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Thursday, January 21, 2010

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St. Agnes

1 Samuel 18:6-9; 19:1-7
Psalm 56:2-3, 9-13
Mark 3:7-12

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jealousy and god

"Saul was jealous of David." —1 Samuel 18:9

Saul was jealous of David (1 Sm 18:9). He tried to kill David on several occasions. The brothers of Joseph sold him into slavery because they were jealous of him (Acts 7:9, RNAB). The Jewish leaders in Pisidian Antioch "became very jealous" of St. Paul's powerful preaching and persecuted him (Acts 13:45). The Pharisees handed Jesus over out of jealousy to be crucified (Mt 27:18). The high priests and Sadducees arrested and punished the apostles, for they were "filled with jealousy" (Acts 5:17).

Jealousy in support of a religious leader or ministry is not of God. When some of Moses' loyal followers got upset that others were prophesying in addition to Moses, Moses corrected them, saying, "Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets!" (Nm 11:29) Are you attracted to certain religious leaders or ministries? Beware of any tendency toward jealousy. Pray that your love for that leader or that ministry be full of true charity, for "charity is not jealous" (Catechism, 1825; see 1 Cor 13:4).

Christians who exhibit any jealousy are infants, according to Scripture (1 Cor 3:1-3). Jealousy proceeds from the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:20) and is not compatible with Christian living. Jealousy is a symptom of something very wrong within us. "Where there [is] jealousy...there are also inconstancy and all kinds of vile behavior" (Jas 3:16). "Jealousy rots the bones" (Prv 14:30).

Prayer:  Father, pour out your love in my heart (Rm 5:5). "May charity be the root and foundation of" my life (Eph 3:17).

Promise:  "My wanderings You have counted; my tears are stored in Your flask; are they not recorded in Your book?" —Ps 56:9

Praise:  St. Agnes was martyred for her faith in Jesus and her commitment to remain pure for Him (see 1 Jn 3:3).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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