How do you give gifts? (Mk 4:24-4:24)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Pay attention

To what you hear!

The measure you give

Will be the measure

You get.

Still more

Will be given you.”

 

Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Βλέπετε τί ἀκούετε. ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν, καὶ προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν.

 

Mark indicated that Jesus said to his disciples (Καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that they should pay attention, perceive, and discern whatever they hear (Βλέπετε τί ἀκούετε).  Whatever they used as a measuring rod (ἐν ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε), it would be the same measuring stick used on them (μετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν).  This last phrase is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 6:38, which was also like Matthew, chapter 7:2, who was talking about judging others, so that they would not be judged.  Whatever judgment they made they would be judged the same way.  Finally, Jesus said that more would be added to them (καὶ προστεθήσεται ὑμῖν).

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Gifts (Sir 18:15-18:18)

“My child!

Do not mix reproach

With your good deeds!

Do not spoil your gift

By harsh words!

Does not the dew give relief

From the scorching heat?

So a word is

Better than a gift.

Indeed,

Does not a word

Surpass a good gift?

Both are to be found

In a gracious man.

A fool is ungracious.

A fool is abusive.

The gift of a grudging giver

Makes the eyes dim.”

Be careful when you are giving gifts that your words and attitude not betray your good deed. Do not criticize when you are doing good deeds. Don’t spoil your gifts with unkind words. Just like the morning dew gives relief from the later noon day heat, so too a nice word might be better than a good gift, and even surpass it. The gracious man offers both good words and good gifts. On the other hand, the fool is both ungracious and insulting. People do not look favorably on a grudging giver.