Sunday Vigil

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For Muslims it is the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting (‘Aid-l fitr).

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 John 4, 7-16

My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love.

This is the revelation of God's love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him.

Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins.

My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love one another.

No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us.

This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit.

We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Saviour of the world.

Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God.

We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this passage John reaches the culmination of his Letter and affirms that "God is love." By calling Christians "beloved," the apostle is doing more than expressing his affection; he is declaring the primacy of God’s love, which draws in and involves all those who believe in him. "Since God has loved us so much, we also ought to love one another." With these words the apostle underscores the originality of the love that comes from God. He immediately adds, "In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us." The consequences are clear - whoever does not love is far from God and does not know him, because God is love. Once again, this affirmation should not be considered an abstract theory about some generic divine benevolence. John explains God’s love through its manifestation in Jesus Christ, "God’s love appeared among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him." His manifestation to the world was the manifestation of His love in the history of humanity, then of Israel, that reached its fulfilment in the incarnation of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. God’s love has a visible and steadfast story that we are able to know and in which we can participate. Consequently he can tell Christians, "Since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another." And it is not just any love; it is not "philia" or "eros", as the Greeks said, which still are valuable. Neither one nor the other are the fulfilment of the agape, that is, the love which leads us to give even one’s life for one’s brothers and sisters. Whoever welcomes this love abides in God and already knows him intimately.