This is today’s powerful and deep Gospel. It points to the “essence” of what it means to live in God, to be guided by the Holy Spirit, to be immersed in what is true and real.
It does that with a very enigmatic claim. Those who “have” will get more, those who “seem to have”, even what they experience as real will eventually evaporate and disappear. Why? Because it isn’t real.
The expression points to the temporal, passing, and illusory nature of many things that we experience, things only properly understood as the “deprivation” of what is substantive and real.
Things that people only seem to have are Illusions associated with the pleasures of the flesh which, like the flesh, will eventually dissolve and vanish completely in its purely material, corporal form.
Not to get into the metaphysics of this too deeply, still, it’s important to grasp the understanding of reality underpinning and making sense of this Gospel passage: it is the Aristotelian understanding of reality which rests on a distinction between “essence” and “existence”.
Think of “life in the spirit” as ESSENCE, and “life In the flesh” only as “EXISTENCE as experience.” Existence gives experience, but not substance.
To use a simple example to illustrate the point, we can experience cold, but “cold” itself does not have essence. Cold is only an experience of being deprived of heat, which is, on the other hand, actually something that is substantively associated with what is real, life, real dynamic activity: cold comes into a fleeting assistance in proportion to the degree activity decreases.
When dynamic activity in life is fully restored, cold evaporates completely and disappears as if it had never existed as something in itself at all, which it doesn’t.
Think of evil in the same way. As something that when all is restored will completely evaporate and vanish leaving only what is good, only what is real, because everything that God made is, according to genesis, good.
As for evil it will vanish like it never was anything but a deprivation of the “good”. What was whole in the beginning, then got corrupted through sin, which was an experience of moving away from God, will be made whole again in time by the mighty power of God.
That’s why those who “have” will receive more…those with a solid heart-connection to what is real, to a substantive life in a faith-relationship with God, who creates the essence of all things.
However, there’s presently a veil over the truth and reality in which we are embedded, so the fullness of that Divine and eternal life in which we are already secured is not made manifest in experience while on earth, but will eventually be manifested in glory for all those who persist faithfully in obedience to God, trusting in the promises God revealed through Jesus..
Living a moral and spiritual life in imitation of Jesus, who was meek and humble of heart, is to live guided by the Holy Spirit… and to be wrapped in reality.
Get real!
Don’t just “seem to have!”