Num 11:25-29;Ps 19 The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-48
What terrific reality that affects the human mind and heart.
We deal with it in a variety of ways and a variety of settings. It is most common in work places amongst co workers or family. It involves people we are around. We are hardly ever jealous in regards to strangers or folks we do not know well.
What are we to make of it, this jealousy that haunts our affections and hinders our love.
According to St Thomas jealousy arises from the intensity of love.
The word itself comes from the latin-zelus and it took upon itself two derivatives that find their expression in the words Zealous and Jealous.
Zeal is the passionate promotion of something or someone where as Jealous is the passionate protection of someone or something.
At its root Jealousy has a positive undertaking. But because of the fallen condition of man often times a negative sentiment of suspicion attaches itself to jealousy which creates havoc.
Jealousy wells up and suspicion latches on and thus the negative experience we are aware of and used to arises in our life.
Here is the reality. All of us begin by loving in ways that are selfish or self-centered. This selfishness distorts this intense love which cause us to be passionate about promoting or protecting others in regards to how they serve our needs.
However, we should not worry because this selfish love can and does become raw material that God can and will transform gradually. When we experience Jealousy our first thought should always be that God has plenty of raw material to work with. This attitude will certainly alleviate the negative affect of such strong emotion and begin to allow us to enter into a path of humility.
Humility is always the answer or solution for jealousy, love gone awry.
The first counter to jealousy is to let go of our need to be possessive or our need to control. We need to create space and give God the space to operate. Which is what Moses invites Joshua to embrace in our first reading and Jesus invites the apostles to embrace in our gospel.
This way our selfish love again can become raw material int he hands of God in such manner where it will be gradually transformed in to more perfect love where we can truly rejoice in the goodness of the other.