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

Psalm 19, 7-9.14

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
  reviving the soul;
  the decrees of the Lord are sure,
  making wise the simple;

8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
  rejoicing the heart;
  the commandment of the Lord is clear,
  enlightening the eyes;

9 the fear of the Lord is pure,
  enduring for ever;
  the ordinances of the Lord are true
  and righteous altogether.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
  be acceptable to you,
  O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The liturgy has us begin psalm 19 with praise for the Lord’s law: “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (v. 8). In the previous verses, the psalmist encourages us to contemplate the love of the Lord as sung by the heavens and the stars, the day and the night. The song of creation spreads everywhere: “Yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (v. 5). It is a song that everyone can hear, great and small, men and women of one race or another, of one religion or another. All of creation, indeed, speaks of God and His love for humanity. Unfortunately, today the voice of creation seems to no longer be heard by men and women. An abusive exercise of power is bringing creation itself to destruction. Human beings, whom God has placed at the apex of creation, have arrogantly wanted to dominate it without recognizing their own limitations as creatures. Their concern only for themselves or for their nation has made them lose sight of respecting the rights of all peoples, of those today and tomorrow, and of the entire creation, by polluting and rendering it uninhabitable. Beyond the words of creation, however, there is also the Word of the Lord, God’s Law. That is what the psalmist wants us to contemplate today. God has spoken to His people, revealing to them His plans, thoughts, laws, and above all, His love. In the second part of the psalm, the psalmist sings a hymn to the Word of the Lord: it is perfect, reviving the soul; it is clear, enlightening the eyes; it is righteous, more desirable that gold and sweeter than honey. It seems as though the psalmist never tires of weaving a hymn of praise for God’s Word, both for its value and the effects it produces. The Word of God makes us live, makes us wise, rejoices the heart, and enlightens the eyes. Because of our pride, we often oppose it, covering and suffocating it, as Jesus says in his parable about the sower. For this reason, the psalmist's prayer is also on our lips: “Keep back your servant also from the insolent; do not let them have dominion over me” (v. 14). Our pride always tries to silence the Word of God so that our will, our choices and our habits might prevail. If we welcome the Word of the Lord in our hearts and put it into practice, the Word will return to heaven and along with the psalmist we will sing, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation (murmuring, in Hebrew) of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (v. 15).