God Does Not Rejoice in the Destruction of the Living

June 27, 2021

Powerful words come from our first reading from the Book of Wisdom.  It is an amazing testimony to the sacredness of life, and yet quickly the author points out the root of pain, envy.  When we try to be someone we are not, when we lose the sense of who we are, we lose our nature as God intended.  We lose the joy that we were created imperishable.  In his letter to the people of Corinth, Paul speaks of the gracious act of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  As the Son of God, He who was rich became poor.  Once again He is inviting us to become comfortable in the joy of knowing who we are, loved and cherished by God.

One of the great stories told to me by my friend Carey Pinkowski was about an elite African runner who had won marathons on the big stage.  Carey was trying to recruit him to run the Chicago Marathon.  He told Carey, he had more than he needed and his family now had land that they never had before.  It was enough, so he no longer needed to compete at the elite level.  It was an amazing testimony to being at peace with what one has.  When we think of abundance, of the wealth we see around us, it seems as if it is never enough and more is supposed to bring joy.  Some entertainment industries pay unbelievable salaries and yet some still want more.  But do they really find peace?  Others have little, but the little they have brings so much joy.

God longs for us to be at peace.  God longs for us to face the root of an evil which corrupts peace, envy.  We are not to keep up with our neighbors, we are to love them and our enemies as well.  We are to rejoice in all they have and not be jealous.  Peace is elusive if we are always comparing ourselves to others.  When I compare, there is always a loser and a winner.  Both are usually myself.  When I compare, the scales of justice are tipped based on my opinion of what I feel is important.

God longs for us to hold on to the reality that we were formed to be imperishable.  We were formed with a soul that is lifted to eternity.  When we embrace this, reflect on it and meditate on it, we can become incredibly filled with a peace this world cannot offer and that money can’t buy.

Father John Ouper