Friday, February 26, 2016

Feb. 26, 2016 Friday: 2nd Week of Lent

Feb. 26, 2016 Friday: 2nd Week of Lent

We Have What We Need

When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him so much that they would not even greet him. –Genesis 37: 4

I was in awe. Not only that, I felt inferior. While attending a retreat, I sat dumbstruck by our retreat preacher. He was good; no, he was better than good. He spoke confidently, entertaining but with substance. But that is not why I felt diminished. As he shared his life, everything he had touched turned to gold. He had preached around the world, appeared on TV, authored five books. Earlier in life, he served as a high school chaplain, and to this is day his former students bombard him with phone calls on Father’s Day. He has the only adoration chapel in his diocese. He resurrected a dying inner city parish. He had the largest youth group. I sat there feeling feeling this twang of envy, hoping that he failed somewhere. Stop! You can’t go there, I chided myself. Don’t be like Joseph’s brothers.

God has blessed me. That priest’s calling is not my calling. And it is the same with you: God has blessed you.

Oh, how jealousy and envy blind us. They can actually destroy our spirit. Much of our dissatisfaction comes from the sin of envy. When we compare, we despair. God has ordained each of us with a particular calling, a particular mission. Now it may not seem all that special or important, but in God’s eyes it is. He has given us the gifts, talents and the tools necessary to carry out our purpose. God does not ask us to be someone else, just the person he made us to be. We are not in competition with one another. When we compare ourselves to others, we lose sight of that and fall into self pity, loathing and even depression. Run from envy.

Father, I am at times jealous and envious. Sometimes I feel cheated and overlooked. Help me to avoid the comparison game and focus on being the person you created me to be. That is all you expect, and in doing so, I will find peace and contentment. Amen.

List three ways that God has blessed you.

Fr. Thomas Connery, Lent: Little by Little