Sirach: “Don’t say, ‘God is so merciful that even all my sins will be forgotten'”

Sirach 11 by Michael Keck
Sirach 11 by Michael Keck

From today’s daily lectionary readings … the wisdom of Sirach.

“Don’t rely on your wealth, and say, “I’m a powerful individual.”
Don’t be driven by your appetites and ambition
and succumb to the passions of the heart.
Don’t say, “I am my own authority,”
for the Almighty will certainly call you to judgment.
Don’t say, “So I sinned; nothing has happened to me–”
YHWH can wait as long as necessary.
Don’t presume God’s forgiveness–
that’s adding sin to sin.
Don’t say, “God is so merciful
that even all my sins will be forgotten,”
for God is both merciful and jealous;
the corrupt feel the heavy hand of God’s wrath.
Don’t procrastinate about returning to YHWH;
don’t put it off a single day, for God’s vengeance
can be sudden and swift, and you’ll be
completely destroyed in a flash.
Don’t trust in your money or your ill-gotten gains;
it will have no value on the day of your judgment.”
Sirach 5:1-10