Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Measure You Measure With Will Be Measured Back To You

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
He also told them, “Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given;
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Every people has its own particular wisdom, which is often best revealed in its proverbs. My Québecois ancestors would say, “C’est à l’oeuvre qu’on connait l’ouvrier”, which means, “The craftsman is reflected in his work”, or, in a parallel proverb: "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.". Or, “Dis-moi qui tu hantes, et je te dirai qui tu es”, which is translated, “Tell me who you hang with, and I’ll tell you who you are”. Or, in a parallel proverb, “Birds of a feather flock together.” My Irish ancestors would say (I’ll spare you the Gaelic): “If you tie a knot with your tongue, you can’t loosen it even with your teeth”, and “When you go out to find a wife, leave your eyes at home, and take your ears with you.”

Jesus cites two Hebrew proverbs in this gospel: “No one puts a lamp under a bushel basket or under the bed”, and “The measure you measure with will be measured back to you.” There is no need for me to add further commentary. The proverbs cited by Our Lord speak for themselves.

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