July 1996


The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living.


"To the man who has, more will be given until he grows rich; the man who has not, will lose what little he has" (Mt 13:12)


Jesus said these words in answer to his disciples who asked him why he spoke in parables. He explained 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 heard him chose to close their eyes and ears. "They look but do not see, they listen but do not hear or understand" (Mt 13:13). They are the ones who saw and heard Jesus but, assuming they already knew the truth, they did not believe his words or the actions that confirmed them. As a result, they ended up losing even the little they had.


"To the man who has, more will be given until he grows rich; the man who has not, will lose what little he has"


So then, what is the meaning of these words of Jesus? He is inviting us to open our hearts to the word that he came to announce to us; indeed, at the end of our lives, he will ask us to give an account of how we lived it.

The Gospel writing shows us that the announcement of this word is the focus of all of Jesus' desires and actions. We see him going from one village to another, on the roads, in town centers, in the countryside, in homes, in synagogues announcing the message of salvation, addressing himself to everyone, but especially to the poor, to the humble, to those who had been relegated to the margins of society. He compares his word to light, salt, yeast, and to a net cast into the sea, to seed sown in the field. He will give his life so that the fire contained in his word may blaze.


"To the man who has, more will be given until he grows rich; the man who has not, will lose what little he has"


Jesus expects the word he announced to us to transform the world. Consequently, he does not accept our remaining neutral, lukewarm or indifferent in the face of this announcement. He does not admit the possibility that such a great gift, once recieved, remain idle.

To emphasize this point, Jesus reaffirms a law which lies at the very foundation of spiritual life: if you put into practice his word, he will introduce you more and more deeply into the riches and incomparable joys of his kingdom. On the other hand, if you disregard his word, Jesus will take it away and entrust it to others who will make it bear fruit.


"To the man who has, more will be given until he grows rich; the man who has not, will lose what little he has"


This Word of Life warns us against making a serious mistake, that of accepting the Gospel, perhaps making it the object of study, admiration and discussion, without putting it into practice.

Instead, Jesus expects us to accept the word and to incorporate it concretely into our life, making it the energy that permeates all our activities, so that through our witness it may be the light , salt and yeast which gradually transform society.

During this month then, let us focus on one of the many Words of Life from the Gospel and put it into practice. We will experience an always greater joy.


Chiara Lubich