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July 1996

For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. (Matthew 13:12)

Jesus says these words in answer to his disciples who ask him why he speaks in parables. He explains that not everyone is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but only people who are open, only those who accept his words and live them.

In fact, some of those who hear him choose to close their eyes and ears so that 'seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.' (Matt 13:13). these are people who see and hear Jesus, but because they think that they already know all the truth, they do not believe his words or the signs that confirm them. For this reason, they end up losing even the little they have.

For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

So then, what is the meaning of these words of Jesus? He is inviting us to open our hearts to the Word he came to announce, and he will call us to account for our response at the end of our lives.

The Gospel writings show us that proclaiming this Word is the core of all of Jesus' desires and actions. We see him going from village to village, on the roads, in public squares, in the countryside, in homes and in synagogues, announcing the message of salvation. He speaks to everyone, but especially to the poor, the humble, those on the margins of society. he compares his Word to light, salt, yeast, to a net cast into the sea, and to seed sown in a field; and he will give his life so that the fire contained in his word may blaze.

For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

Jesus expects the Word he announced to transform the world. If follows that he does not accept that having heard it we remain neutral, lukewarm or indifferent. He does not accept that such a great gift, once received, can remain inoperative.

To underline this attitude, Jesus reaffirms a law that lies at the foundation of the whole spiritual life: those who put his Word into practice will be led by him more and more into the richness and the incomparable joys of his Kingdom, while, on the other hand, those who disregard this Word will have it taken away by him, and he will give it to others to make fruitful.

For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

This Word of Life warns us against making a terrible mistake: that of accepting the Gospel, perhaps even making it the object of study, admiration and discussion, but not putting it into practice.

Instead, Jesus expects us to accept the Word and to incarnate it within us. It is to become the driving force that guides all our activities, so that, through the witness of our life, it may be the light, salt and yeast that gradually transform society.

During this month, then, let us focus on one of the many Words of Life in the Gospel and put it into practice. We will enrich our joy with even more joy.

Chiara Lubich

 

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The Word of Life is published by the Focolare Movement