Let fantasize a bit today. Let’s pretend that it’s the day after the Sabbath in Nazareth when Our Lord was seven years old. The Lord’s day is over, and now the village begins again the activities of the week.
Our Lady has gone earlier to the village well to draw her water for the day; now, she goes to the miller for the flour that she will need for the week. She asks her little son if he wants to come with her. Oh, yes! They will walk down the main street of the village and see all the busy people opening their shops, conversing with one another — a shepherd leading his flock out to pasture, a couple of camels loaded with merchandize for Jerusalem or Damascus.
They make their way to the miller’s house and mill. The miller’s donkey has already been hitched to the axle of the grindstone and blindfolded to prevent its getting dizzy. And now it plods round and round, turning the wheel-shaped grindstone that crushes the wheat into flour. Our Lady tells the miller that she’d like a seah of flour — one-third of an ephah, or bushel. She sits on the bench provided for the miller’s customers and spreads a cloth on her lap. The boy Jesus, intelligent and observant, watches the miller. He stops the grindstone and then reaches into the receptacle where the flour falls. He lifts handfuls of the freshly ground flour out into his seah measure. When it’s full, he picks it up and lets it fall several times onto the table, to pack the flour down so as to make room for more. Some millers don’t do that, but this man is good and honest; he truly gives his customers their money’s worth. Now again he fills the measure, and again, drops it several inches onto the table to pack it again. When the flour comes up to the rim of the measure, he rounds over the top, actually giving Our Lady more than just one seah, and then comes over to where she and the boy Jesus are sitting. Our Lady carefully spreads the cloth on her lap and holds it steady. The miller pours the generous measure into the cloth on her lap. She gathers the four corners of the cloth, ties them together to form a bag, pays the honest and even generous miller, and then the pair go home.
Years later, when Jesus is in the midst of his public ministry, he tells the crowd listening to him words that Saint Luke records for us in his gospel: Give, and gifts will be given to you: a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.