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

Exodus 24,3-8

Moses went and told the people all Yahweh's words and all the laws, and all the people answered with one voice, 'All the words Yahweh has spoken we will carry out!' Moses put all Yahweh's words into writing, and early next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent certain young Israelites to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice bullocks to Yahweh as communion sacrifices. Moses then took half the blood and put it into basins, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then, taking the Book of the Covenant, he read it to the listening people, who then said, 'We shall do everything that Yahweh has said; we shall obey.' Moses then took the blood and sprinkled it over the people, saying, 'This is the blood of the covenant which Yahweh has made with you, entailing all these stipulations.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We are at the conclusion of the chapters that from Exodus 19 describe the covenant that God establishes with His people. The covenant is a gift of God's love to Israel, the consequence of which for the people consists in listening to the Word of God and then putting it into practice. The Text puts much emphasis on the commitment that Israel takes before the Lord and his commandments. "We will do," they say twice. And it is interesting how in verse 7 we say: "All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be." The practice is put before listening to God's command, as if to underline that there is an obedience to God that in some way precedes even listening. It is like when Jesus told Peter that it was not necessary for him to understand everything before getting his feet washed: "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand" (Jn 13:7). When the Lord speaks, it is not necessary to immediately understand everything or to agree with what we hear. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by the Word of God and its commandments because in their execution we will understand that in them there is a principle of new life and salvation. Many times, in fact, even in the legitimate aspiration to understand everything, there is also the arrogance of having to discuss even with the Lord instead of letting ourselves be guided and enlightened by Him. In the covenant, described in the text through the building of an altar, the offering of sacrifice and the blood ritual, a sign of life, together with the reading of the book of the covenant, we also find the meaning of our life of faith, where listening to the Word of God and participating in the Eucharistic liturgy enable us to renew the covenant of love with the Lord.