Are You Envious?

(September 20, 2020)

Bottom line: When envy enters the heart, we need to focus on God's generosity - when the tide comes in and when the tide goes out. Maybe then we can hear Jesus asking that tough question: "Are you envious because I am generous?"

It's good to be back with you after a couple weeks in Oregon.

Jesus has a powerful question for you and me: "Are you envious because I am generous?"

Before we can answer that question we need to know what envy is. Here's the definition I found in commentary on this parable: "Envy is not simply jealousy which is the desire to attain or possess what the other person has. Envy is the sin of being upset at another's good fortune."

The sin of being upset at another's good fortune: I admit I often fall into envy. A few months back I had a conversation with Fr. Jim Coleman. I told him about our parish's financial difficulties since Covid-19 struck. He said, "Don't feel bad, Felipe." His old parish, he explained, was also struggling.

A few weeks later we had another conversation. Looking for some consolation, I asked him how his old parish was doing. He said to me, "Good news. They just received a bequest!"

"That's great," I said. Inside I was thinking, "Why couldn't St. Mary of the Valley get a bequest?" I was upset at another priest's good fortune. I admit, the sin of envy often attacks me.

What should we do when envy attacks? We find the answer when we face Jesus' question: "Are you envious because I am generous?" You and I have to keep going back to the generosity of God. I may not have received a bequest, but I have received something even better: the generosity of God poured out in his Son Jesus.

St. Paul tells us we are interconnected like organs in body. If one suffers, all suffer. And if one thrives, all ultimately thrive. That other priest's bequest is like the water of an incoming tide. Eventually it will lift up all boats.

I grew up on Camano Island. An incoming tide brought blessings, but so did an outgoing tide. Sometimes those blessings were the best - clams, mussels and other shellfish. So it is with God's generosity. When the tide goes out, that can be the time of greatest blessings.

I am grateful for God's generosity - and the generosity that you express in Stewardship of time, talents and financial resources.

Next week we'll have a change of pace. We have a powerful reading from Paul's letter to the Philippians. He has a lot to say to our current situation.

That's for next Sunday. Today take this home: When envy enters the heart, we need to focus on God's generosity - when the tide comes in and when the tide goes out. Maybe then we can hear Jesus asking that tough question: "Are you envious because I am generous?" Amen

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Spanish Version (Bishop Eusebio has the Spanish Mass - we will live stream his Mass and homily)

From Archives (for Twenty-Fifth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2017: Fruitful Labor
2014: Finding Your Place Week 7 (Summing Up)
2011: The Sole Question
2008: They Thought They Would Receive More
2005: Day Laborers
2002: Why Do You Stand Idle?
1999: Are You In or Not?

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album

(current)

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru

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