December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
- 2 In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
- To refrain from evil pleases the LORD, and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
- Appear not before the LORD empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
- The just man's offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
- The just man's sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten.
- In generous spirit pay homage to the LORD, be not sparing of freewill gifts.
- With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
- Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.
- For the LORD is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.
- But offer no bribes, these he does not accept! Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion,
- For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.
- 3 Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.
- He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint;
- Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against him that causes them to fall?
- He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens.
- The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal,
- Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.
- God indeed will not delay, and like a warrior, will not be still
- Till he breaks the backs of the merciless and wreaks vengeance upon the proud;
- Till he destroys the haughty root and branch, and smashes the scepter of the wicked;
- Till he requites mankind according to its deeds, and repays men according to their thoughts;
- Till he defends the cause of his people, and gladdens them by his mercy.
- Welcome is his mercy in time of distress as rain clouds in time of drought.
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1 [1-24] Keeping the commandments of the law and avoiding injustice constitute sacrifice pleasing and acceptable to God (Sirach 35:1-3). Offerings also should be made to him, cheerfully and generously; these he repays . . . sevenfold (Sirach 35:4-10). Extortion from widows and orphans is injustice, which God quickly repays (Sirach 35:11-18). Punishing the proud and the merciless and coming to the aid of the distressed, he requites all according to their deeds (Sirach 35:19-24).
2  Fine flour, together with oil and frankincense, was a prescribed offering to God; cf Lev 2:1-3.
3  Cf Lev 19:15.
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