It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sirach Prologue-Chapter 4

Scholars date this collection about 180 BCE, a time of Hellenization. The Jews, and everyone else too, were aware of the advantages the Greeks had provided to their world. Sirach (the grandson of  Ben Sira) presents evidence that real wisdom comes from the Lord.

God created Wisdom before all other things, poured her out upon all creation, lavished her upon those who love the Lord. Fear of the Lord enables glory, gladness, and long life. 

Wisdom begins in humans in the womb and continues to live with them, enabling them to flourish.

Advice: "Unjust anger cannot be justified, for anger tips the scale to one's ruin. Those who are patient stay calm until the right moment, and then cheerfulness comes back to them. They hold back their words until the right moment; then the lips of many tell of their good sense."

Trust in the Lord. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, forgiving sins and saves in times of distress.

Woes will come on the timid, the lazy, double-dealers, and cowards.

Honor your parents. Help them when they get old.

On humility, "The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. Your humility glorifies the Lord."

Living out humility: Recognize your limitations. Don't meddle. Don't be stubborn.

Warning: Aid the poor. God is listening to their prayers. 

More advice: Rescue the oppressed and those who are orphaned. Do not refrain from speaking at the proper moment. But "Do not be reckless in your speech, or sluggish and remiss in your deeds."

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