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Word of Life. July 2010. " The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it " ( Mt 13, 45-46).

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Word of life

Word of

Life

July 2010


Word of life

"The kingdom of heaven

is like a merchantin search of fine pearls;

on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he hadand bought it"

(Mt 13, 45-46).


Word of life

In this very brief parable Jesus caught the imaginationof his listeners. Everyone realised the value of pearls.

Together with gold,they were the most precious goods known at that time.


Word of life

In addition, the Scriptures spoke of wisdom, that is,

of the knowledge of God, as something that could not be likened ‘to any priceless gem’ .


Word of life

But what stands out in the parable is how strange, surprising and unexpected it would have been for the merchant to come across a pearl. Perhaps it was in a bazaar and only an expert eye could tell its enormous value and the huge profit to be made from it.


Word of life

This is why, when everything had been weighed up, it was worth selling all to buy the pearl. And who would not have done the same thing?


Word of life

So the profound meaning of the parable is this: the meeting with Jesus (that is, with the kingdom of God among us – this is the pearl!) is a unique opportunity. We must seize it while we can, giving all our energies and all we possess.


Word of life

"The kingdom of heaven

is like a merchantin search of fine pearls;

on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he hadand bought it"

(Mt 13, 45-46).


Word of life

This was not the first time the disciples had found themselves facing a radical demand – they must leave everything in order to follow Jesus: everything most precious to them, like family affections, financial security, certainty for the future.


Word of life

But Jesus’ demands are not pointless or absurd.

In place of ‘everything’ lost there is an ‘everything’ found,which is inestimably more precious.

Each time Jesus asks something he promises to givemuch, much more, a superabundance.


Word of life

So in this parable he assures us of a treasurethat will make us rich forever. And if it may seem a mistaketo leave what is certain for what is uncertain,what is sure for a mere promise, let’s think of that merchant.He knows that the pearl is extremely preciousand he waits confidently for what its sale will bring.


Word of life

Likewise, whoever wants to follow Jesus knows and sees, with the eyes of faith, what an immense gain it isto share with him the inheritance of the kingdom as a result of having left everything, at least in a spiritual sense.


Word of life

God offers everyone a chance like this in life

so they can grasp it.


Word of life

"The kingdom of heaven

is like a merchantin search of fine pearls;

on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he hadand bought it"

(Mt 13, 45-46).


Word of life

This is a practical invitation to put aside all the idolsthat could take God’s place in our hearts:a career, marriage, studies, a beautiful house,our profession, sport, entertainment.


Word of life

It is an invitation to put God in the first place,at the top of our thoughts and affections,because everything in life must lead to himand everything must start from him.


Word of life

By doing this, by seeking the kingdom of God, accordingto the Gospel promise, the rest will be given us as extra.Putting aside everything for the kingdom, we receive the hundredfoldin houses, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers, because the Gospelhas a clear human dimension: Jesus is the God-man and,together with spiritual food, he guarantees usbread, a house, clothing, a family.


Word of life

Perhapswe should learnfrom the ‘little ones’

to trust morein the Father’s Providence.

He does not withhold anything from those who, out of love,

have giveneven the little they had.


Word of life

A group of young people in Congo, for some time now,have been making artistic greeting cards out of banana skinsfor sale in Germany. At first they kept all the profits(some of them used it to keep their entire family).Then they decided to share half the profit,and thirty-five unemployed young people were helped.


Word of life

But God does not allow himself to be outdone in generosity.Two of these young men gave such a witnessin the shop where they work that several traderscame there to look for staff.And eleven of them have found permanent jobs!


Word of life

"The kingdom of heaven

is like a merchantin search of fine pearls;

on finding one pearl of great value,he went and sold all that he hadand bought it"

(Mt 13, 45-46).

“Word of Life”, monthly publication of the Focolare Movement.

Original text by: Chiara Lubich, July 1999.Graphic design by Anna Lollo incollaboration with Fr. Placido D’Omina (Sicily - Italy) This commentary on the Word of Life is translated in 96 languages, and it reaches millions of people throughout the world through the press, radio, TVand internet – for more information visit www.focolare.orgThis Powerpoint presentation is translated in various languages

and is published on www.santuariosancalogero.org


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