December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Come to our aid, O God of the universe, and put all the nations in dread of you!
- Raise your hand against the heathen, that they may realize your power.
- As you have used us to show them your holiness, so now use them to show us your glory.
- Thus they will know, as we know, that there is no God but you.
- Give new signs and work new wonders; show forth the splendor of your right hand and arm;
- Rouse your anger, pour out wrath, humble the enemy, scatter the foe.
- Hasten the day, bring on the time;
- crush the heads of the hostile rulers.
- Let raging fire consume the fugitive, and your people's oppressors meet destruction.
- Gather all the tribes of Jacob, that they may inherit the land as of old,
- Show mercy to the people called by your name; Israel, whom you named your first-born.
- Take pity on your holy city, Jerusalem, your dwelling place.
- Fill Zion with your majesty, your temple with your glory.
- Give evidence of your deeds of old; fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name,
- Reward those who have hoped in you, and let your prophets be proved true.
- Hear the prayer of your servants, for you are ever gracious to your people;
- Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth that you are the eternal God.
- 2 The throat can swallow any food, yet some foods are more agreeable than others;
- As the palate tests meat by its savor, so does a keen mind insincere words.
- A deceitful character causes grief, but an experienced man can turn the tables on him.
- Though any man may be accepted as a husband, yet one girl will be more suitable than another:
- A woman's beauty makes her husband's face light up, for it surpasses all else that charms the eye;
- And if, besides, her speech is kindly, his lot is beyond that of mortal men.
- A wife is her husband's richest treasure, a helpmate, a steadying column.
- A vineyard with no hedge will be overrun; a man with no wife becomes a homeless wanderer.
- Who will trust an armed band that shifts from city to city?
- Or a man who has no nest, but lodges where night overtakes him?
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1 [1-17] Making an act of faith and hope in the supreme Lord of the universe, the author begs God to continue manifesting his holiness and mercy through Israel, his people (Sirach 36:1-3, 10-13), and his power and justice through the punishment of the nations (Sirach 36:2, 5-9), that all the earth may acknowledge him the eternal God (Sirach 36:4, 14-17).
2 [36:18-37:15] In the choice of wife, friend or associate, experience is a discerner of character (Sirach 36:18-21). Beauty and kindly speech make a woman desirable as wife (Sirach 36:22-24). The good wife becomes her husband's richest treasure, his helpmate in establishing his household (Sirach 36:24-27). A true friend fights for his comrade and shares his spoils with him (Sirach 37:5-6); a false one deceives and abandons him in time of need (Sirach 37:1-4). A true counselor and associate should be sought among those who keep the commandments, not among those who break them and seek their own advantage (Sirach 37:7-12). In all things pray to God for light and follow conscience (Sirach 37:13-15).
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