John 11: 45-56

One of the surest ways to loneliness in life is to compare yourself with others. You observe one’s house, you observe one’s car. Where does the person work? You observe the friends that they hang out with, and eventually, you look at their talent. In other words, a person counts the blessings of other people.

When this happens, loneliness inevitably sinks in. “Why does this person have this and I don’t?” After the loneliness comes discontentment with one’s own life. Then envy follows. Afterward, the desire to somehow put down the person creeps in, whether with words or deeds.

In the Gospel, Jesus was a victim of the envy of other people. People followed and adored him. His enemies were envious because he taught with authority. Eventually, they feared that Jesus would replace them. Due to this envy, Jesus was nailed to the cross.

If we fear that envy is coming into our lives, three things we should remember:

Proverbs 14:30: Peace of mind makes the body healthy, but envy is like a cancer. Envy makes our life miserable. When we count other people’s blessings, we forget to be grateful for our very own blessings. When envy sinks in, notice how our words and actions are simply to put down other people.

To each his own. God has a plan for each person. God blesses each person according to the plan. There is no reason to count other people’s blessings because that is God’s blessing for them and he has given us our own.

One cannot find happiness from other people’s misfortunes. There was once a social experiment where people were given two options: receive $100 and five friends would be given $200, or receive $50 dollars and five friends would be given $25. The winning choice was unfortunately the second option. 

“Love of God and love of neighbor,” are words we remember from Christ as to what is the most important commandment. Hence we pray that we may rejoice with other people’s good fortunes and we may empathize with other people’s difficulties.

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