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

Matthew 5,33-37

'Again, you have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you, do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God's throne; or by earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is "Yes" if you mean yes, "No" if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the Evil One.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the community of the disciples there is no need to resort to oath, let alone made in the name of God, or even in the name of the images that designate Him or other sacred things. Among Jesus' disciples the sincerity of the word and fidelity to the promises must reign. Jesus does not intend to condemn the oath. He thinks there is no need for it. To do so means to devalue the strength and sincerity of the word. Jesus' intent is clear: mutual trust must reign in the fraternity. It is a precious invitation at a time when trust is drying up. Unfortunately, the exorbitant growth of the "I" has occurred at the expense of the fraternal dimension. Individualism pushes one to self-sufficiency, to independence from bonds with others. And it makes one feel omnipotent. Jesus, with some humour, warns that it is not worth swearing "by one's own head", since we do not have the power to make one of our hair white or black. Jesus instead emphasizes the fact that the Lord created us by giving us the word as the way to communion. For this reason, he warns his disciples: "Let your word be: "Yes, yes" or "No, no"; anymore that this comes from the evil one." Our words always have a great weight; they must not therefore be vain or ambiguous. Through them the heart of the human being appears, just as the heart of God appears from the words of revelation. It is the evil one who seeks, through ambiguous words, to corrupt fraternity. Jesus' disciples must learn to know how to say "yes" to the life that comes from the Gospel and at the same time to say "no" to the proposals that divide and disaggregate. All this is the result of a discipline of the heart, which is also a discipline of words, gestures and actions. We are all linked to one another. Believers are invited to say "yes" to the Lord who calls, but also to say "no" to seductions and proposals that seem to be good for us, but are disruptive of the fraternity.