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Envy Kills Love

WHO IS LIKE GOD?
August 18, 2020
TO BE CHRIST (Part Two)
August 19, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Envy Kills Love
 
Envy is one of the capital sins of humanity. It destroys our capacity to be more loving and caring to others. It could destroy any human relationship, family, and community. It can easily take away our inner joy. And most of all, it could lead us to commit other sins including murder. Remember Cain killing his own brother Abel of our jealousy? (Genesis 4:1-6). We may not kill someone physically, but our extreme envy to someone could lead us to kill them in our minds through our resentment and anger.
 
Merriam Webster defines envy as “RESENTFUL AWARENESS of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage.” It may mean also as a LONGING TO POSSESS something awarded to or achieved by another. But a clear cut definition of envy is our INABILITY TO BE HAPPY to the blessings given by God to others.
 
Envy is dangerous. It leads not to see the blessings of God given to us and be resentful to the blessings given by God to others. In the process, we become trapped in our own ill-feelings, begin to grumble against others endlessly, and lose our capacity to love others.
 
Our gospel today is a classic example of envy. It mirrors our hidden envy to the good fortune or good life of others. But it brings us also to understand one of the main enemies of a family and community. Somehow, envy is one of the devil’s playground in our hearts.
 
In our gospel today, the first group hired by the landowner early in the morning grumbled after receiving the same pay as those who worked only for an hour.
 
Envy could blind our spirits. We are warned by the gospel to be more aware of how this ill-feeling could destroy our sensitivity to love others. What about you? Is envy one of your hidden issues? What did you profit from entertaining it? What is the main source of your envy?
 
Here are some points for consideration in your prayer regarding envy:
 
1. ENVY COULD MAKE US IRRATIONAL AND INSENSITIVE.
 
The early workers saw the action of the landowner as unfair but failed to see his generosity to those in need. When envy strikes us, we become unreasonable in our thinking. In this gospel reading, the landowner realized the bad fortune of the late workers: No one hired them. They were not lazy at all. Maybe the landowner thought of their family who needed to eat. So, out of his compassion, he gave them the full-day wage. He was not fair. He was simply generous. Envy can make us irrational and insensitive to the needs of others.
 
2. WE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMPLAIN OR CLAIM ANYTHING FROM THE GOODNESS OF SOMEONE TO OTHERS.
 
When the first group started to grumble against the landowner. He asked them, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous? (Matthew 20:15).” The landowner turned the table against them and asked their motivation. He was not unjust. They don’t have the right to complain or claim anything against the generosity of the landowner.
 
3. ENVY BLINDS US NOT TO SEE OUR OWN BLESSINGS.
 
Daily workers hired in the early morning were assured of meals while working in the vineyard. Knowing the generosity of the landowner, we were expecting free meals on the house. They were assured also of bringing food to their families. But they did not see it. They claimed unfair! But in reality, the landowner was fair to everyone. The early workers ate free lunch in the vineyard while the rest were hungry since morning. But still, they grumbled because they were not the beneficiary of the master’s generosity. There’s the rub! We tend to complain if we are not the receiver of the blessings. But we are silent when our names are on the list.
 
4. LOVE OF OTHERS AS ANTIDOTE TO ENVY.
 
When we are in love with others or sensitive to their needs, envy ceased to exist in our hearts. Envy is rooted in our self-centeredness. When we think less of ourselves and think more of others, our tendency to compare the blessings of others with ours becomes lesser. In the process, we are drawn to naturally rejoice with others with their blessings.
 
God may seem unfair with regard to his way of distributing blessings. But His ways are totally different from us. We may say God has favorites but He acts according to the specific needs of each person. One thing is certain, God is generous to everyone. The fault lies not on God. It lies in our inability to rejoice to the blessings given to others by God.
 
As God said, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:13-15).
 
– Pitik-Bulag
 
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August 19, 2020 – Wednesday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20: 1-16

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