Breaking Open the Word [Sirach 35:12-18]
The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds
30th Sunday ordinary Time, 2016
The Book of Sirach was written around 185 BC and the author’s name is Ben Sira. The Jewish community of Ben Sira’s time was under the oppressive regime of Greek Seleucids. They tried to impose Greek culture and way of life on the Jews and built temples for Greek gods and goddesses in Israel, forcing people to worship them. Obviously, there was constant armed resistance to Greek presence in Jewish land and
many men lost their lives [The Maccabees uprising took place around this period]. The
reference to orphans and widows in this passage was the aftermath of such conflicts, women losing their husbands and children made orphans.