Thomas Lindberg said that one sign of jealousy is when it is easier to show sympathy and “weep with those who weep” than it is to exhibit joy and “rejoice with those who rejoice.”
“Inggit” is the Filipino word for envy. It occurs within members of a family, between office colleagues and best of friends, and even within members of a group of people who would like to do “good” for others. But according to Dr. Gary Collins (Homemade, July, 1985), there is a distinction between jealousy and envy. To envy is to want something which belongs to another person. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, his wife or his servant, his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’ In contrast, jealousy is the fear that something which we possess will be taken away by another person. Although jealousy can apply to our jobs, our possessions, or our reputations, the word more often refers to anxiety which comes when we are afraid that the affections of a loved one might be lost to a rival. We fear that our mates or perhaps our children will be lured away by some other person who, when compared to us, seems to be more attractive, capable and successful.” How many times have we encountered “inggit” in our everyday lives as well as jealousy?
Today’s gospel reading says to us that the disciples of Jesus make a report to Him that they stopped or prevented someone from driving away evil spirits because he refused to follow them or he was not belong to their group. That someone does not walk their walk and does not talk their talk. In short, he is an outsider and they are jealous of him. But Jesus corrects them immediately and teaches them that anyone who is not against them is with them because all of us are God’s children. No one can do a good deed without God’s grace and no deed is insignificant in the eyes of God, even just giving a cup of water to a thirsty person. This deed is recompensed by Him.
And so instead of focusing ourselves on the how or why “inggit” or envy started, why don’t we focus on what our faith can do. It is because the problem is not with the Lord, the problem lies with us. And so we need to put our faith into practice, not just objectively (which is the dogmatic element to faith) but also subjectively, that is, we are going to live what we proclaim personally. It is because it is very easy for us to say “yes” to our faith in our heads but we never put it into practice. Many times we wonder why we do not feel the presence of the Holy Spirit working so powerfully and effectively in us nowadays. We have in the Catholic Church all seven sacraments, His words with the fullness of truth, with Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, and yet we don’t see the effects of these in our lives. What’s wrong? The point is very simple. We do not allow the Lord to dwell in us even though we have everything in its fullness.
And so if we say that we believe in Jesus this means that it should be down to the depth of our hearts and it is going to be lived.