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

1 John 5,14-21

Our fearlessness towards him consists in this, that if we ask anything in accordance with his will he hears us. And if we know that he listens to whatever we ask him, we know that we already possess whatever we have asked of him. If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to this brother -- provided that it is not a deadly sin. There is sin that leads to death and I am not saying you must pray about that. Every kind of wickedness is sin, but not all sin leads to death. We are well aware that no one who is a child of God sins, because he who was born from God protects him, and the Evil One has no hold over him. We are well aware that we are from God, and the whole world is in the power of the Evil One. We are well aware also that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know the One who is true. We are in the One who is true as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and this is eternal life. Children, be on your guard against false gods.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

At the end of his letter John retraces the final words of his Gospel reassuring Christians with happy certainty that they are saved. Such firm faith is based on Jesus who grants every prayer, and as the apostle says, grants them before they are even offered to God. The context for all these words is always love. From love is born the call to correct those brothers who blot themselves in "sin which does not lead to death", that is, the sins that wound communal life. Prayer for sinners is part of this brotherly correction, so that they return to the Lord and to being in communion with everyone. More severe is the judgment of the apostle on those who break that communion in a mortal way--even if we cannot deduce from the Letter that these brothers who did that were abandoned. Besides, The Lord Jesus has invited the disciples to pray for their enemies too; and certainly, one must never stop praying for everyone, even our enemies. In every case the apostle calls on Christians to be aware of the opposition of the evil one against the children of God. However, we must not be afraid because the Lord takes care of us and "evil does not touch us." The only request that the apostle directs to Christians is that of not going away from the Lord and of not devoting one's life to other idols, but rather of guarding against them and directing oneself only to the Lord Jesus who has loved us to the point of giving his life for us and for the world. The letter's conclusion shows John's worry before the ease with which it is possible to follow worldly idols, which are camouflaged according to the times and customs. This is an old worry of the Bible, in which we see how Israel was requested to choose between God and the idols of nations. The letter concludes by proposing again the critical choice: between God and worldly idols. In a world of conformism, Christians are called to choose the Lord in a decisive way each day.