Friday 22 February 2019

Saturday of the 7th Week of Easter

It is interesting to observe how, from a young age, we begin to compare ourselves with others. We differentiate ourselves according to our intellectual abilities, our talents, our cultural differences, our upbringing, our social status, and much more. Some of us even become quite proud about who we are, where we come from, and what we are, that some begin to look down on others, thinking that others do not measure up to us. But as Christians, do we have such attitude and behaviour? Do we still differentiate ourselves, segregate ourselves, and discriminate towards others?

In today's Gospel, Peter and John are both called disciples of Jesus and each is given a different task to fulfil. But what is surprising and intriguing is when Peter questions John's role. He asks Jesus: 'What about him, Lord?' In response, Jesus answered, 'If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.' This caused the others to think that John would not die, when it was clear that Jesus had not said so. Notice how trying to compare oneself with others could lead to unnecessary confusion, unhealthy competition or even resentment, and as a result, our focus shifts from doing God's will to doing our will?

At the end of the day, we should realise that comparing ourselves with others is a mistake. The Lord prefers that we mind our own business, and focus more on our friendship with Him and on our dedication to preaching the Good News. The inspiring examples of others should push us forward to greater holiness and self-giving. We should rejoice in others' triumphs, seeing God alive in them, instead of allowing jealousy and competition to fester, and disrupt our duty or even ruin our relationship with God and with others. May we make every effort to glorify God in all we say and do, and be joyful and grateful of who we are and what we are, while also being joyful and grateful of who and what others are.

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