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November 1975

For anyone who has, will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (Mt. 13:12)

These words of Jesus appear in a reply to his disciples who have asked him why he speaks in parables to the crowds who follow him. He has just told the parable of the sower and the different yields - thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.

His reply is, "Because the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you, but they are not revealed to them. For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away." Jesus talks of mysteries and secrets. Although the kingdom of God is something real, this does not mean that it is self-evident: it does not force itself upon man. It is a mystery which is revealed only to those who listen with good will. The call of Jesus is directed to all of us without exception: his word is addressed openly to every kind of person. It is the different ground upon which it fails that decides whether it will be accepted or rejected, whether it will put down roots and bear fruit, or whether immediately or gradually it will die.

The disciples are called blessed (Mt. 13, 16-17) because they see and hear in the right way. What they see and hear are the person and the words of Jesus. In his words and person are contained the deepest mystery of the kingdom of God, not in a doctrinal or explanatory form. Their eyes and ears have been enlightened so as to penetrate this central mystery. As a result they can and must feel themselves to be 'disciples' because the kingdom of God has been revealed to them in the person of the Master.

We too can see and hear, we too can live each day with our eyes and ears looking and listening for Jesus the Word who constantly wants to reveal himself to our hearts. But just as it was for the disciples, the 'ground' which is our hearts has its own part to play if the Word is to bear fruit. Jesus' words, "For anyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough," shows us God's limitless generosity which constantly offers us new graces, new gifts, new intuitions of his mysteries: and the words, 'but from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away,' remind us that God lends no support to our laziness and lack of moral strength. We have this opportunity of amassing a treasure with which we can benefit our families, our communities, our nations: all mankind. But in order to do this, we must examine the condition of our 'ground', our interior world, clearing it of the thorns of our ego which choke the Word and prevent its growth within us. If we do this, we will be given more and we will have more than enough!

N.T.

 

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