Sunday Vigil

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Memory of Saint Nicholas († 350). He was a bishop in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) and is venerated throughout East.

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 is trying to reassure the community of believers that their prayer reaches God, even though they have been tried by affliction: “O people in shall weep no more. [The Lord] will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.” Of course it is possible that, although prayer does not drive away the time of trial immediately, it certainly forces the Lord to be close, to accompany, and to make himself present at his people's side; as the prophet says: “Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.” The Lord is a patient God, full of love and mercy. He never stops speaking to us, ensuring that his word be sown in our hearts. He is the sower of whom the Gospels speak. He casts his seed everywhere, generously. He does not first decide whether the soil is good, ready to be sown, or full of stones or thorns. He does not decide first, as we often do, whether to cast the seed everywhere, even toward those who might not listen. God wants to reach everyone, because he knows that everyone can plough the soil of his or her heart and be fertilized by his word in order to change and become better. He has mercy on us, because he is generous in loving. Blessed are those who hear his Word! We will not have to weep anymore, because the Lord hears the plea of those who cry out to him and is ready to heal the many wounds of this world, the wounds of those who suffer from war; the wounds of the sick, the imprisoned, and those who are condemned to death; and the wounds of the elderly, children, and the poor. He heals and transforms life deeply, as the prophet says. Faced with the wounds of this world and the strength of evil, which often frighten us, let us choose to follow the path set before us, because, with patience, we can also tend and heal the wounds of those we meet.