24 December 2011
Fatherly adviceĖ Extracted from the Book of Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 35: 1-13
The Law and sacrifices
A man multiplies offerings by keeping the Law; he offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.
By showing gratitude he makes an offering of fine flour, by giving alms he offers a sacrifice of praise.
Withdraw from wickedness and the Lord will be pleased, withdraw from injustice and you make atonement.
Do not appear empty-handed in the Lordís presence; for all these things are due under the commandment.
A virtuous manís offering graces the altar, and its savour rises before the Most High. 8-)
A virtuous manís sacrifice is acceptable, its memorial will not be forgotten.
Honour the Lord with generosity, do not stint the first-fruits you bring.
Add a smiling face to all your gifts, and be cheerful as you dedicate your tithes. 8-)
Give to the Most High as He has given you, generously as your means can afford; for the Lord is a good rewarder, He will reward you seven(7) times over.
(Sharing: Many of us have been rewarded by the Lord at least 100 times over. ) 8-)
Fatherly advice - Extracted from Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 35: 11-26:
The Justice of God
Offer Him no bribe, He will not accept it, do not put your faith in an unvirtuous sacrifice; since the Lord is a Judge who is no respecter of personages.
He shows no respect of personages to the detriment of a poor man, He listens to the plea of the injured party.
He does not ignore the orphanís supplication, nor the widowís as she pours our her story.
Do the widowís tears not run down her cheeks, as she cries out against the man who caused them?
The man who with his whole heart serves God will be accepted, his petitions will carry to the clouds.
The humble manís prayer pierces the clouds, until it arrives he is inconsolable, nor will he desist until the Most High takes notice of him, acquits the virtuous and delivers judgement.
And the Lord will not be slow, nor will He be dilatory on their behalf,
until He has crushed the loins of the merciless and exact vengeance on the nations,
until He has exterminate the hordes of the arrogant and broken the sceptres of the wicked,
until He has repaid each as his deeds deserve and human actions as their intentions merit,
until He has judged the case of His people and made them rejoice in His mercy.
Mercy is welcome in time of trouble, like rain clouds in time of draught.
Fatherly advice - Extracted from Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 41:5-16
The fate of the wicked
Hateful brats, such are the children of sinners, who forgather in the haunts of the godless.
The inheritance of sinnersí children is doomed to perish, their posterity will endure lasting reproach.
A godless father will be blamed by his children for the reproach he has brought on them.
A bad outlook for you, godless men, who have forsaken the Law of God Most High.
When you were born, you were born to be accursed, and when you die, that curse will be your portion.
All that comes from the earth returns to earth, so too the wicked proceed from curse to destruction.
Men go into mourning for their dead, but the worthless name of sinners will be blotted out.
Be careful of your reputation, for it will last you longer than a thousand (1000) great hoards of gold.
A good life lasts a certain number of days, but a good reputation lasts for ever.
Fatherly advice - Extracted from Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 41:14 - 42:8
A sense of shame
Keep my instructions and be at peace, my children.
Wisdom hidden away and treasure un-displayed, what use are either of these?
Better a man who hides his folly than one who hides his wisdom.
Now, keep your sense of shame with respect to what I am going to say, for not every kind of shame is right to harbor, nor is every situation correctly appraised by all.
Be ashamed, before father and mother, of licentious behaviour,
and before prince or potentate of telling lies; of wrong-doing before judge or magistrate, and of impiety before the assembly of the people;
of sharp practice before your companion and your friend, and of theft before the neighborhood you live in.
Before the truth and covenant of God, be ashamed of leaning elbows on the table,
of making gifts before those who despise them, and of ignoring those who greet you:
of gazing at a loose woman and of turning your back on a relation,
of misappropriating anotherís portion of gift,
of paying court to another manís wife, on carrying on with his servant-girl ódo not go near her bedó
of words of abuse before your friendsó do not follow up a gift with a taunt -
of repeating and retailing gossip and of betraying confidences.
Then you will know what true shame is, and you will find yourself in every manís graces.
These are the things that you should not be ashamed of, and do not sin from fear of what others think: of the Law of the Most High and the covenant,
of a verdict that acquits the foreigner, of keeping strict accounts with a travelling companion, of settling property on your friends, of being accurate over scales and weights,
of making small and large profits, of gaining from a commercial transactions, of disciplining your children strictly, of lashing a wicked slave till you draw blood.
With an interfering wife, it is as well to use your seal, and where there are many hands, lock things up.
Whatever stores you issue, do it by number and weight, spendings and takings, put everything in writing.
Do not be ashamed to correct a stupid man or a fool, or an old dotard who bickers with young people.
Then you will show yourself really educated and win the approval of everyone.
24 December 2011