For your reading and reflecting pleasure, here's the reading from Sirach we've been mulling in our daily Eucharist this week (an option for those on the RCL cycle for this Sunday.)
A Reading from Sirach (35:12–17).
Do not try to bribe God, for that will never be accepted; do not expect good from an ill-gotten sacrifice. For the Most High is a judge who does not respect individuals or grant favors at the expense of the poor; God listens to the prayers of those who are exploited. God will never ignore the pleas of the orphan or the widowed, as they pour out from their heart.
See how the tears run down the cheeks of the bereaved and their cries indict their persecutors! To be accepted, you must give of yourself as the Most High requires – then your prayer will reach the clouds. The prayer of the humble pierce the clouds. Until it is heard, there is no comfort for them; yet they do not give up until the Most High answers them, giving the just what is theirs, and granting them justice.
Minister: Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.
People: Thanks be to God.