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Who’s Got It Better Than Us?

Updated on April 2, 2020

“Envy is a gun with a faulty breech-lock which flares back and burns the gunner.” ~ Austin O’Malley

The deadly sin of envy takes center stage in today’s 1st Reading (Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28) wherein we revisit the story of the “master dreamer” as his jealous brothers referred to him, Joseph, the son of Israel.

Upon reading this tale, it’s rather easy to see why envy is counted amongst the seven deadly sins. Although rarely is jealously made manifest in our lives or the lives of those we know in such dramatic fashion as it did it today’s Reading, the message is loud and clear for all of us as we reflect upon whether this disordered emotion resides within the recesses of our souls during this Lenten Season The spirit of envy can only destroy; it can never build. Jealousy is truly, to quote the mid 16th Century English Poet John Dryden, “the jaundice of the soul.”

In today’s Gospel (Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46), the Parable of the Tenants, Jesus’ Crucifixion is eerily foreshadowed. In one final last ditch effort to make his vineyard fruitful, God sends his only begotten Son, but even he was rejected.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.“ (Matthew 21:42).

I’ve invited you to reflect upon this idea of Jesus as the cornerstone of your lives in prior essays for it is the key to true peace. The Lenten Season allows us to slow the flow a little bit, to do a re-set of sorts. To reflect upon the idea of holiness, holiness as seen through the eyes of God. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI once said, “Holiness doesn’t consist of not making mistakes or never sinning. Holiness grows with the capacity for conversion, repentance, a willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness.”

Envy of anyone or the rampant, rapacious desire for anything should not be a part of our Spiritual DNA. In Jesus, we have an abundance of riches, all we need to secure eternal life. In Jesus we have our cornerstone. As Christians, our attitudes, thoughts and actions should instead reflect the words of noted college and professional football coach Jim Harbaugh:

“Who’s got it better than us?!”

We adore you O Christ and we praise you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


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