October 17: Competition, a Sunday Scriptures blog

Sunday’s Gospel is so very human. Two apostles, James and John, are trying to get to the head of the pack and sit at the right and left side of Jesus in the kingdom of heaven. When the other disciples hear about this, they get mad! Why them and not me? Don’t humans in groups do this all the time? I personally think it is our animal evolutionary past that is alive and well. We engage in pack behavior, always aware who has power in the group and who does not, and trying to get some power, advantage or recognition for ourselves in various ways. Parents and teachers of children see this all the time, but adults do this too! Politicians jostling for advantage feed our 24-hour news cycles; even nations compete. While some competition brings out the best in us, competition for power over another is often destructive. Jesus invites us to convert from this kind of unredeemed humanness and compete with one another in service and self-giving. The first step, spiritual masters tell us, is to become conscious of our own tendency to pack behavior. That takes time and meditation!

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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