25th SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
with thanks for photo to Eimear McGuinness
‘Why be envious because I am generous’?
The crops in Palestine ripened at the end of September. The rains came two weeks later. The window of opportunity was short. The need for workers was urgent. The eleventh-hour arrivals were not idlers. They weren’t chosen. The weak must always wait, but the Lord’s ways are not our ways and the last shall be first. For Him, peoples’ needs always came before their accomplishments. He does not give based on the greatness of our merits, but on the greatness of His compassion. His giving is not dependent on our doing. He doesn’t ask us to be deserving but to be receptive. Those who worked all day were not treated unjustly. They were paid enough, but they couldn’t enjoy what they had when they coveted what they had not. ‘Envy is the pain caused by the good fortune of others’ (Aristotle). The word envy derives from the Latin ‘invidia’ meaning ‘non-sight’. It leads to a form of blindness. It is one of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ and is usually directed towards those amongst whom we live and work. ‘Beggars do not envy millionaires; they envy other beggars who are more successful’ (Bertrand Russell). We should never be envious of what God gives to others. We begin to overcome envy by being grateful, rather, for what He has given to us.