First Reading: (Sirach 17:1-15)
God created man of the earth, and made him after his own image. And he turned him into it again, and clothed him with strength according to himself. He gave him the number of his days and time, and gave him power over all things that are upon the earth. He put the fear of him upon all flesh, and he had dominion over beasts and fowls.
He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom, and shewed them both good and evil. He set his eye upon their hearts to shew them the greatness of his works: That they might praise the name which he hath sanctified: and glory in his wondrous acts, that they might declare the glorious things of his works.
Moreover he gave them instructions, and the law of life for an inheritance. He made an everlasting covenant with them, and he shewed them his justice and judgments. And their eye saw the majesty of his glory. and their ears heard his glorious voice, and he said to them: Beware of all iniquity. And he gave to every one of them commandment concerning his neighbour. Their ways are always before him, they are not hidden from his eyes. Over every nation he set a ruler.
And Israel was made the manifest portion of God. And all their works are as the sun in the sight of God: and his eyes are continually upon their ways.
As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him: For he knoweth our frame.
He remembereth that we are dust: Man’s days are as grass, as the flower of the field so shall he flourish.
For the spirit shall pass in him, and he shall not be: and he shall know his place no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from eternity and unto eternity upon them that fear him: And his justice unto children’s children,
To such as keep his covenant, And are mindful of his commandments to do them.
Whom when Jesus saw, he was much displeased, and saith to them: Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, shall not enter into it.
And embracing them, and laying his hands upon them, he blessed them.