Excerpt from Excerpt from Prayer Warrior Summit Formation Album by our Mother Foundress

“He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.’” (Lk 15:31)

The virtues that empower us to come against the sin of envy are the great virtues of love and poverty of spirit. Our Lady said, “He has filled the empty with good things” (Lk 1:53). The more we can be empty of self, self-love, self-interest, self-concern, the more this gift will fill our whole being as well.

Envy basically desires something I don’t have, that I can’t have, or that I wish I had. Jesus speaks a great deal about envy. In Luke 15:11-32 we read of the prodigal son and the elder son who is envious of God’s mercy to his brother. Have you ever been envious that somebody inherits the Kingdom at the eleventh hour while you’ve been working for the Lord forever?

Jesus said do not be envious of wealth (see Mt 6:19-21). We see this in our culture, our world, and in our own lives. We may be envious of the wealth of other people’s gifts, talents, strengths, and relationships. It can come in so many ways. Jesus said not to be envious of not having the first place (see Mt 20:20-28). When the gift of wisdom is given, we see things through God’s eyes. We see things totally different from His point of view, and we see that we are important and very special, but until this gift is given, we can become envious of somebody else’s place.

Pontius Pilate was envious of Jesus’ power (see Jn 19:8-11). We can be envious of someone’s power, authority and place. Annas was envious of Jesus’ innocence (see Jn 18:19-24). We can be that way, too. Caiaphas was envious of Jesus’ popularity (see Jn 11:45-53). Herod was envious of Jesus’ moral superiority (see Lk 23:6-11). The scribes, Pharisees, and teachers were envious of Jesus’ wisdom (see Mt 26:57-58). They each recognized the tremendous leadership in Jesus. They knew the crowds that were following Him. Even though Jesus didn’t hold office like they did, they were aware of the multitude of people who were following Jesus, and so there was much envy. We can be envious of other people’s gifts, and others might be envious of our gifts.

Jesus Himself spoke about envy in the parable of the vineyard. He said directly to them, “Are you envious because I am generous?” (Mt 20:15) They were. We have to check our spirits and hearts. Do any of these categories of envy fit me? Envy is a deadly sin as it attacks my relationship with God.

“Father, they are Your gift to Me. I wish that where I am they also may be with Me” (Jn 17:24)

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