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Ecclesiasticus / Sirach - Chapter 44

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1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive generations.

2 The Lord has created an abundance of glory, and displayed his greatness from earliest times.

3 Some wielded authority as kings and were renowned for their strength; others were intelligent advisers and uttered prophetic sayings.

4 Others directed the people by their advice, by their understanding of the popular mind, and by the wise words of their teaching;

5 others composed musical melodies and set down ballads;

6 others were rich and powerful, living peacefully in their homes.

7 All these were honoured by their contemporaries and were the glory of their day.

8 Some of them left a name behind them, so that their praises are still sung.

9 While others have left no memory, and disappeared as though they had not existed. They are now as though they had never been, and so too, their children after them.

10 But here is a list of illustrious men whose good works have not been forgotten.

11 In their descendants they find a rich inheritance, their posterity.

12 Their descendants stand by the commandments and, thanks to them, so do their children's children.

13 Their offspring will last for ever, their glory will not fade.

14 Their bodies have been buried in peace, and their name lives on for all generations.

15 The peoples will proclaim their wisdom, the assembly will celebrate their praises.

16 Enoch pleased the Lord and was transferred to heaven, an example for the conversion of all generations.

17 Noah was found perfectly upright, in the time of retribution he became the heir: because of him a remnant was preserved for the earth at the coming of the Flood.

18 Everlasting covenants were made with him that never again should every living creature perish by flood.

19 Abraham, the great ancestor of a host of nations, no one was ever his equal in glory.

20 He observed the Law of the Most High, and entered into a covenant with him. He confirmed the covenant in his own flesh, and proved himself faithful under ordeal.

21 The Lord therefore promised him on oath to bless the nations through his descendants, to multiply him like the dust on the ground, to exalt his descendants like the stars, and to give them the land as their heritage, from one sea to the other, from the River to the ends of the earth.

22 To Isaac too, for the sake of Abraham his father, he assured

23 the blessing of all humanity; he caused the covenant to rest on the head of Jacob. He confirmed him in his blessings and gave him the land as his inheritance; he divided it into portions, and shared it out among the twelve tribes.

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Reading 1, Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12
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