Then his disciples came to him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
Jesus answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. For the one who has will be given more; and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has. That is why I speak to them in parables; because they look and do not see; they hear; but they do not listen or understand.
In them, the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled: However much you hear, you do not understand; however much you see, you do not perceive.
For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back, and I would heal them.
But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
For I tell you, many prophets and righteous people have longed to see the things you see, but they did not see them; and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear them.
In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus say something somewhat shocking because it seems to approve unfair treatment of people. This is what Jesus says: “For the one who has will be given more; and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived even of what he has.“ How can we explain this saying of Jesus?
First, the verbs “will be given… will be deprived” are in the passive voice. And this is a commonly used biblical device to refer to God without naming him out of respect because, at time of Jesus, it was considered irrespectful to refer to God directly by name.
Second, we are talking here of inner dispositions of openness to God’s revelation, however mysterious it may be. If you are willing to accept whatever God will reveal about himself and about his designs on you, he will give you further understanding. If you are not generously open to whatever God wants to reveal to you, then he will take away the little understanding you have and leave you to your own devices—because God totally respects our human freedom.
It is all a matter of generosity.
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