Sunday Vigil

Berbagi Di

Memory of Saint John of Damascus, Father of the Church and monk, who lived in Damascus in the 8th century, gave away his possessions to the poor, and entered the Lavra of Saint Sabbas, near Jerusalem. Prayer for Christians in Syria.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Isaiah 30,19-21.23-26

Yes, people of Zion living in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious to you when your cry for help rings out; as soon as he hears it, he will answer you. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your ears will hear these words behind you, 'This is the way, keep to it,' whether you turn to right or left. He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. That day, your cattle will graze in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that work the land will eat for fodder wild sorrel, spread by the shovel-load and fork-load. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and water-courses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter -- like the light of seven days in one -- on the day Yahweh dresses his people's wound and heals the scars of the blows they have received.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The prophet wants to reassure the inhabitants of Jerusalem that the morning will end soon. If we think of the time of the pandemic that has marked the entire world so dramatically, we can grasp the power of these words of Isaiah. And the wait for Christmas confirms us in the strength of the words we read. The prophet seems to suggest that God's coming and his work of salvation depend also the prayer of the people: "[The Lord] will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you." The Lord is not deaf to the prayer of his people. He has been always attentive to the cry of the people of Isarel since when they were slave in Egypt. "And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'" Continuous listening to the Word of God is the guarantee for believers of the wise way to walk in within the history of mankind and this way leads to a new fertility of the land: the rain falls at the right time, so that the grain grows rich and plenteous, and the cattle graze peacefully "in broad pastures." The indispensable condition for this to happen is to open one's heart to listen to the Word of God. With the apocalyptic tone of the upheaval of the sun and the moon, the conclusion of the passage indicates the fatigue that God's people experience while being within the history of men and women. Each side of history experiences the end of a world and the beginning of a new one. It is in this passage that believers are called to listen to the voice of the Lord and to identify for themselves and for others the "way to walk in." The Lord, who knows the fatigue of our lives, our fears and our bewilderment in the face of evil and violence, comes into the history of mankind like the Good Samaritan: he is moved by our wounded world and comes to its aid to heal it. And he asks us to accompany him in this work of mercy.