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March 1992

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully taught will be like his teacher. (Lk. 6:40)

This verse is found in a collection of brief comparisons (Lk. 6:39-49) in which Jesus wants to draw our attention to the importance of living our lives in line with his teachings.

Jesus quotes a saying which was part of traditional wisdom. It was often used to express the aim of a disciple, the heights a disciple could reach. Jesus uses the saying in other contexts too (Mt. 10:24; Jn. 13:16; 15:20) where it has different applications and meanings. Here he seems to say that what is very difficult in the world, i.e., that a disciple should reach the point of being like his or her teacher, can, in Jesus' school, be achieved by anyone who lives his word with commitment.

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully taught will be like his teacher.

It is immediately obvious that Jesus wants to remind us that he is the one true teacher. He is the only one who can reveal to us the true meaning of our life and guide us safely along the paths of the world (Lk. 6:39). He is the only one who can heal our hearts of the evil of sin, enabling us to produce fruits of purity and true goodness (Lk. 6:43). He is the only one who can make our life into something solid and well built, which will remain for ever (Lk. 6:47).

At the same time, however, Jesus tells us that we too can be like him, and this is the most surprising aspect of this word. He makes it clear that he wants to bring us to his own level. He came for this: to give all his light and all the richness of his love to us.

Jesus wants to make us into true disciples, but disciples who are equal to him, disciples who are his likeness living in the world.

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully taught will be like his teacher.

How shall we live the Word of Life this month? We should live it by aiming in a decisive way at the living faithfulness to the Gospel which Jesus asks of us here. This faithfulness means making a generous effort to eliminate any contrasts and lessen the distance and the discrepancies we might find in ourselves between our faith and our life.

In Jesus we see a deep unity between the love he had for his heavenly Father and his love towards all people, his brothers and sisters. There was total harmony between his words and his life. This fascinated everyone and attracted them. We must be like this too. We must welcome Jesus' words with the simplicity of children and put them into practice as words full of purity and light, words which are radical and strong, so that we can be the sort of disciples he wants, disciples equal to their teacher, other Jesus' spread throughout the world. Could any adventure be greater or more beautiful than this?

To help us be practical, during this month let's live the word 'You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect'.

Chiara Lubich

 

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