Pastor’s Letter August 7, 2016 – Possessiveness & Discontent
It has been very sad to hear about the murders of the three young people just north of us in Mukilteo. The report has come out that the young man who shot his peers at a party was apparently driven by jealousy. He had broken up with his girlfriend, whom he shot and killed, a few months prior and was trying to get back together with her. He could not bear to see her with other boys. He ended up killing three and seriously injuring a fourth.
It is hard to imagine the grief that these families are going through. This young man didn’t get what he wanted so his jealousy and anger moved him to murder. Obviously this young man is unbalanced and had an extreme reaction to his discontent. This begs the question of discontent and to what do we tie our happiness? What is our reaction when a person, place or thing is taken from our lives? What role do jealousy, greed or possessiveness play in our lives and relationships?
We all have at least some tendencies towards jealousy and possessiveness. Anger is the sure sign. The truth is that God alone can make us content. However, most people are not convinced that if they give themselves to God they will be happy. The Psalmist says: O taste and see the goodness of the Lord. God has to be given a chance, O taste and see.
St. Alphonsus, whose feast we celebrated this past week, gave some good advice on giving God a try: “Begin to make a trail of it,” he says, “go to daily mass; practice daily mental prayer; make visits to the Blessed Sacrament; fly from evil conversations; walk always with God; and you will enjoy that sweetness, peace and joy the world cannot give.” The darkness, anger, hatred, and death we see around us and in us can only be replaced by one thing: God, who is love. O taste and see the goodness of the Lord.