Sunday Vigil

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Memorial of Saint Sergii Radonezhsky of the Russian church. He founded the Lavra (monastery) of the Most Holy Trinity near Moscow. Remembrance of the evangelical pastor Paul Schneider who died in the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald on July 18, 1939. Muslim celebrate the end of the month of fasting of Ramadan (Aid al-Fitr).

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Exodus 12, 37-42

The Israelites left Rameses for Succoth, about six hundred thousand on the march-men, that is, not counting their families.

A mixed crowd of people went with them, and flocks and herds, quantities of livestock.

And with the dough which they had brought from Egypt they baked unleavened cakes, because the dough had not risen, since they had been driven out of Egypt without time to linger or to prepare food for themselves.

The time that the Israelites spent in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.

And on the very day the four hundred and thirty years ended, all Yahweh's armies left Egypt.

The night when Yahweh kept vigil to bring them out of Egypt must be kept as a vigil in honour of Yahweh by all Israelites, for all generations.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The people set off. There is no Passover without going out, without moving forward. There can be no new life or future land without facing the journey, sometimes treacherous and difficult, which puts us to the test but ultimately leads to the promised land. Jesus himself will send his disciples to the very ends of the earth, so that Christians might share their calling with all. And we must hurry to set off. We often think of putting off our departure and just staying the same as we have always been. God hurries us, because he knows that complicity with evil is not without consequences. God is in a hurry to listen to the cry of his people, the cry of the poor, because he is not indifferent. But we humans often think that the suffering of the poor and the prisoners can wait. No one can save him or herself. As individualistic as we are in this generation, we human beings often think that true salvation means being ourselves without others, staying as we are, and affirming our convictions. Freedom is often reduced to a little protected space, without facing Pharaoh and without freeing ourselves from him. We must be vigilant, like Jesus’ vigil in the garden of olives, when he begs his disciples to keep him company. But it is also like the vigils of the many people who are waiting for a better world, who long for a promised land, or who are seeking healing, peace, hope, and a place where evil is defeated. The entire creation is waiting for its Passover, its passage from death to life. Let us be led by God’s word and let us set off, because that is the only way to reach the true Passover.