Beware The Evil Of Jealousy!

Thursday of Week 2 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II

1 Sam. 18:6-9, 19:1-7 & Mk. 3:7-12

Saul was the ruling king and David, his understudy, was most willing to serve in any way he could. He had already laid his life on the line for king and country against Goliath. They could have been the best of friends but Saul became extremely jealous: this came to a head when David won a resounding victory over the Philistines, and the people sang, “Saul has conquered a thousand enemies, but David has conquered ten thousand."

Jealousy has always been the cause of much trouble in the world. When compliments are offered to two people but one receives slightly higher praise, the other may be offended and become jealous. The lesser compliment is often interpreted by the recipient as indirect criticism. Jealousy affects both men and women. How do we try not to be the slave of this evil?

We must realise that jealousy is a form of theft because, if I am jealous of another person's talents, then what I want to do is to rob that person of them and make them mine. Rather I should not only recognise the talents God has given them, but also praise and thank God for giving that person those gifts. In this way I will never allow jealousy to get the better of me.

And if I am compared to someone and know I am better, but this is not acknowledged, there is no need for me to become jealous. The truth is that I am better and God knows this, and that's all that matters - why be angry or upset about it?

We must never let jealousy get a hold of us because sometimes it can know no bounds. See what it did to Saul: he would have killed David had not Jonathan his friend come to his defence. May the evil of jealousy never rule our mind nor heart.

In today's Gospel we see Jesus’ fame had spread far beyond Galilee. Some people sought His company to be cured of their aliments, others simply to satisfy their curiosity to see wonders being worked. Jesus performed miracles as a sign of His compassion for those who suffered. It was also a means to prepare people to listen to the good news He had for them.

Today we read of how He asked His disciples to have a fishing boat ready by the lake shore to avoid being crushed by the crowd and which would provide a natural stage from which to speak. There were times when He had His reasons for avoiding the crowd. Jesus needed to withdraw from them so that He could give time to His Father and be alone with His Apostles. Here we learn from Jesus the need for prayer in our lives.

Lord Jesus, may we realise that You are always there to make intercession for us with God the Father, and we can bring all our troubles to You confident in the knowledge that You will hear us.