BEWARE OF JEALOUSY

Thursday 21st January – Memorial of St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

Reflection: 1 Samuel 18: 6-9, 19: 1-7

BEWARE OF JEALOUSY

Dear friends, as we continue our reading about David, we are confronted with a surprising reaction to the victory God won through him for Israel. At the time David killed Goliath, Saul was king over Israel. One would expect that as king, Saul would be the happiest person in the nation since God had miraculously led them to defeat the Philistines who had been making war with them for a while.

Unfortunately, although Saul was initially happy with this victory but his happiness turned sour when he heard the women sing; “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” From that point on, Saul grew jealous of David and though he knew God’s hand was upon David, he sought to kill him by all means. Dear friends, before we are quick to condemn King Saul, let us look into our own lives. Are there ways we have allowed the evil spirit of jealousy to envelope us and control our behavior and actions towards others?

As young people, we desire all the good things of life. We desire beauty, fame, the best clothes and accessories, the latest electronic gadgets etc. In as much as we desire these good things, we must not allow ourselves to become envious of our friends or colleagues who have them when we do not. Envy is a capital sin which opens the door to more grievous sins and shuts a person up from God’s blessings. A tiny wave of jealousy rising in the heart of a man can eventually lead to slander, murder, theft etc. Friends, rejoice with others in successes and achievements and God will open the door of blessings unto you.

PRAYER: Lord, I ask for your forgiveness for the times I have been jealous of other people’s blessings, talents and successes. Please remove every seed of jealousy in my heart and fill me with the love that comes from you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 318 What are vices?

Vices are negative habits that deaden and dull the conscience, incline a person to evil, and habitually prepare him for sin. Human vices are found in connection with the capital sins of pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth (or acedia, spiritual boredom).

 

HIDE A TREASURE: “So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander” 1 Peter 2:1 RSV-CE

Readings for today: 1Samuel 18: 6-9, 19: 1-7; Psalm 56: 2-3, 9-14; Mark 3: 7-12

FEEL SECURE IN GOD

Monday 28th September – Monday of week 26 of the year

Reflection: Luke 9:46-50

FEEL SECURE IN GOD

It is only normal for a 3 or 4 year old kid to feel insecure when a new baby is welcomed into the family, there is this feeling of fear that his parents might transfer all the tender loving care and affection to this new baby. The child gets unnecessarily paranoid and involves himself in a sort of competition with the new born baby, he tends to want the mother’s attenttion at the very moment when she’s attending to the new baby.

The disciples in today’s gospel reading, just like this child also exhibited this paranoia characteristic. They rebuked the man who drove out demons not because he was not doing it in Christ’s name but because ‘he was not in their group’ (Lk  9:49). This is what we also exhibit when our friends or junior colleagues are able to do something that we alone could do in times past. We feel so insecure, with the fear of being forgotten that rather than collaborating with the person, we try to make everyone dislike the fellow.

Dear friends, let us learn to collaborate with other people and work hand-in-hand with them. It is true that as young people we have a tendency to form “cliques”. Yet, we should not form cliques with the mindset that anything that comes from outside your clique is bad. We should be welcoming to other people most especially people who are just developing skills, it doesnt matter if we were once champions. What should matter is that when you are gone there will be someone to do what you did best. Christ is a good example he taught his disciples all he knew. Let us then not act childishly and immature by being ‘unnecessarily paranoid’.

PRAYER: Almighty Father, help me to secure my whole life in you and root out of me every atom of envy and jealousy towards my neighbours, that I may welcome all who come my way. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 466What is envy, and how can we fight against it?

Envy is a sadness and annoyance at the sight of another’s wellbeing and the desire to acquire unjustly what others have. Anyone who wishes other people ill commits a serious sin. Envy decreases when we try to rejoice more and more in the accomplishments and gifts of others, when we believe in God’s benevolent providence for ourselves as well, and when we set our hearts on true wealth, which consists of the fact that we already participate in God’s life through the Holy Spirit.

HIDE A TREASURE: As rust consumes iron, so envy consumes the soul that is afflicted by it.-St. Basil the great.

Today’s reading: Zech 8:1-8; Ps 102:16-18.19-21.29.22-23; Lk 9:46-50

AVOID JEALOUSY!

Monday, 16th February – Monday of week 6 of the year

Reflection: Genesis 4: 1-15, 25

AVOID JEALOUSY!

Jealousy refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a human connection. It is an unconscious self-condemnation as well as an acknowledgement of the superiority of others. “Jealousy is the tribute which mediocrity pays to genius.” (Venerable Fulton Sheen). Instinctively the jealous persons knows the good that others do, but they are jealous because they have not done it themselves and therefore, seek to nullify it.

Cain resented Abel because his own offerings were not accepted and he became jealous of the good Abel did in offering what was best to God. Jealousy can take many forms; being jealous of the academic success of others; their body shape, friends, possessions, achievements etc. jealousy arises when we try to compete with others, failing to celebrate our uniqueness. It denies one of recognizing opportunities to be a better person and as such, is a self-consuming fire that the jealous one prepares for his/her own destruction. Envy is a capital sin that opens the door for more deadly sins just as it did for Cain.

