The world of politics today starts to create “colonies of pure culture”. In fact, in certain political circles, exclusivity serves as unifying factor for members with different agenda. In that circle, they brainstorm common issues and get the feel of each other’s inclinations which may be used for or against them in order to rise up in the political ladder, after all, they are outright contenders. However, when a new idea comes up, it becomes inevitable to feel defensive and threatened. These kinds of people are not only insecure but also jealous of everything they have as a group. Thus Moses in the first reading asked Joshua, “Are you jealous in my behalf?
Let’s take the journey of a rookie politician who just started to carve a name on her own by serving the country with sincerity and dedication. She is new and youthful, thereby a threat to political veterans who wanted everything to stay as it is because they have succumbed to the comforts of familiarity. Change to them seems unwelcome, thereby strategizing acts so that let the rookie leave. Such unbecoming attitude would even dig out personal issues like foundling solely to disrepute and erode the dignity of the person they are attacking.
People who are insecure will grab every opportunity to paralyze the budding good reputation of the person who appears to be a potential combatant to dislodge them from power. Most often than not, jealous and insecure people will create their own “kingdom” characterized by forced subordination and oppressive governance in any organization or community.
This is true even in religious communities’ where human tendencies of insecurity and jealousy may manifest. Supposedly, those people who embrace the religious state of life should know the hallmark of community life compared to the lay people. Yet factions that create a community within a community is still happening within the premises of religious houses. Eventually, it would weaken the fraternal bonding and cause crisis in the community.
Many would avoid confrontation and stay behind enemy lines in an effort to hit the balance and try not to become a stumbling block to others. Unfortunately, insecure and jealous people are determined to pave the way that hinders the interest of their personal agenda. Jealousy and insecurity are just symptoms of unresolved personal issues that result to turmoil within and thus emanate into actions towards others.
It is in that perspective that, Jesus strongly addressed this issue of jealousy and insecurity manifested by his disciples in the gospel. Jesus stressed, it would be better for one to enter the Kingdom of God without eyes, hand, and foot if these become stumbling blocks in spreading the good news to others. The act of forbidding someone who is doing well in the name of Jesus but not within the circle of disciples evoked suspicion, personal jealousy and insecurity issues. Such reaction revealed the lack of understanding on the universal inclusivity of God’s mission.
The disciple who with Jesus’ failed to see the wisdom of their missionary work with the Lord. This is just but one of the instances where apostles reacted not in accord with the Lord’s ways, rather to their own. Their minds are set to the idea of being the “chosen” ones – the prestigious few who are authorized to perform miracles exclusively for Jesus. But Jesus rebuked them and reminded them that anyone who is doing good works in his name is not against him. No one should feel insecure and jealous in the fold of God.
The utterance of Jesus spells out the boundless sense of charity, the hallmark of the kingdom of God. Charity is the zeal of God’s home. Charity is the rule of rules according to Saint John Eudes. The good works of the Father carried by the Son is not limited to a certain group rather it transcends barriers and boundaries. The abundance in the kingdom is multiplied by sharing not by hoarding. Those riches that are kept would rot, clothes would be eaten by moth, while silver and gold would rust, as the second reading is reminding us. It is through Christ, the Father has been so kind and generous such as giving liberty to those who have been slaves of any sort of bad elements and giving them pardon and showing mercy to those who seek for it by heart.
Jealousy and insecurity are human weaknesses which, through God’s abundant grace readily transforms with compassion and zeal. In this context what is being asked from us is to destroy the barriers brought by our ego because his treasure in heaven overflows for all of us.
May God the almighty journey with us until we fully understand his boundless charity. We are one God’s people and the Lord continues to look for our brothers and sisters who still away from the Church. May we become charitable and welcoming enough as God’s instruments to bring them back to the Lord’s embrace, rather than becoming jealous, insecure, and stumbling block on their way back to the fold of our Father. Amen