Take care of other things (Lk 16:12-16:12)

“If you have not

Been faithful

With what

Belongs to another,

Who will give you

What is your own?”

 

καὶ εἰ ἐν τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε, τὸ ἡμέτερον τίς δώσει ὑμῖν;

 

Once again, this is a unique statement of Luke, not found in the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that if they had not been faithful or trustworthy (καὶ εἰ…πιστοὶ οὐκ ἐγένεσθε) with what belongs to another (ἐν τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ), who would give them what is their own (τὸ ἡμέτερον τίς δώσει ὑμῖν)?  Why should you be trusted with your own stuff, when you do not know how to handle other people’s stuff, money or other things?  Are you trustworthy with borrowed money?

Buildings and sinners (Sir 21:8-21:10)

“Whoever builds his house

With other people’s money is

Like one who gathers stones

For his burial mound.

An assembly of the wicked is

Like a bundle of tow.

Their end is a blazing fire.

The way of sinners is

Paved with smooth stones.

But at its end is

The pit of Hades.”

Building your house with borrowed money is like gathering stones to build a burial mound. This is a fool’s task. You should probably wait until you have your own money to start building. Next Sirach warns us against “tow”, which is a kind of hemp or flax. He compares a bundle of this crop to an assembly of wicked people. They both will end up in a blazing fire. Then we have the expression about the sinner’s path that is paved with smooth stones that lead to hell or Hades, the afterlife underworld.

Self control (Sir 18:30-18:33)

“Do not follow

Your base desires!

Restrain your appetites!

If you allow your soul

To take pleasure

In base desire,

It will make you

The laughingstock of your enemies.

Do not revel

In great luxury!

You might become impoverished

By its expense.

Do not become a beggar

By feasting with borrowed money,

When you have nothing in your purse.”

Sirach reminds us that we should have self control. You should not follow your base desires, because you should restrain your various appetites. Do not let your soul take pleasure in these base desires. Otherwise, you will be the laughing stock of your enemies. Do not get caught up in luxuries. You might be impoverished by this attempt to enjoy luxury. Do not become a beggar by feasting on borrowed money, when you have nothing. Try a little self control.