Reading (Sirach 17.1-4, 6-8, 10-15)
The Lord created human beings out of earth, and makes them return to it again. He gave them a fixed number of days, but granted them authority over everything on the earth. He endowed them with strength proper to them and made them in his own image. He put the fear of them in all living beings, and gave them dominion over beasts and birds.
Discretion and tongue and eyes, ears and a mind for thinking he gave them. He filled them with knowledge and understanding, and showed them good and evil. He put the fear of him into their hearts to show them the majesty of his works.
And they will praise his holy name, to proclaim the grandeur of his works. He bestowed knowledge upon them, and allotted to them the law of life. He established with them an eternal covenant, and revealed to them his decrees.
Their eyes saw his glorious majesty, and their ears heard the glory of his voice. He said to them, “Beware of all evil.” And he gave commandment to each of them concerning the neighbour. Their ways are always known to him; they will not be hid from his eyes.
Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 103)
R. The Lord’s kindness is everlasting to those who fear him.
As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust. R.
As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. R.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. R.