Week 29 of Ordinary Time

October 17-21, 2016

 

October 17, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 4: 20-5: 7

20 Take circumstances into account and beware of evil, and have no cause to be ashamed of yourself;

21 for there is a shame that leads to sin and a shame that is honourable and gracious.

22 Do not be too severe on yourself, do not let shame lead you to ruin.

23 Do not refrain from speaking when it will do good, and do not hide your wisdom;

24 for your wisdom is made known by what you say, your erudition by the words you utter.

25 Do not contradict the truth, rather blush for your own ignorance.

26 Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, do not struggle against the current of the river.

27 Do not grovel to the foolish, do not show partiality to the influential.

28 Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side.

29 Do not be bold of tongue, yet idle and slack in deed;

30 do not be like a lion at home, or cowardly towards your servants.

31 Do not let your hands be outstretched to receive, yet tight-fisted when the timecomes to give back.

Chapter5

 1 Do not put your confidence in your money or say, 'With this I am self-sufficient.'

2 Do not be led by your appetites and energy to follow the passions of your heart.

3 And do not say, 'Who has authority over me?' for the Lord will certainly give you your deserts.

4 Do not say, 'I have sinned, but what harm has befallen me?' for the Lord's forbearance is long.

5 Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin.

6 And do not say, 'His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins'; for with him are both mercy and retribution, and his anger does not pass from sinners.

7 Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord's wrath will blaze out, and on the day of punishment you will be utterly destroyed.

 

October 18, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 6: 5-17

5 A kindly turn of speech attracts new friends, a courteous tongue invites many a friendly response.

6 Let your acquaintances be many, but for advisers choose one out of a thousand.

7 If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and do not be in a hurry to trust him;

8 for one kind of friend is so only when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.

9 Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make your quarrel public,

10 and a third kind of friend will share your table, but not stand by you in your day of trouble:

11 when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about;

12 but, if disaster befalls you, he will recoil from you and keep out of your way.

13 Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends.

14 A loyal friend is a powerful defence: whoever finds one has indeed found a treasure.

15 A loyal friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.

16 A loyal friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.

17 Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a person is, so is his friend too.

 

October 19, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 7: 4-14

 

4 Do not ask the Lord for the highest place, or the king for a seat of honour.

5 Do not parade your uprightness before the Lord, or your wisdom before the king.

6 Do not scheme to be appointed judge, for fear you should not be strong enough to stamp out injustice, for fear of being swayed by someone influential and so of risking the loss of your integrity.

7 Do not wrong the general body of citizens and so lower yourself in popular esteem.

8 Do not be drawn to sin twice over, for you will not go unpunished even once.

9 Do not say, 'God will be impressed by my numerous offerings; when I sacrifice to GodMost High, he is bound to accept.'

10 Do not be hesitant in prayer; do not neglect to give alms.

11 Do not laugh at someone who is sad of heart, for he who brings low can lift up high.

12 Do not make up lies against your brother, nor against a friend either.

13 Mind you tell no lies, for no good can come of it.

14 Do not talk too much at the gathering of elders, and do not repeat yourself at your prayers.

 

October 20, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 10: 1-18

 

1 A sagacious ruler educates his people, and he makes his subjects understand order.

2 As the magistrate is, so will his officials be, as the governor is, so will be the inhabitants of his city.

3 An undisciplined king will be the ruin of his people, a city owes its prosperity to the intelligence of its leading men.

4 The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, he sets the right leader over it at the right time.

5 Human success is in the hands of the Lord. He invests the scribe with honour.

6 Do not resent your neighbour's every offence, and never act in a fit of passion.

7 Pride is hateful to God and humanity, and injustice is abhorrent to both.

8 Sovereignty passes from nation to nation because of injustice, arrogance and money.

9 What has dust and ashes to pride itself on? Even in life its entrails are repellent.

10 A long illness makes a fool of the doctor; a king today is a corpse tomorrow.

11 For in death the portion of all alike will be insects, wild animals and worms.

12 The first stage of pride is to desert the Lord and to turn one's heart away from one's Maker.

13 Since the first stage of pride is sin, whoever clings to it will pour forth filth. This is why the Lord inflicts unexpected punishments on such people, utterly destroying them.

14 The Lord has turned mighty princes off their thrones and seated the humble there instead.

15 The Lord has plucked up the proud by the roots, and planted the lowly in their place.

16 The Lord has overthrown the lands of the nations and destroyed them to the very foundations of the earth.

17 Sometimes he has taken them away and destroyed them, and blotted out theirmemory from the earth.

18 Pride was not created for human beings, nor furious rage for those born of woman.

 

October 21, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 11: 2-20

2 Do not praise anyone for good looks, nor dislike anyone for mere appearance.

3 Small among winged creatures is the bee but her produce is the sweetest of the sweet.

4 Do not grow proud when people honour you; for the works of the Lord are wonderful but hidden from human beings.

5 Many monarchs have been made to sit on the ground, and the person nobody thought of has worn the crown.

6 Many influential people have been utterly disgraced, and prominent people have fallen into the power of others.

7 Do not find fault before making thorough enquiry; first reflect, then give a reprimand.

8 Listen before you answer, and do not interrupt a speech before it is finished.

9 Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, do not interfere in the quarrels of sinners.

10 My child, do not take on a great amount of business; if you multiply your interests, you are bound to suffer for it; hurry as fast as you can, yet you will never arrive, nor willyou escape by running away.

11 Some people work very hard at top speed, only to find themselves falling further behind.

12 Or there is the slow kind of person, needing help, poor in possessions and rich in poverty; and the Lord turns a favourable eye on him, lifts him out of his wretched condition,

13 and enables him to hold his head high, thus causing general astonishment.

14 Good and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, all come from the Lord.

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17 To the devout the Lord's gift remains constant, and his favour will be there to lead them for ever.

18 Others grow rich by pinching and scraping, and here is the reward they receive for it:

19 although they say, 'Now I can sit back and enjoy the benefit of what I have got,' they do not know how long this will last; they will have to leave their goods to others and die.

20 Stick to your job, work hard at it and grow old at your work.

 

October 22, 2016

Ecclesiasticus 15: 9-20

9 Praise is unseemly in a sinner's mouth, since it has not been put there by the Lord.

10 For praise should be uttered only in wisdom, and the Lord himself then prompts it.

11 Do not say, 'The Lord was responsible for my sinning,' for he does not do what he hates.

12 Do not say, 'It was he who led me astray,' for he has no use for a sinner.

13 The Lord hates all that is foul, and no one who fears him will love it either.

14 He himself made human beings in the beginning, and then left them free to make their own decisions.

15 If you choose, you will keep the commandments and so be faithful to his will.

16 He has set fire and water before you; put out your hand to whichever you prefer.

17 A human being has life and death before him; whichever he prefers will be given him.

18 For vast is the wisdom of the Lord; he is almighty and all-seeing.

19 His eyes are on those who fear him, he notes every human action.

20 He never commanded anyone to be godless, he has given no one permission to sin.

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