13th FEBRUARY 2023

Hardened Hearts - Monday, 6th Week in ordinary time - Mark 8: 11-13



Gn 4: 1-15, 25;           Ps 50: 1, 8, 16-17, 20-21;       Mk 8: 11-13



 People around us are a great gift from God. They encourage us, give us a sense of belongingness, a feeling of oneness, motivation and love. Relationships also bring in us, aspects of sacrifice, mutual understanding and efforts that are required to keep the relationship alive and bubbling. Relations help us in maintaining our inner emotional health. There is an inherent desire to get connected with those living around us. It also helps us in reducing stress, leading to a better quality of life, sense of purpose and healing too. In such an effort to build good rapport, one thing we must remember that ruins every relationship is envy. The pages of the bible give plenty of examples to tell what envy does to one’s relationship with the other and today’s reading is one of such kind.  

Envy is one of the seven capital sins. This is one of the most frequent and dangerous evils, and if not controlled only results in greater evil. The biblical narration of Esau and Jacob (Gen 25:19-34, 27:1-45), Leah and Rachel (Gen 29:15-35, 30:1-24), Saul and David (1 Sam 15), and the older brother of the prodigal son (Lk 15: 11-32), all give us the same message. The parasite of evil sucks off our social energy and makes us weaker not only with the person we envy, but also with other near and dear ones as well.   The repercussions of Cain’s murder destroyed his worth, relationship with his people and relationship with God as well.

Jesus calls us to a life of communion. We are told to love God and our neighbours as we love ourselves. God has created each one of us uniquely in his own image and likeness. So let us stop comparing ourselves with others. It is noble to respect each one’s individuality and appreciate their talents and help them in their shortcomings. Let us imitate Mary, walking with humility and patience when temptations to judge and compare ourselves with others arise.    

Response: Give your praise as a sacrifice to God.

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