ADVICE ABOUT BEGGING AND DEATH, A SENSE OF DECENCY AND PRIDE AND THE GLORY OF GOD IN NATURE

INTRODUCTION

Today’s reflection centers on advice about begging and death, the fate of the wicked, a sense of decency and pride, advice to fathers and daughters and finally, a reflection on the glory of God in nature.
Advice about begging and death, a sense of decency and pride

Jesus the son of Sirach advises you to avoid the life of a beggar. To tell you how bad a begging is, he compared it with death, saying that it is better to die than to beg.

He also advices you about death. He said that the very thought of it is bitter but you should not be afraid of death because God himself made it.

The son of Sirach also summarized the fate of the wicked. He said that the children of the wicked will always turn out to be hateful people, losing their inheritance and living in permanent disgrace. They are doomed.

Jesus commended a sense of decency and pride. According to him, there are circumstances when it is proper to be ashamed and listed some of these circumstances. He also listed some things you should not be ashamed of. One of them is the law of the Most High and his covenant.

He also addressed fathers and their daughters. According to him, a good father should always be bothered about the welfare of his daughters, else she brings a public disgrace to him.

Finally, the son of Sirach took time to analyze the glory of God in nature and in creation, acknowledging his sovereignty.

SUB THEMES FOR TODAY'S REFLECTION

1. Begging (40.28 – 40.30)
2. Death (41.1 – 41.4)
3. The fate of the wicked (41.5 – 41.13)
4. A sense of decency (41.14 – 41.24)
5. A sense of pride (42.1 – 42.8)
6. Fathers and daughters (42.9 – 42.14)
7. The glory of God in Nature (42.15 – 43.33)

Now click Here to read words of divine wisdom of God through Sirach (40.28 – 43.33)

REFLECTIONS, WISE QUOTES AND FOOD FOR THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

1. Never live a life of a beggar. 

If you depend on someone else for your food, you are not really living your own life. You pollute yourself by accepting food from another. A shameless person can make begging sound sweet but something inside him burns. Begging is torture to the soul of any sensitive person (40.29 – 40.30).

2. Avoid untimely death. But do not be afraid of death’s decree. 

Remember that it came to those before you and will come to those after you. (41.3) the Lord has decreed it for every lying creature. Who are you to object what the Most High wishes? In the world of the dead, no one will care whether you lived ten years, a hundred or a thousand (41.4).

3. Woe to the wicked. You are doomed. 

You irreligious people who have abandoned the law of the Most High God. When you have children, disaster will strike them and you will be left with nothing bout sorrow. There will be great joy whenever you stumble and even after your death you will be caused. (41.8 – 41.9)

4. Strive to secure a good reputation because a person’s body amounts to nothing, but a good reputation will last forever. 

Protect your reputation; it will outlive you and last longer than a thousand treasures of gold reputation will last forever (41.11 – 41.13).

5. Always express your wisdom because wisdom that is not expressed like a treasure that has been hidden – both are useless. 

A person who covers up his foolishness is better than one who keeps his wisdom to himself (41.14 – 41.15)

6. There are circumstances when it is proper to be ashamed. But sometimes, it is entirely out of place.

It is proper to be ashamed in the following circumstances:
a) Before your parents, be ashamed of immoral behavior.
b) Before a ruler or an important person, be ashamed of a lie.
c) Before a judge, be ashamed of a criminal behavior.
d) Be a public assembly, be ashamed of breaking the law.
e) Before a friend or partner, be ashamed of dishonesty.
f) Before your neighbours, be ashamed of theft.
g) Be ashamed of breaking a promise.
h) Be ashamed of learning on the dinner table with your elbows
i) Be ashamed of stinginess when you are asked for something.
j) Be ashamed of not returning a greeting.
k) Be ashamed of staring at a prostitute
l) Be ashamed of turning down a relative’s request.
m) Be ashamed of depriving someone of what is rightly his.
n) Be ashamed of staring at another man’s wife.
o) Be ashamed of playing around with slave women (keep away from the bed!).
p) Be ashamed of insulting your friends.
q) Be ashamed of following up your gifts with criticism.
r) Be ashamed of betraying secrets
These are times when it is proper for you to be ashamed, and people will respect you for it (41.16 – 41.23)

7. On the other hand, it is possible to sin by giving in to other people too much. Below are some of the things and circumstances you should not be ashamed of:

a) Do not be ashamed of the law of the Most High and his covenant.
b) Do not be ashamed of judging even godless people fairly.
c) Do not be ashamed of sharing expenses with a business partner or a travelling companion.
d) Do not be ashamed of sharing an inheritance.
e) Do not be ashamed of using accurate weights and measures.
f) Do not be ashamed of making a profit, whether great or small (but through the right source).
g) Do not be ashamed of bargaining with a merchant.
h) Do not be ashamed of disciplining your children often.
i) Do not be ashamed of beating a disloyal slave until the blood flows (42.1 – 42.5)
These are recommended sense of pride.

8. Note this: 

It is wise to lock things up if you cannot trust your wife or if too many people are around (42.6). 
Keep an accurate record of any deposit you make or of anything you give or receive (42.7).

9. Do not hesitate to correct someone who is acting foolishly or an old man who goes about with prostitutes (42.8).

All these are worthwhile advice and if you follow them, everyone will approve of your behaviour.

10. Parents (especially the fathers) keep a close watch over your daughter if she is determined to have her own way. 

If you don’t, she may make a fool of you in front of your enemies. You will be a constant joke to everyone in town, a public disgrace. Make sure that her room has no windows or any place where she can look out to the entrance of the house (42.11).
Don’t let her show off her beauty in from of men or spend her time talking with the women (42.12). Women hurt other women just as moths damage clothing (42.13).

11. A man’s wickedness is better than a woman’s goodness; women bring shame and disgrace (42.14). 

This is a true fact.

12. The words of the Lord brought his works into being and the whole creation obeys his commands (42.15).

13. All things are in pairs, each the opposite of the other, but nothing the Lord made is incomplete (42.24). 

Everything completes the goodness of something else. Could anyone ever see enough of this splendor? (42.25)

14. The Lord deserves praise for his work of creation. 

Though you do your best to praise him, he is greater than you can express. Though you honour him tirelessly and with all your strength, you still cannot praise him enough (43.30).

15. The Lord made the universe and then gave wisdom to devout people (43.33). 

Be devoted to the laws of the Most High and you will be wise.

CLOSING PRAYER FOR TODAY

(Recite with deep faith)
Lord Jesus, give enough resources and save me from a begging life. Help me to live a holy life so that I and so that the fate of the wicked will not be my portion. May I be proud in doing the right thing and be ashamed of doing evil. Help me to carry out duty as a parent and your child. Above all, may I acknowledge your glory in nature – Amen.

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