Sunday Vigil

Share On

February 7, 1968 commemorates the beginning of the Community of Sant’Egidio. A group of students from a Roman high school started gathering around the Gospel and loving the poor. Thanksgiving to the Lord for the gift of the Community.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 13, 15-17.20-21

Through him, let us offer God an unending sacrifice of praise, the fruit of the lips of those who acknowledge his name.

Keep doing good works and sharing your resources, for these are the kinds of sacrifice that please God.

Obey your leaders and give way to them; they watch over your souls because they must give an account of them; make this a joy for them to do, and not a grief -- you yourselves would be the losers.

I pray that the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood that sealed an eternal covenant,

may prepare you to do his will in every kind of good action; effecting in us all whatever is acceptable to himself through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

At the end of the Letter, we are invited to become involved in a “sacrifice of praise” brought forth every time the community gathers to celebrate the liturgy. The liturgy indeed gives strength and meaning to our entire life. Christian life is not about following a set of rules or rituals but about abandoning the logic of sin and welcoming Christ’s love. This is how we enter the promised kingdom. Benevolence, wanting and doing good are part of the logic of love. This invitation refers to embodying a particular attitude in our daily lives that brings us to a “communion of goods,” possible only when one looks with benevolence upon one’s neighbours. Even obedience becomes possible when our heart lives in benevolence and communion, for obeying cannot be forced; obeying must grow from the awareness of our need to be helped and guided. At this point, the author invites his readers to prayer, which though it is not reported in the text as such, remains the Letter’s fundamental final passage before the concluding thanksgiving. In a personal way, the author insistently asks, “Pray for us.” Recently Pope Francis has spoken strongly about the commitment to pray for one another. He asks it often for himself. Certainly communion in prayer must be a hinge in the life of Christian communities and in the communion that should characterize them. In the New Testament, we often read the exhortation to prayer for each other. After this request the author of the Letter expresses a great wish that in a certain way constitutes a conclusive theological point. He formulates a solemn blessing for the community and reminds them again of God’s salvific works that destroyed death. He reminds that “the God of peace brought them back” out of the kingdom of death (Is. 63:11-13) “the great Shepherd of the sheep,” summing up in this way the priestly office of Christ, a precursor and promoter. For the first and only time in the entire Letter we read of the resurrection of Jesus. The benediction that follows is typical of Paul’s approach: God accomplishes in us that which is good and pleasing to him. Therefore we can do God’s will (see 10:7,9,36) only if He “prepares” us for it. It is indeed God who “make[s] you complete in everything good so that you may do his will.” The Lord also makes us perfect in good because only in that way can we accomplish his will. Not everything depends on us. Let us trust in Him, our great Shepherd to live in fullness according to what is pleasing to Him.