Word of Life- Jul 19

“You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus addresses these powerful words to his followers, to those he “sends out.” He had personally encountered a lost and suffering humanity and felt compassion for them.

            That is why, through the Apostles, Jesus wanted to extend his work of salvation, healing and liberation. They had gathered around him, heard his words and received a mission and purpose for their lives; and so they set out to bear witness to God’s love for every person.

“You received without payment; give without payment.”

But what did they receive “without payment” that they ought to give back?

            Through Jesus’ life, in his words, deeds and choices made, the Apostles experienced the mercy of God. Despite their weaknesses and limitations, they received the new law of love, of mutual acceptance.

            Above all, they received the gift that God wants to give to all: himself, his companionship along life’s journey, his light to help guide their choices. These priceless gifts, which are worth far beyond our ability to repay, are given freely and unconditionally.

            The Apostles and all Christians have been freely given these gifts, so that they can then become channels of these same gifts for every person they meet each day.

“You received without payment; give without payment.”

In the October 2006 Word of Life, Chiara Lubich wrote: “Throughout the Gospel, Jesus invites his disciples to give: to ‘give to the poor’ (Mk 10:21), ‘… to the one who asks … to one who wants to borrow’ (Mt 5:42). ‘If anyone wants … your tunic, hand them your cloak as well’ (Mt 5:40); to give without payment. Jesus was the first to give, restoring health to the sick, forgiving sinners and giving his life for all.

            “To counteract our instinct to hoard, Jesus calls for generosity; to overcome our inclination to worry about our needs, he shifts the focus to our neighbors, and instead of the culture of having, he teaches the culture of giving.

            “This month’s Word of Life can help us rediscover the value of everything we do. This might be household chores, factory work or farming. It might be office administration or school homework, or it might be our civic, political or religious duties. Everything can be transformed into attentive and thoughtful service for others. Love will help us see others’ needs and show us how to respond creatively and generously.

            “And the result? Gifts will circulate, because love generates more love. Joy will be multiplied, since ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *