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 5, 12-16

Now it happened that Jesus was in one of the towns when suddenly a man appeared, covered with a skin-disease. Seeing Jesus he fell on his face and implored him saying, 'Sir, if you are willing you can cleanse me.'

He stretched out his hand, and touched him saying, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.' At once the skin-disease left him.

He ordered him to tell no one, 'But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your cleansing just as Moses prescribed, as evidence to them.'

But the news of him kept spreading, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their illnesses cured,

but he would go off to some deserted place and pray.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Evangelist Luke continues to present to us the mission of Jesus. It is the way we can live our discipleship every day. Yes, hearing the Gospel every day and welcoming it in our hearts is the first and most fundamental way of being disciples. Listening to the Gospel, in fact, is not like reading a book, maybe scrolling a chapter after another. When we read the Gospel, our meeting with Jesus and his friends occurs in our hearts. It is to say that we become contemporaries of Jesus, sharing in the gospel scene we hear with our ears. Today, with Jesus, we meet the leper who makes his way through the crowd and, heedless of the prohibitions of the law, throws himself at his feet. What an example for us that we so often stay afar, far away from Jesus, often because we do not physically participate in the Holy Liturgy, but also with your mind and heart as we easily forget about Jesus and his words. That leper, who wanted to help and comfort, overcomes objective difficulties, and kneels at the feet of Jesus. Moreover, he had heard that that good man did not send anyone away and would bend on all with love and mercy. In fact, even Jesus, overcoming rules and traditions - and the barriers that we place with foreigners, gypsies, the sick come to mind - when he sees the leper not only he does not send him away, but he touches him with his hand. It is a gesture that defeats the barrier separating the healthy from the leper; and, most of all, defeats all fear. That hand that stretches out is not a furtive gesture of courage; rather, it is the guarantee of the closeness of a love that continues. You can say it is the reflection of Jesus’ love for the Father. This is what Francis of Assisi did, when he dismounted from his horse and kissed the leper: “What first seemed repugnant, after I thought sweet,” he wrote in his will shortly before his death remembering this episode. The crowd came to be next to Jesus and hear his word. Jesus did not withdraw, it is true, but he did not stop to enjoy the honour, which would have been understandable. But he came not for himself, but for the Father. This is why he immediately retired to pray. He knew that his strength came completely from the Father. If so with Jesus, the more for us! His birth is an invitation to make room in our lives, so that his presence may bring forth good fruit of conversion and good life.