Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Oddly enough Iago, in Shakespeare’s play Othello, the very man who instigated the whole tragedy of the drama caused by envy and jealousy, was the very man who planted the seed of envy in Othello’s heart. Iago gave this warning to the conquering hero Othello who, by the end of the play, was ruined by envy:
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
Today’s first reading notes the growing envy in the heart of Saul over the success of David and his military victories. Saul noted that songs sung in honor of military victories noted that he had killed thousands but David was credited with killing ten thousands and therefore he felt cheated and envious of David’s abilities. And it went downhill from there for Saul.
Ignatius realized that what you value will in turn shape the decisions that are made because all decisions are based on one’s values. Envy and jealousy are simply the aspiration of an in appropriate value and as Shakespeare and the writer of the Book of Samuel both noted, an aspiration that usually ends in tragedy.