Deacon Joseph Boyle, M.A.
Jealousy is Not a Fruit of Faithfulness
Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a, Psalm 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21,
& Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
In today's Gospel, we hear the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, which has many symbolic features. And though the parable story, our Lord makes one point quite clear to the Pharisees and us.
The vineyard represents Israel and His chosen people. The servants killed were the prophets of the Old Testament. The Son, himself, would not receive the respect due him by the tenants. In this parable, the tenants were the Pharisees; however, the Pharisees believe themselves to be the landowners. Sending the Son would not result in anything profitable from the people, including the respect they so desperately desired.
The Pharisees were jealous of the respect and dignity Jesus merited from the people. Jealousy is based on one simple principle: Someone else has something I want, and let's be honest, something I believe I deserve. Jealousy is not a fruit of faithfulness—faithfulness to the will and intent of God, who created us in His image and likeness. He does not foresee a world in which any of his children assume what was never theirs in the first place, which was the same sin committed by Adam and Eve. The same sin committed by the Pharisees and us who desire what is not rightfully ours.
Everything we have, and everything that exists, is all His. "We come into this world with nothing, and we will leave with nothing." Nothing but our Soul, and if we are faithful to the will and intent of our Father, we shall experience all that our hearts truly desire. Let us look to His Son and His heart—a heart of mercy for all and steadfast faithfulness to His Father's will. In this world and the next, we desire to live in communion with one another, wrapped in the love of the Trinity.
Merciful Father, I desire to be as holy as You are. Set me free of the thoughts that consume my mind, which cause jealousy to arise. Substitute the self-centered areas within my heart with Your heart of peace, love, and gentle kindness. Amen.