Jealousy and envy can be difficult things for us to admit to in our lives. We do not usually tell others we are jealous of them, or that we envy this or that thing. Someone else gets recognition for something, when I think it should be me, and I feel jealous. Someone has something I want, and I can envy them.
The world provides a seemingly endless number of ways to fill us with jealousy and envy. We can feel envious when someone else gets that job promotion. We can feel jealous when someone likes another person more than they like me.
The Acts of the Apostles reminds us that we can even become envious and jealous when God acts in other people. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. Many people were coming out to see the apostles and to listen to them.
Can I rejoice in God’s action in the world if it occurs through the efforts of someone else? Can I rejoice whenever God is present in the life of another, even if I do not feel that presence in my own life?
The truth is that when we are jealous or envious it is always about focusing on what we do not have or what we cannot do. But the Christian life is always about focusing on what we do have. And what we do have is a relationship with Jesus.
When Saint Thomas Aquinas, in a mystical experience, was asked by our Lord what he wanted for his faithful writing, he answered, “Non nisi te.” Nothing but you Lord, nothing but you.
When we focus on what we do not have, we often focus on the fleeting and the passing things of the world. When we focus on Jesus, we find we have all that we need and more.
Let us pray.
Dear Jesus, You pour out to me an abundance of gifts and talents. You provide for me all that I need. Help me to recognize this, and instead of being envious and jealous because of what I do not have, help me to be grateful for all that you give me.We make this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Music: Cheezy Piano Medley by Alexander Nakarada
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