Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Silent Killer

No I am not talking about heart attacks. I'm talking about envy.

In the first reading today, we see David has killed the Philistine, and returned home with King Saul from the battle. The Problem– people are in the streets singing sings about David. Saul's very natural reaction is jealousy, envy.

Why is it that we human beings reflexively view life as a zero sum game in which a win for one must be a lose of another.

I remember when I was first ordained we could never stand up and talk about priesthood as this wonderful, special gift, without someone accusing us of denigrating lay ministry. Any talk of the special character of ordained ministry was labeled "clericalism." Even the Chrism Mass, the one day in the Church's calendar that focuses on the ordained priesthood was re-written so as not to offend anyone.

If Saul had understood our interconnectedness he would have seen David's victory as his victory too. He would have had the wisdom to join the people in celebrating rather than sulking.

The Christian faith teaches us that we are one body in Christ. If I really believe that, then when my brother or sister is honored, I am honored. When my brother or sister succeeds I succeed. And I hate to see anyone fail because when one part of the body fails, we all fail.

Saul had an excuse Jesus had not come. What's our excuse?