Sirach , CHAPTER 35
To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD, and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just man's offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just man's sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten.
In generous spirit pay homage to the LORD, be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.
For the LORD is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept! Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion,
For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.
Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed.
He is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint;
Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against him that causes them to fall?
He who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens.
The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal,
Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right.
God indeed will not delay, and like a warrior, will not be still
Till he breaks the backs of the merciless and wreaks vengeance upon the proud;
Till he destroys the haughty root and branch, and smashes the scepter of the wicked;
Till he requites mankind according to its deeds, and repays men according to their thoughts;
Till he defends the cause of his people, and gladdens them by his mercy.
Welcome is his mercy in time of distress as rain clouds in time of drought.