Today’s reflection focuses on the vanity of dreams, experiences gained through travelling, the gains of the fear of the Lord, how to offer pleasing sacrifices to God, the justice of God, a prayer for Israel and how to choose a good wife.
Jesus the son of Sirach tries to let you understand that dreams mean nothing unless the Most High has sent you the dream and advises you not to be misled by most of your dreams.
He also tells you the privileges you enjoy when you fear the Lord and the consequences of not fearing the Lord.
The son of Sirach also explains to you the type of sacrifices that are pleasing to God and why you should offer sacrifices to God.
He also advises you to be very careful with how you threat the poor (especially orphans and widows) because God always listens to their cry.
He also wrote a prayer for Israel; a very powerful prayer which should be said by all who need God’s justice in their situations.
Finally, he advises Bachelors to choose good wives and how to choose one. And also advises spinsters to be good wives.
SUB THEMES FOR TODAY'S REFLECTION
1. Dreams mean nothing (34.1 – 34.8)
2. Travel (34.9 – 34.12)
3. Fear the Lord (34.13 – 34.17)
4. Offering sacrifices (34.18 – 35.12)
5. God’s justice (35.13 – 35.20)
6. A prayer for Israel (36.1 – 36.17)
7. Choosing a wife (36.18 – 36.26)
Now click Here to read words of divine wisdom of God through Sirach (34.1 – 36.26)
REFLECTIONS, WISE QUOTES AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR TODAY
1. A person who pays any attention at all to dreams is like someone who tries to catch shadows or chase the wind (34.2).
What you see in a dream is no more real than the reflection of your face in a mirror (34.3).
2. Be wise. Dreams, divination, and omens are all nonsense. You see in them only what you want to see (34.5).
Unless the Most high has sent you the dreams, pay no attention to it. (34.6)
3. The wise gain experience through travels. A well-travelled person with wide experience knows many things and talks sense (34.9).
You can’t know much if you haven’t experienced much, but travel can make you cleverer.
4. Fear the Lord, and you will have nothing else to fear. If your trust in him, you will never act like a coward (34.17).
People who fear the Lord are fortunate, because they know here they can look for help (34.15).
5. Be upright.
The Most High gets no pleasure from sacrifices made by ungodly people; no amount of sacrifices can make up for their sins (34.19).
6. Be very careful and never steal from the poor.
Anyone who steals an animal from the poor to offer as a sacrifice is like someone who kills a boy before his father’s eyes (34.20).
7. Try to be at peace with your neighbours.
When one person builds and somebody else tears down, has anything been accomplished but hard work? (34.23). When one person blesses and somebody else curses, which is the Lord going to listen to? (34.24).
8. Wise man note these:
a) Keeping the law is worth many offerings; it is a fellowship officer itself (35.1).
b) Returning a kindness is like a grain offering; giving to the poor is like a thanksgiving offering (35.2)
c) Keeping away from sin will please the Lord and make atonement for sin (35.3).
d) But don’t come to the temple without an offering (35.4). the law requires that you bring one (35.5)
9. Praise the Lord by making generous offerings to him; don’t be stingy with the first of your crops (35.8).
Be cheerful with every gift you make, and when you pay your tithes, do it gladly (35.9).
10. Be very careful with how you treat orphans and widows.
The Lord is fair and does not show partiality. He is not pre-judiced against the poor, when someone prays who has been wronged, the Lord listens (35.13). When orphans and widows pour out their prayers, he does not ignore the, (35.14). The tears running down a widow’s cheek cry out in accusation against the one who has caused her distress (35.15).
11. Do you want the Lord to answer your prayers quickly?
Then be humble and serve the Lord willingly and the Lord will accept you; your prayers will reach the skies (35.16).
12. Do you want God’s justice to prevail in your current situation?
Then say the prayer for Israel (36.1 – 36.17).
13. Note this:
A woman has to take any man as a husband, but a man must choose his wife carefully (36.21).
14. Young man, always take a kind and gentle lady as a wife and ladies try to be kind and gentle.
If the women is kind and gentle in her speech, her husband is the most fortunate of men (36.23).
15. When a man marries, he gets the finest thing he will ever have – a wife to help and encourage him (36.24).
CLOSING PRAYER FOR TODAY
(Recite with deep faith)
Lord Jesus, help me to recognize the dreams that came from you and may I never be deceived by mere dreams. May I always fear and offer pleasing sacrifices to you. May your justice vindicate me in my trying
moments and help me find a good and God – fearing wife – Amen.
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