehow we see that good as lessening our own value or excellence. Envy forms when we believe that the other person's advantage or possession diminishes or brings disgrace on us. Envy is contrary to love. Both the object of love and the object of envy is our neighbor's good, but by contrary movements, since love rejoices in our neighbor's good, while envy grieves over it. How can we overcome envy? With the love that God has put into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit purifies our love and frees us from our disordered passions, such as envy, jealously, greed, and bitterness. The love that God places in our hearts seeks the highest good of our neighbor. Ask the Lord to transform your heart that you may always rejoice in the good of others, even in those you find disagreeable. The love of Christ not only frees us from envy and jealousy, it compels us to give generously, especially to those in need. Every one in need has a claim on us because they are dear to Christ and bear the image and likeness of God. God created us in love for love. The charity we show to our neighbor also expresses the gratitude we have for the abundant goodness and kindness of God towards us. Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not lose its reward. Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples we are called to be kind and generous as he is. Are you grateful for God’s mercy and kindness towards you and are you ready to show that same kindness and generosity towards your neighbor? Gregory of Nyssa, an early church father (330-395 AD), comments on this passage: “God never asks his servants to do what is impossible. The love and goodness of his Godhead is revealed as richly available. It is poured out like water upon all. God furnished to each person according to his will the ability to do something good. None of those seeking to be saved will be lacking in this ability, given by the one who said: ‘whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.’” Ask the Lord to increase your generosity in doing good for others. "Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds. Free my heart of all jealousy, pride, fear, and possessiveness, that I may always love others and treat them as you have treated me – with loving-kindness, goodness, mercy, thoughfulness, and generous care." Supplementary Reading The Way of the Righteous “...The righteous give generously” - Psalm 37:21 Did you know that when you give to others in need, the Bible says it’s like giving directly to God Himself? When you step out and bless other people, you are honoring and blessing the Lord. The scripture tells us to give our best, to give generously. In other words, stretch yourself. Go out of your way. It may be uncomfortable to walk over and pay for someone’s gas, but that’s being generous. I encourage you today, look for ways to give generously and meet the needs of others. Remember, people have many different types of needs. There may be someone who needs some encouragement. Give generously when you give that encouragement. There may be someone in your life that just needs a friend; they need some quality time. Give generously of your time and pour into that person. As you give generously to others, God will multiply those seeds in your own life in return! Heavenly Father, I come to You today giving all that I have to You. Open my eyes to the needs around me and show me how to be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. — Joel & Victoria Osteen
(Disclamer) Bene Nota: The views and opinions expressed here by the author are personal to him, and do not reflect the views and opinions of the website owners and administrators. Any issue or complaint about the article must be addressed solely to the author, who is solely responsible for the article.