Ecclesiastes 3 16-22

16Further, I saw under the sun:
the place for judgement, there – wickedness.
the place for righteousness, there – wickedness

17I said in my heart,
‘the righteous person and the wicked person
God will judge.
Because there is a season
for every matter
and for every labour there.

18I said in my heart,
with regard to matters of humans,
God will make it clear and show them
that they are like animals.

19Because the fate of humans
and the fate of animals
is a single fate.
As the death of this one
so the death of this one
One ‘breath’ for all.
The advantage of humanity over animals
– there is none, because each is mere breath.
20And all go to one place.
All are from dust
and all go back to dust.

21Who knows if the spirit of humans goes upward
and the spirit of animals goes down beneath the earth?

22So I saw that there is nothing better than that a person enjoy their labours, because this is their share,
because who can give them discernment to see what will happen after them?

O Lord, in whom is our hope,
remove far from us, we pray thee,
empty hopes and presumptuous confidence.
Make our hearts so right with thy most holy and loving heart,
that hoping in thee we may do good;
until that day when faith and hope
shall be abolished by sight and possession,
and love shall be all in all.

Christina Rossetti (1830-94)


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