Funeral Lectionary: Sirach 41:11-13

More wisdom from Ben Sira, the author of the Book of Sirach.

Our mortality is mentioned only in passing, to drive home the point about the value in having lived a virtuous life. Before using at a funeral, perhaps be sure that the deceased was indeed considered a person of virtue.

It’s a brief reading::

The human body is a fleeting thing,
but a virtuous name will never be annihilated.
Have a care for your name,
for it will stand by you
better than precious treasures in the thousands;
The boon of life is for limited days,
but a good name, for days without number.

Verse 11 (the first two lines above) reads like many Old Testament proverbs. Then our biblical sage elaborates a bit with advice for the young. At a funeral, perhaps it is a pragmatic reminder that life is limited. For the Christian the “good name” we most often consider is the name above all other names, the name at which every knee must bend. (Cf. Phil 2:9-10)

And that is worth pondering at the time of death.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Order of Christian Funerals, Scripture. Bookmark the permalink.

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