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December 2006 

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Speaking in parables



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Speaking in parables.
"The disciples came close to Jesus and said to him: Why to you speak to them in parables? He answered: Because it is given to you to know about the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven and it is not given to those ones…" (Mathew 13, 10-11 and following).
Jésus et les disciples At first sight, this text is astonishing. It seems to imply that understanding has been systematically given to the disciples and hidden to the others. It is important to remember that we don't know the exact words of Jesus, they have not been recorded. 
The Gospel reports what the first Christian communities had retained from Jesus' teaching. Facing the lack of understanding, even the sometime deadly opposition of the scribes and the Great Priests, they are tending to strengthen the separation between themselves and their opponents.

From this text, we have in perspective a teaching that is only understandable if we are inclined to understand it. It is not only a question of listening to what it is said but of opening oneself to the proposed message. A biblical text does not impose by itself.
Free we are to receive it or not. A good reception requests confidence, without it no word can reach us. These words call us personally to action; they are rich of multiple understandings of which one cannot fulfill all what is said. 

venez et voyez

Jesus was proposing and inviting" Come and see" In using parables, he was opening diverse approaches, making the text free of supposedly evident interpretation.

expérience de vie de Jésus The reading of the Bible that has taken so much importance among the Christians, tends to replace the fixed doctrinal statements of the past by statements with more nuances and enrichments By alternating individual readings and group sharing, this familiarity with the Gospel and other biblical readings does not bring an all-made truth. It is in our own life that we are questioned and compared to the life that Jesus had experienced. 
By the diversity of understandings, the Gospel forces us to give our answer. Far from fixing the words, our horizon is enlarged. Without excluding the reasoning and the doctrinal reflection about the text itself, there are several ways of life that are offered to us. We cannot avoid agreeing without changing our way of being and acting.