We were so happy to have Fr. Michael Schleupner with us last week as a spiritual director for our August Directed Retreat. He also celebrated Mass several times throughout that retreat. Today, we’re sharing one of those homilies that offers a great reminder to all.

Compare and Despair

Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30Bible on altar

Today’s gospel is a good lesson about comparing ourselves to others. The workers in this vineyard who began working at dawn would have been okay if they had not known how much pay those who worked only part of the day received. They learned this and compared themselves to those guys. The comparison is what led them to be resentful and envious.

A good lesson from this is to find our peace in ourselves, in who God made us as persons, and in what gifts God has given us. We don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone. We just need to become fully who God made us to be and to use fully what gifts God has given us. If we do that, we will find peace and fulfillment.

Father James Martin in one of his writings says that when we compare ourselves to others, we tend to minimize our gifts and maximize our problems. We minimize our gifts and maximize our problems. So, when we compare ourselves with others, we tend to see them as better or as better off or as having more. We maximize their gifts and minimize our own. And when we compare ourselves with others, we tend to see them as not having as many problems or challenges in life as we do. We minimize their problems and maximize our own.

So again, when we compare, we minimize our own gifts and maximize our own problems. That is why it makes good spiritual sense not to compare. As James Martin says, “Compare and despair.”

“Compare and despair.” Just takes ourselves and our gifts as we are, do our best, respond to God as we are, and peace and fulfillment will follow.

~Father Michael Schleupner