Dear friend, always remember that you are in competition with no one. Aim instead to become better than you were yesterday. In addition to praying about this vice, here are some ways to overcome it:
1. Praying for the one of whom you are jealous.
2. Imitate the good qualities others possess rather than envying them.
3. Learn to rejoice with other and appreciate the good in them and you will find that there’s a lot of good in you too.

PRAYER: Lord, please remove from me all forms of jealousy and help me to sincerely appreciate your goodness in others and also to recognize the uniqueness of my being. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 318 – What are vices?
Vices are negative habits that deaden and dull the conscience, incline a person to evil, and habitually prepare him for sin. Human vices are found in connection with the capital sins of pride, avarice, envy, anger, lust, gluttony, and sloth (or acedia, spiritual boredom).

HIDE A TREASURE: “Therefore I say to you: walk according to the Spirit and do not give way to the desires of the flesh” Galatians 5:16 CCB

Today’s Readings: Genesis 4:1-15, 25, Psalm 50:1,8, 16-17, 20-21, Mark 8:11-13

GUARD AGAINST JEALOUSY

Saturday 17th May – Saturday of the 4th week of Easter

Reflection: Acts 13: 44-52

GUARD AGAINST JEALOUSY

One of our essential needs as human beings is happiness; in the hearts of each one of us is a daily craving for fulfilment and joy. Unfortunately, man in his search for happiness and fulfilment often turns his searchlight in the wrong direction – he seeks the plenitude of this world’s goods in himself and for himself. As he has turned to self in other to glorify self, he cannot but be sad! This is the root of envy, the genesis of jealousy.

We are all creatures of purpose, beautifully and wonderfully made with the capacity for enormous good through the grace we receive at baptism. Christ with His manifold ability and goodness seeks to find expression in all of us his children. He seeks to beautify creation through our diverse callings, gifts and potentials as we unite our hearts with him in love. It is this love that enables us to appreciate and promote the good in others without being jealous or resentful. This love rather spurs us to be the best God has individually called us to be for the good of humanity and to the glory of himself.

Beloved friend, jealousy is a cancer of the soul, as it erodes from it all initiative for goodness, right doing and happiness. It is an affront on the workings of God in the lives of others and with this comes self-destruction. “As rust consumes iron, so envy consumes the soul that is afflicted by it.” (St Basil the Great [330 -379])

Please let us guard against jealousy through sincere appreciation of one another and perfect submission to God to make our lives the splendour he desires it to be.

Prayer: Oh Lord! Root out my heart all traces of jealousy and please give me a loving heart that celebrates the good in others. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 466 – What is envy, and how can you fight against it?

Envy is sadness and annoyance at the sight of another’s well-being and the desire to acquire unjustly what others have. Anyone who wishes other people ill commits a serious sin. Envy decreases when we try to rejoice more and more in the accomplishments and gifts of others, when we believe in God’s benevolent providence for ourselves as well, and when we set our hearts on true wealth, which consists of the fact that we already participate in God’s life through the Holy Spirit.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flows the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Acts 13: 44-52; Psalm 98: 1-4; John 14: 7-14

BEWARE OF ENVY

Saturday 5th April – Saturday of the 4th week of Lent

Reflection: John 7:40-52

BEWARE OF ENVY

The Church classifies envy as one of the seven capital sins. These capital sins, including pride, sloth, lust, gluttony, avarice and wrath open the door to greater mortal and venial sins (CCC 1866). They are sins that man can easily overlook without realizing the great harm they cause him. Today’s Gospel reading puts before us the Pharisees and Scribes rejection of Jesus. At the very root of this rejection were the sins of envy and pride. They saw something in Jesus that they did not possess: His divine power and teaching authority. Indeed, even His pattern of living was a challenge to them but instead of seeking to know if He was truly the Christ, they responded with envy.

Envy prevents an individual from attaining the good that he ought to. It clouds the mind from reality and makes the person at war with his own self while he thinks he is really at war with the object of the envy. It closes the doors to God’s blessings and suppresses the voice and working of the Holy Spirit within a man, meanwhile it opens the door to a variety of sinful thoughts and actions including slander, hatred and murder.

Dear friends, everything we have and are is a gift from God. Never allow yourself to get envious of a colleague who seems to have more. Learn to appreciate the good in others in sincerity because we were all created to complement one another. When envious thoughts creep up in our minds, let us immediately open up to God, ask for His cleansing power over our thoughts and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please deliver me from the grip of envy. Help me to appreciate the good in others so that we may all work together to do Your will. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 466 What is envy, and how can you fight against it?

Envy is sadness and annoyance at the sight of another’s well-being and the desire to acquire unjustly what others have. Anyone who wishes other people ill commits a serious sin. Envy decreases when we try to rejoice more and more in the accomplishments and gifts of others, when we believe in God’s benevolent providence for ourselves as well, and when we set our hearts on true wealth, which consists of the fact that we already participate in God’s life through the Holy Spirit.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Now the works of the flesh are plain:…envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” Galatians 5: 19, 21 RSV-CE

Readings for today: Jeremiah 11: 18-20; Psalm 1-3, 9-12; John 7: 40 – 52