Pope: jealousy is a seed of war, but God shows us that it is really a soap bubble

In his “inner chatter", the jealous "is unable to see reality", and only “something really formidable” can open his eyes. “In the end it is a grace of God when the jealous person meets reality as Saul did: jealousy bursts like a soap bubble because jealousy and envy have no consistency”.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The worm of envy and jealousy "leads us to misjudge people", said Pope Francis in his homily during the Mass he celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the First Reading, which describes how King Saul's jealousy towards David burst like a soap bubble.

For the pontiff, such a worm “is the seed of war", the kind of inner "chattering" that kills the other. Luckily, the Lord always provides us with the grace to understand that "it has no consistency" and is but “a soap bubble”.

The king's jealousy, as escribed in the First Book of Samuel, stems from the victory song of the young maiden for Saul, who killed his thousands, whereas David killed his tens of thousands.

Thus begins "the restlessness of jealousy", like “a worm that gnaws at you". Hence, "Saul goes out with his army to kill David.” For Francis, “jealousies are criminal; they always try to kill.”

He reminds those who say "yes, I'm jealous of this, but I'm not a killer” that “now,” you are not, “but if you continue it can end badly” for one can kill “with the tongue, with slander”.

Jealousy grows "by talking to oneself” through an inner “chattering”. A jealous person “is unable to see reality", and only “something really formidable” can open his eyes. Thus, in Saul's fantasy, “jealousy led him to believe that David was a murderer, an enemy.”

"We too, when envy, jealousy come to us, do the same, eh! Each of us thinks: 'Why is this person unbearable to me? Why don't I want to see the other person? Why the other one . . . 'Each of us should think about why. Many times, we will look for why and find that it is our fantasies. Fantasies that, however, grow in our inner chatter.”

“In the end it is a grace of God when the jealous person meets reality as Saul did: jealousy bursts like a soap bubble because jealousy and envy have no consistency”.

Saul's salvation, the Pope stressed, lies with the love of God who “told him that if he did not obey, he would take away his kingdom,” and “yet he loved him”. Thus, “he granted him the grace to burst the soap bubble that had no consistency.”

When Saul entered the cave, where David and his men were hiding, “to relieve himself", he refused take advantage of the situation to kill the king as his friends urged him to. “I will not raise a hand against my master, for he is the Lord’s anointed.”

We see “David’s nobility compared to Saul’s murderous jealousy.” Hence, in silence, he cut a piece of cloth from the end of the king's robe “and carried it with him”.

Then David came out of the cave and respectfully called Saul: “My lord the king!” even if "he tried to kill him.” He asked: “Why do you listen to those who say, ‘David is trying to harm you’?”

and showed him the end of his robe, saying: “I could have killed you” and “did not.” This, the Pope noted, "burst the bubble of Saul's jealousy", so that he saw David "as if he were a son”, and “returned to reality”, saying “You are more in the right than I am. You have treated me graciously, while I have treated you badly.”

There is “grace when the envious, the jealous, finds himself faced with a reality that bursts the soap bubble, which is the vice of jealousy or envy.” When "we are obnoxious to others, we don't love them", and so should ask ourselves: “What's inside me? Is there the worm of jealousy that is growing because he has something that I don't have? Or is it a hidden rage?”

We must “protect our heart from this disease, from this inner chatter, which swells the soap bubble, which has no consistency, and yet hurts so much.” Even when someone comes "to talk to someone else", we must make them understand that, often, they are not talking with serenity but rather "with passion". And the latter contains “the evil of envy and the evil of jealousy".

“Let us be careful because this is a worm that enters the heart of all of us, of all of us, and leads us to misjudge people because there is an inner competition. He has something that I don't have; thus, the competition begins. It leads us to discard people, it leads us to war; an internal war, a neighbourhood war, a war over jobs. Yet precisely in its origin, it is the seed of war: envy and jealousy.”

“Let us be careful when we feel dislike for someone”. Similarly, “Let us ask the Lord for the grace to have a transparent heart like David’s. A transparent heart that seeks only justice, that seeks peace. A friendly heart, a heart that does not want to kill anyone for jealousy and envy kill.”

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