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Saturday, January 23, 2016

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2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27
Psalm 80:2-3, 5-7
Mark 3:20-21

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masquerading jealousy?

"When His family heard of this they came to take charge of Him, saying, 'He is out of His mind.' " —Mark 3:21

Jesus' relatives said He was crazy (Mk 3:21) after He had become so popular that the crowds surrounding Him made it impossible to get food to Him. Were Jesus' relatives concerned about Him getting proper nutrition? Or were they jealous of His popularity?

The religious leaders of Jesus' day said Jesus was worse than crazy. They accused Him of being demon-possessed. They "asserted, 'He is possessed by Beelzebul,' and 'He expels demons with the help of the prince of demons' " (Mk 3:22). Were they concerned about Jesus' pastoral practice or His theology of demons? Or were they jealous?

Jealousy often masquerades as concern for others' physical, pastoral, or theological well-being. Are you truly concerned about others? Or are your motives selfishness and jealousy?

When Joshua suddenly had pastoral problems with two people's use of prophecy, Moses asked him: "Are you jealous for my sake?" (Nm 11:29) The writer of the book of Wisdom made this commitment: "Neither shall I admit consuming jealousy to my company, because that can have no fellowship with Wisdom" (Wis 6:23). When John the Baptizer was tempted to become jealous of Jesus, he resisted the temptation and proclaimed: Jesus "must increase, while I must decrease" (Jn 3:30). Repent of jealousy now!

Prayer:  Father, may I trust You so deeply and be so secure in Your love that I will not compare myself with others and become jealous.

Promise:  "David seized his garments and rent them, and all the men who were with him did likewise. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening." —2 Sm 1:11-12

Praise:  Albert has been a daily communicant for forty years.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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