Sunday Vigil

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 13,1-9

It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.' He told this parable, 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to his vinedresser, "For three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?" "Sir," the man replied, "leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down." '

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just finished talking to the crowd when someone mentions the bloodshed that Pilate ordered against a few Galileans who may have tried an insurrection. This episode gives him the opportunity to explain that the evil or disgraces that befall people are not direct consequences of their individual sins. In order to clarify his point, Jesus adds another event that looks more like a natural disaster: that is those who died because of the tower of Siloam's fall. God asks all men and women and to the disciples of the Gospel in particular to get involved in this hard battle against evil and against the prince of evil who never ceases to push creatures toward dividing and fighting with one another and destroying the common house that is creation to the point of making it inhabitable. Hence the call to conversion, that is, conversion to the Gospel of love and therefore conversion to universal fraternity and to ecology for the common house. The parable Jesus adds on the fig-tree wants to recall the importance of the prayer of intercession. So many times, we are confronted with situations that appear difficult to change or that despite our efforts, remain more or less the same. They are like that fig tree mentioned in the Gospel that bears no fruit. For three years, the master tried to get fruit from it, but never found any. Frustrated, he goes to the gardener and tells him to cut it down so that it will not exhaust the soil for no use. The gardener who has been by that little fig tree has learned to love it and asks the master to let him dig and fertilize the soil around it; he is sure that the fig tree will bear fruit. Jesus exhorts us to be patient, that is to continue to stand by the fig tree and to surround it with care so that, in its own time, it will bear fruit. We need to learn from the patience of God who knows how to hope in everyone, who does not extinguish a smouldering wick, who accompanies and takes care of the weak so that they may give a contribution of love. The prayer of intercession recalled in the Gospel page is an invitation to Christians to this priestly service; praying always without tiring so that peace in the world come and people discover again their being children of God and brothers and sisters of all.