As a priest, one reality of the ministry is that we are always compared to others. Fr. A sings better, Fr. B is very good in Filipino, Fr. C is always present and so easy to invite, Fr D gives good homilies, etc. Intentionally or unintentionally, this causes intrigue and competition.

In a reading from the Book of Samuel, Saul and David are compared to each other: “Saul killed thousands while David killed tens of thousands.” Look at how intrigue and competition affected Saul.

Hence when we are being compared to each other, three things we should remember:

  1. Each of us is unique and special. Each has their own gifts. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. Hence, when being compared with others, remember that person has his own gifts, while you have your own gifts as well.
  2. The Standard of the World is Different from God. While people see what is tangible, God sees the heart. As St. Mother Teresa said, “God desires not success but faithfulness.” Remember the widow who just gave two small cents to the temple. God praised her because she gave everything she had.
  3. Appreciate Each Person’s Gifts. May we be humble enough to acknowledge that there are persons who are truly gifted and may we be more patient with people who have fewer gifts in life. We should remember that all these gifts are only lent to us. One day we may be the best, but another day someone else will be up and coming and possibly better.

That is why in the Mass, three prayers:

  • May we not be a source of intrigue
  • May we appreciate our own gifts and blessings
  • May we be able to appreciate others’ gifts and blessings

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