The lesson from Sirach this day (Sir 5:1-8) is that we should not rely on earthly things like wealth, strength, or power as opposed to God. If we do, we will surely be punished. And just because something bad has not happened yet due to our sinfulness does not mean that it will not in the future. And while the mercy of the Lord is great, so is His justice. We are not to be overconfident or presumptuous of the forgiveness of our sins, nor are we to put off asking for pardon, but rather we are to convert from sin and wrongdoing immediately (see above) or risk eternal destruction.
We are never out of the reach of God’s mercy. No sin is too frequent, no transgression too heinous, for forgiveness to be ours if we sincerely desire it and have a firm purpose of amendment. This can happen at any time in our lives, even the deathbed. But that does not mean we can feel free to lead a profligate life only to ask forgiveness when we see our days waning. We might not have that chance as “the best laid schemes of mice and men go often awry.” Paul tells us that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night” (1 Thess 5:2). Jesus says, “stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Mt 25:13). The best advice is the time-tested “live every day as if it were your last because one day it will be.” Let us always be ready to meet the Lord with joy and never with dread. “Repent and believe”! (Mk 1:15)