Today's reading: Psalms 72-76 (73-77)
"For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked." Psalm 72/73:3
How easy it is to be envious of those who have gained many worldly goods, even if they have done so through unjust means! We see that this is a great struggle, and even brought David near to despairing of living an upright life. "All in vain have I kept my heart clean... when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task." (verses 13 & 16). Yet, he comes to the important realization that all of the earthly prestige and power which he beheld was not worth envying after all. "I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end." (verse 17) Solomon, David's son who is known for being one of the wisest men to ever live, was later to write, "Be not envious of evil men... for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble." (Proverbs 24:1-2)
St. Nikolai Velimirovich has this to say about the envy of the wicked:
"Does the physician envy the sick person? He does not envy him. Neither does the righteous one envy the sinner. If you do not know whether you are righteous examine your heart: do you envy the sinner? If you envy the sinner then you are not righteous; if you do not envy the sinner, then rejoice, O righteous one of God. The sick person can envy the healthy one, but the healthy person does not envy the sick person. Neither does the righteous envy the sinner. A physician recognizes a fatal illness of his patient and, knowing that, he pities him but does not envy him. The righteous one recognizes the sickness of sin, horrifying and deadly, and does not envy the sinner but pities him.
O good and compassionate Lord, uproot envy from our hearts and implant love. To You be glory and thanks always. Amen”
+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, June 23 Homily, Prologue of Ohrid