The downtrodden (Sir 7:32-7:36)

“Stretch out your hand to the poor.

Thus your blessing may be complete.

Give graciously to all the living.

Do not withhold kindness

Even from the dead.

Do not avoid

Those who weep.

But mourn with those who mourn.

Do not hesitate to visit the sick.

Because for such deeds

You will be loved.

In all you do,

Remember the end of your life.

Then you will never sin.”

Sirach has some recommendations for how to deal with the downtrodden and what the consequences are. First, stretch out your hand to the poor and your blessings will be complete. Be kind and gracious to all the living as well. Secondly, you should be kind to the dead, but it is not clear what is meant here. Thirdly, you should comfort and mourn with those who are weeping and mourning. Fourthly, you should visit the sick because you will be loved for that. Finally, you should remember the end of your life to help you avoid sin. Once again, this is not a clear indication of an afterlife, but a hint at it.