domenica 27 settembre 2009

"Because you bear the name of Christ"

Scripture: Mark 9:38-48
They were upset that someone who was not of the same company of disciples as themselves was casting out a demon 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 others do because of jealousy or fear? 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 puts into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). This love seeks the highest good of our neighbor. Paul the Apostle says that "love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right (1 Corinthians 13:5-6). Ask the Lord to fill you with the fire of his purifying love that you may rejoice in the good of others even in those who cross you or cause you difficulty.

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