Appear Not Before the Lord Empty Handed

Today’s Old Testament reading at mass was from Sirach (35:1-12), where we are warned, “Appear not before the Lord empty handed.”  This is a warning against bribes, not works; “offer no bribes, these He does not accept!” Rather, “In a generous spirit pay homage to the Lord.”  And, how is homage paid?  By doing what has written upon our hearts by the Lord: to seek truth; to love our neighbor as our self; and to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind.  These are to be paid cheerfully, freely, and with charity.   With such giving the Lord is well pleased, and returns not in kind, but seven fold.

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