35:12 Give to the Most High as he has given to you, and as generously as you can afford.
35:13 For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
35:14 Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it;
35:15 and do not rely on a dishonest sacrifice; for the Lord is the judge, and with him there is no partiality.
35:16 He will not show partiality to the poor; but he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged.
35:17 He will not ignore the supplication of the orphan, or the widow when she pours out her complaint.
As most Christians already know Sirach is not part of the biblical cannon. However, it was included in the Bible for edification and history for over 1,500 years. Thus, it is part of the revised common lectionary. We will be addressing one section in Sirach which is a book filled with wisdom and wise sayings, much like proverbs. While we do not treat Sirach as we do scripture we should not stick our noses up at the wisdom found within. It was good enough for the church fathers and church leaders for 1,500 years, it should be good enough for us as well.
The section we read from in 35 today is concerning offerings to the Lord. God is the one from whom all good things flow. We should do as the first verse says and “give to the Most High as he has given to you and as generously as you can afford.” Indeed, we are called to not be lovers of money but lovers of God. Our money comes from God which is why Jesus said “seek the kingdom first and all these things will be added to you.”
God knows our hearts and minds. He know who is chasing after Him and who is chasing after the lusts of wealthy or the lusts of the flesh. He cannot be fooled. Let us always give to God what is His and be a blessing to others. We cannot take our money or possessions to the grave with us. Only the light of the Lord will be with us when we go.