December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials.
- Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity.
- Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great.
- Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient;
- For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.
- Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.
- You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.
- You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.
- You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
- Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
- Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble.
- 2 Woe to craven hearts and drooping hands, to the sinner who treads a double path!
- Woe to the faint of heart who trust not, who therefore will have no shelter!
- Woe to you who have lost hope! what will you do at the visitation of the LORD?
- Those who fear the LORD disobey not his words; those who love him keep his ways.
- Those who fear the LORD seek to please him, those who love him are filled with his law.
- Those who fear the LORD prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him.
- Let us fall into the hands of the LORD and not into the hands of men, For equal to his majesty is the mercy that he shows.
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1 [1-11] Serving God is not without its trials (Sirach 2:1); moreover, it must be done with sincerity, steadfastness and fidelity (Sirach 2:2-3). Misfortune and humiliation merely purify man and prove his worth (Sirach 2:4-5). Patience and unwavering trust in God are always rewarded with the benefits of God's mercy and of lasting joy (Sirach 2:6-11).
2 [12-17] A warning to those who compromise their religion in time of affliction; they fail in courage and trust and therefore have no security (Sirach 2:12-14). But those who fear the Lord through obedience, reverence, love and humility find his mercy equal to his majesty (Sirach 2:15-17).
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