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26th Sunday of Year B – 2021

People sometimes talk about things ‘as old as the world’ – to them, it seems that some situations, or attitudes, have always been there with us, human beings.

One of them, I believe is… JEALOUSY.
This ‘demon’ which torments a person filling him/her with regrets, envy, desire to dispossess another of some perceived good. 

We see this present in the first chapters of the Bible (Genesis 4:1-8).
The scene described shows us Cain angry that: 

“The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering.
But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering,
and Cain was very angry and downcast.”
The Lord addresses Cain and shows him how he is the prey of:
“a crouching beast hungering for him which he must master.”
This is jealousy – the evil overpowering someone and making that person forget all the good he/she has been blessed with. 

In the 1st reading of this Sunday (Numbers 11:25-29), we hear Moses telling Joshua:
“Are you jealous on my account?”
Joshua has been faithfully serving Moses for many years and cannot accept that other people may also be prophets as his master is.
Moses corrects Joshua in no uncertain terms:

“If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets
and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!”
The sad thing is that jealousy makes us blind, blind to the ‘treasure’ that is ours –
the treasure of all our own gifts and talents.
It makes us compare ourselves with others and underestimate what we are and what we can do. 

Perhaps this reflection could lead us to make an inventory of precisely this treasure of ours:
the person that we are and what we can become…
If only we stop desiring to be like someone else… which is not what God has in mind for us!


Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:


Source: Images: ASHISH LACKSMAN GOVADCAR-    Free Bible Images   


13th Sunday of the Year, C

2092087_how-did-the-apostles-die_phoi6mn445vbbn4o2ra4kwuovmeatuw6lrlcsphco3flmkbrawuq_757x425Reading the gospel text for this Sunday (Lk.9:51-62, 13th Sunday, Year C) someone could explain with a touch of humour: “This is a mixed bag!” Indeed, we find in those few verses all kinds of ideas. More than one theme is presented to our reflection:

    •    Jesus resolute march to Jerusalem as the time of his passion draws near.
    •    The frustration of James and John faced with the Samaritans’ refusal to allow them to pass through their territory, their anger and desire to retaliate.
    •    A man’s desire to be a disciple of Jesus, perhaps without enough discernment.
    •    Two other individuals called by Jesus to follow him who make excuses for their delay and Jesus’ reply to each one of them.

As I look at the different people and the attitude of each one of them, I realize that, in fact, they represent much of what makes up our daily life: determination, frustration, anger, desire to take revenge, generosity, hesitation to commit ourselves… Yes, all this, and much more, makes up our personal experience from day to day.

What is wonderful is that God makes use of all of this to fashion us into the people he want us to become… if only we allow him to do so. No material is too coarse, no attitude is too rebellious, nobody is too unworthy – God’s grace is sufficient to transform all human experience into building material for the kingdom! Paul had assured the Christians of Rome – and it remains ever true: « By turning everything to their good God co-operates with those who love him » (Roma.8:28). Everything? Absolutely!

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