One theme that weaves through all three
We all have experiences of envy, sometimes in ridiculous ways that torment us. The cure is repentance, often by recognizing our dependence, like Jesus teaches his disciples in this week’s Gospel, becoming like a little child, depending from God and from others. Dante in The Divine Comedy tells about a woman, Sapia, so filled with envy that she rejoiced at the downfall of her hometown, bringing bad fortune to those she envied. Sapia ends up in purgatory and the cure she undergoes involves her eyes being sealed and having her arm on the person ahead of her to find the way. Understanding deep in our souls our dependence on each other is one way to cure this ugly sin.
Jesus’ teaching in this week’s gospel makes it crystal clear, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” We do remember Him doing so at the last supper when as the
undisputed leader of the group he washes each one of his disciple feet, even Peter who initially doesn’t get it. Am I getting it? Am I growing into a state inoculated against the hateful sin of envy?, by actively seeking to serve others and passively becoming like a child in recognizing my utter dependence on God and on others.
The final encouragement the Jesus give his disciples, and us, is that by receiving a child in Jesus’ name we are receiving him and the One who sent him. Last Sunday I met with a friend in
The complete text of the readings at http://scriptures-my-journey-oflife-andfaith.blogspot.com/2009/09/twenty-fifth-sunday-in-ordinary-time.html
With God’s Love and Blessings,
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