When to leave a banquet (Sir 32:10-32:13)

“Lightning travels

Ahead of thunder.

Approval precedes

A modest person.

Leave in good time!

Do not be the last!

Go home quickly!

Do not linger!

Amuse yourself there,

To your heart’s content.

But do not sin

Through proud speech.

But above all,

Bless your Maker

Who fills you With his good gifts.”

Sirach thinks that there is a proper time to leave a banquet. Just as lightening precedes thunder by a few seconds, so too does approval precede a modest person. Do not be the last one to leave a banquet. Do not hang around, but go home quickly. While you are there at the banquet, amuse yourself to your heart’s content, but do not use sinful proud speech. More than anything else, bless your creator who has given you all his good gifts and graces.

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Confidence in the Lord (Sir 11:14-11:19)

“Good things and bad,

Life and death,

Poverty and wealth,

All come from the Lord.

The Lord’s gift remains

With the devout.

His favor brings lasting success.

One becomes rich

Through diligence.

One becomes rich

Through self-denial.

The reward allotted to him is this.

When he says.

‘I have found rest.

Now I shall feast on my goods!’

He does not know

How long it will be

Until he leaves them to others,

Until he dies.”

Everything comes from the Lord, both good and bad, life and death, as well as poverty and wealth. The Lord graces or gifts those who are devout. The Lord’s favor brings lasting success. You can become rich through diligence and self-denial. You might even say that you want to enjoy your wealth. However, you have no idea how long you will be able to do this because death is always looming. Someone else will probably enjoy these things that you worked so hard to get.