Jealousy has always led to the most shameful murders . The anger or bitterness associated with jealousy is perhaps one of the most pernicious because we can hardly admit to it to ourselves, let alone to others. As soon as we find others who agree with us, or who collaborate with us in jealousy, we become capable of assembling and justifying structures of malice and murder. We should always examine our hearts for jealousy because, by it, the devil is very effective in his work of turning brother against brother. It was the case for Cain and Abel, Joseph and his brothers, David and Saul, the prophets, and finally Jesus and the chief priests and Pharisees.
Jealousy is this strong feeling of resentment when good things happen or come to others when we would rather have them for ourselves. Rather than rejoicing at the good that comes to someone else, it makes us sad and even angry. What movement other than selfishness could be responsible for making us think there is disorder when someone else receives benefits. Jealousy is weakened by an intentional opening of the heart to generosity, and by recognizing that it is the devil himself who adds fuel to jealousy as soon as he notices it in us.
Jealousy can only be satisfied by destroying the competition. It can only be overcome by a heart that decides to let go and cling to God alone.
“Now Joseph found his brothers in Dothan, which means “desertion.” And where is the person who deserts God but in desertion?”1
“Assuredly grace destroyed guilt; guilt did not diminish grace.”2
“If we were bought back from death with gold or silver, our ransom would have been cheap, because humanity is more precious than gold and silver; but in truth we are ransomed at an invaluable price, because the one who ransomed us through his passion is invaluable.3
“Observe the great care that the owner took with this place and the extraordinary recalcitrance of the people. He himself did the work the tenants should have done. It was he who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a wine press in it and built a tower. He left little for them to do. All they had to do was take care of what was there and to preserve what was given to them. Nothing was left undone but all accomplished. But they made little effort to be productive, even after they had enjoyed such great blessings from him. For when they had come out of Egypt, he gave a law, and set up a city, and built a temple and prepared an altar. Then he “went into a far country.” He was patient with them. He did not always keep a close account of their sins. The meaning of “going into a far country” is God’s great patience.”4
“Why didn’t he immediately send his Son? In order that they might repent and condemn themselves for the things they had done to the others. He hoped they would set aside their anger and reverence him when he came.”5
When he says “they will respect,” he states what ought to have been done, that it was their duty to have reverenced him. Elsewhere he says similarly: “whether they hear or refuse to hear.”4 He is not ignorant of their motives. But lest any of the obstinate should say that his prediction was the thing that necessitated their disobedience, therefore he frames his expressions in a particular way, using indeterminate terms like “whether they will” and “it may be.””6
- Ambrose, On Joseph 3.11
- Ambrose, On Joseph 3.13.
- Chromatius, Sermon 24.4
- Chrysostom, THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 68.1. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2002). Matthew 14-28 (pp. 139–140). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- Chrysostom, THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 68.1. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2002). Matthew 14-28 (p. 140). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- Chrysostom, The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 68. Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2002). Matthew 14-28 (p. 140). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.