Ralph Waldo Emerson said that envy is ignorance, and indeed it is. We often look at certain people and we feel they are more blessed than we are. Usually these conclusions are made based on materialistic reasons. They have cars and houses and a lot of money, or they are taller and more beautiful (at least in our own opinion), more educated, etc. But these are trees that must be felled. When the shoot comes forth from the stump of Jesse as we read in our first reading of today, it will look small, but will be greater than all. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the best gift of God.

The really disadvantaged persons are those who do not have the Holy Spirit, those whose lives are not led by the Spirit. The real handicaps will be those who do not have Christ as their king. In His days, justice shall flourish, and great peace forever. There are three things we will have when the Holy Spirit takes absolute control of our lives. First, there will be justice. The Justice of God means that God will be faithful to His promises in our lives and evil will not have the last word. In His days, there will be peace. This peace is the peace which the world cannot give and which cannot be bought, and which no amount of movies and food and games can give to us. In His days, there will also be joy. Also, this kind of joy does not come from just getting excited and having fun.

Jesus in the Gospel rejoieced in the Holy Spirit and so will anybody who is filled with the Spirit. This is the kind of Joy that can only come from the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we are blessed. We are more blessed than we think. He tells us that many prophets and kings desired to see what we see and did not see it, to hear what we hear and did not hear it. Wow! Envy is really ignorance. We even go to the extent of envying people who do evil, people who are living in sin. Sometimes when we complain about what so and so is doing and the sin that so and so is committing, it can be because we really hate the sin. But it can also be a sign of envy. It could be that we see what they are doing without guilt, and we realise we cannot do the same without really feeling guilty. So, even in our so called anger can there be envy. If you have Jesus as the king of your life, it might be like a little shoot coming from a felled tree, and we might envy the felled tree and how big it was. If you have Jesus as the king of your life, then you are more blessed than you can ever imagine. Envy is ignorance. It reminds me of the song which says ‘I have Jesus in my life, I am satisfied. Even if I have nothing else, I am satisfied.’

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