The traditional Epistle for today for well over a thousand years was one of those cases when the Epistle is not an epistle. Instead, the first, non-Gospel, reading at mass was from the multi-named Ecclessiasticus, Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sirach, Sirach, etc. This is one of those texts that Bible-reading Christians are not familiar with. Even if you’ve read the Apocrypha, you’ll not find this section as it appears in the Vulgate. Here it is in full from the Douay-Rheims English translation of the Vulgate:Sirach 24:24-31 24 I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope. 25 In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue. 26 Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. 27 For my spirit is sweet above honey, and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb. 28 My memory is unto everlasting generations. 29 They that eat me, shall yet hunger: and they that drink me, shall yet thirst. 30 He that hearkeneth to me, shall not be confounded: and they that work by me, shall not sin. 31 They that explain me shall have life everlasting.
Monday, September 08, 2008
"Nativity of the BVM: Words from the 'Apocrypha'"