Sunday Vigil

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Memorial of Saints Cyrillus and Methodius, fathers of the Slavic Church and patrons of Europe.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Genesis 3, 9-24

But Yahweh God called to the man. 'Where are you?' he asked.

'I heard the sound of you in the garden,' he replied. 'I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.'

'Who told you that you were naked?' he asked. 'Have you been eating from the tree I forbade you to eat?'

The man replied, 'It was the woman you put with me; she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.'

Then Yahweh God said to the woman, 'Why did you do that?' The woman replied, 'The snake tempted me and I ate.'

Then Yahweh God said to the snake, 'Because you have done this, Accursed be you of all animals wild and tame! On your belly you will go and on dust you will feed as long as you live.

I shall put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; it will bruise your head and you will strike its heel.'

To the woman he said: I shall give you intense pain in childbearing, you will give birth to your children in pain. Your yearning will be for your husband, and he will dominate you.

To the man he said, 'Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, Accursed be the soil because of you! Painfully will you get your food from it as long as you live.

It will yield you brambles and thistles, as you eat the produce of the land.

By the sweat of your face will you earn your food, until you return to the ground, as you were taken from it. For dust you are and to dust you shall return.'

The man named his wife 'Eve' because she was the mother of all those who live.

Yahweh God made tunics of skins for the man and his wife and clothed them.

Then Yahweh God said, 'Now that the man has become like one of us in knowing good from evil, he must not be allowed to reach out his hand and pick from the tree of life too, and eat and live for ever!'

So Yahweh God expelled him from the garden of Eden, to till the soil from which he had been taken.

He banished the man, and in front of the garden of Eden he posted the great winged creatures and the fiery flashing sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

God never abandons humankind, not even when it sins or distances itself from him. He looked for Adam and Eve in the garden and called out affectionately, “Adam, where are you?” Indeed at times we hide ourselves from God and his gaze and close in on ourselves. This happens every time we live as though God wasn’t present and wasn’t our friend. Yet the Lord continues to call out to us just as he called out to Adam: “Where are you?” He asks us this question every day and asks not to hide from his love. Adam was probably aware of the sin he committed, was afraid and felt ashamed. Thus a conversation began between the man, the woman and God. As it often happens also to each of us, no one likes recognizing his or her own sins. We are always ready to exonerate ourselves while blaming others for our actions and for all evil. But God knows what happened, as His words to the snake, the woman and the man indicate. Sin, the refusal to listen to God, brings about dramatic consequences that mark human history and the history of the world: enmity, pain, the strain of life and even death. Without God, we die and we become enemies as it will be the case between Cain and Abel. But God does not intend to punish Adam and Eve; he does not intend to punish the sinner. He continues to take care of the man and the woman and makes something to cover their nakedness. He gives them the cloth of his love to cover them when they leave the Garden of life with God. Those who try to make a god of themselves and others lose friendship and life with God. The expulsion from the Garden is none other than the consequence of the choice to live for oneself and no longer in obedience to God. How many times we exclude ourselves from God’s friendship and life with him in order to follow ourselves, to listen to the world’s idols, illusions and false prophets! God had to send his Son Jesus into the world in order to bring humanity back to life and covenant with Him. This is why according to Paul, Jesus is the new Adam: “Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” ( Rom 5:18-19).