Sunday Vigil

Berbagi Di

Memorial of Martin Luther King, killed in 1968 in Memphis in the United States. With him we remember all those who hunger and thirst for justice.


Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Ezekiel 37,21-28

say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall take the Israelites from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them to- gether from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil. I shall make them into one nation in the country, on the mountains of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their foul idols, their horrors and any of their crimes. I shall save them from the acts of infidelity which they have committed and shall cleanse them; they will be my people and I shall be their God. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my judgements, respect my laws and practise them. They will live in the country which I gave to my servant Jacob, the country in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children's children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever. I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and make them grow; I shall set my sanctuary among them for ever. I shall make my home above them; I shall be their God, and they will be my people. And the nations will know that I am Yahweh the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever." '

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

We are on the threshold of Holy Week and in the first reading the liturgy gives us in this passage in Ezekiel in which the prophet is trying to reawaken the dream of freedom in the people of Israel by announcing that freedom is near. Ezekiel, as we know, is undertaking his mission in Babylonia among the exiled Hebrews. And he decides to describe to the Israelites the vision that will happen in the future through the Lord. The prophet has just recounted the extraordinary vision of dry bones which through the Spirit are reconnected and revived again, as if to highlight that even in the most dramatic conditions the Lord can revive life. It is true that in distancing themselves from the Lord the people experience bitterness of deportation and exile. But once they have understood that without the Lord they remain among the smallest peoples on the earth and at the whim of powerful peoples, Israel feels they need to return to the Lord. And yet again, the Lord take the initiative and intervenes to free his people from slavery. He will send his servant David to be the one shepherd. "My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes." Hearing these words during the vigil of Holy Week, we cannot but see in that one shepherd Jesus himself who tomorrow we will accompany while he enters the holy city. He is the shepherd who gathers the sheep and leads them to green pastures and establishes forever a new and everlasting covenant between the Father in heaven and the people of disciples who he gathered and will continue to gather along the centuries.