In the first lesson of today's Daily Office readings, some of the Levites chosen to assist Aaron balk over the work given exclusively to Aaron and his offspring. They want equal status with Aaron and Moses. Indeed, they would be happy to replace both of them. God is not pleased, and the earth swallows them up. It was a short revolution.
Jealousy (or envy) was their sin. Jealousy is an unrelenting desire to receive what another has: attention, success, accolades, or possessions. It is much worse than the other no-no's on the list of seven deadly sins: pride, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth. Some of those at least bring momentary pleasure. Jealousy is nothing but misery. It's miserable to feel, and its fruits are inevitably miserable words or actions.
Where does it come from, and how can we banish it back there! No mystery here. It comes from insecurity. We may think of ourselves as secure, but a glint of jealousy proves otherwise.
In today's Gospel, Jesus utters the famous line, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24. Wealth deludes us into thinking it has made us secure. But only the love of God can fill the need of our hearts for a secure resting place. When we rest there, whatever God's other children receive is cause for joy. So, fight jealousy with joy. It will feel much better.