25th Sunday Ordinary Time – Envy today; Context tomorrow…
Well, actually, this line [Are you envious because I am generous?] represents a pretty good attempt at translating. Really. The Greek actually says, however, “Or is your eye evil because I am good?”
What’s this about the evil eye? Let’s see how Matthew uses ophthalmos, “eye” together with porneros, “evil.” Let’s begin with the ending of the Lord’s Prayer as we say it Sunday to Sunday. Could it be that the evil eye has to do with envy rather than God keeping either bad people or lust away from our doors?
Matthew 6:22f “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
If so, then these would follow that the envious eye would be full of darkness and out of that night comes all evil intentions and actions…
Matthew 15:18–20 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”
Jesus’ remedy to the actions noted above follows…
Matthew 5:29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Matthew 18:9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.
Deliver us from evil, indeed! For envy flows from emptiness toward craving, taking, having, and warring.
From the fears that fuel the wounds that drive us to take from others to fill our emptiness and unworthiness, Lord deliver us!