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

Colossians 1, 15-20

He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born of all creation,

for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth: everything visible and everything invisible, thrones, ruling forces, sovereignties, powers -- all things were created through him and for him.

He exists before all things and in him all things hold together,

and he is the Head of the Body, that is, the Church. He is the Beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that he should be supreme in every way;

because God wanted all fullness to be found in him

and through him to reconcile all things to him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, by making peace through his death on the cross.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In order to warn the Colossians not to resign themselves to the dark powers of the world, Paul composes the Christological hymn. He first speaks of Christ’s pre-existence and his superiority over all of creation, including the ranks of cosmic, immaterial powers. They no longer have the strength to compete with Christ, who is the only true response to the uneasiness of men and women. Affirming that the Son is the “image of the invisible God” and the “the firstborn of all creation,” the apostle does not just mean that he is the first and most important creature, but that he has pre-eminence over all of creation. In the Son, all of creation – including the invisible things, which the apostle lists one by one – finds consistency, rationale, and meaning. The Son is the origin and the end of history, which culminates in the resurrection of Jesus, the central event that makes all things new. Indeed, the “new creation” begins with the resurrection of Christ. And the Risen One, who has become the universal reconciler (1:20), is the centre of unity towards which all things converge. And he carries out his plan for reconciliation through the Church, of which he is the head (this is the first time in the New Testament that Christ is presented as the Head of the body, which is the Church). Thus the apostle clarifies what it means for Christians to belong to the Church: as a community, they become a sacrament of Christ in the world. But he adds that Christ is also the “firstborn.” With his resurrection, Christ inaugurates the universal resurrection of the dead. He is the first to rise, the one who opens the road, “the firstborn within a large family” (Romans 8:29), who brought to fulfilment humanity’s deepest vocation: to enter into communion with God. Paul never turns his gaze away from Christ, and he never tires of exalting his primacy: indeed, in Him “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” And evil, which still works in the world, was nonetheless definitively weakened by Jesus. In Him God has already made real peace between all creatures, cosmic peace.