Sunday Vigil

Ossza Meg


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Sirach 48,1-4.9-11

Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, his word flaring like a torch. It was he who brought famine on them and decimated them in his zeal. By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, three times also he brought down fire. How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah! Has anyone reason to boast as you have?- taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses; designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God's wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Blessed, those who will see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love; for we too shall certainly have life.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the heart of the path of Advent, the liturgy presents us a passage from the book of Sirach, that is also reported today's Gospel (Mt 17:10-13). Jesus himself, coming down from the mountain after the Transfiguration speaks of the tradition according to which the great prophet Elijah was the precursor of the Messiah and confirms that in fact he has already come, referring to John the Baptist. The book of Sirach, on the other hand, says: "Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire, and his word burned like a torch." God's people had fallen into hard-heartedness and stubbornly continued to behave in ways that distanced them from the covenant with the Lord. It is an event that does not concern only the ancient people of Isarel but us too. The question we have to ask ourselves is simple and at the same time decisive: why don't we let our hearts be touched by the word of the Lord who always suggests new things? If we listen to him with faith, his dream will be revealed to us. St. John XXIII said rightly to those who criticized him for his prophetical vision: "It is not the Gospel that is changing, it is we who understand it better." If the Gospel no longer surprises us, if it does not bring change to our hearts, it is because our heart has hardened in our certainties, including our religious ones. We miss the chance to be amazed by the extraordinary newness of life that the Word communicates. Therefore Elijah is the Word of God that the Lord makes resound again in our ears in this time, which is in need of renewal and prophetical visions. The preaching we receive during this time continues to bring down fire "three times" into the hearts of men and women. Is there not a fire that burns and "turn[s] the hearts of parents to their children?" It is the fire that is lit by the preaching of the Gospel, by the preaching of Pope Francis. Blessed are we if we let ourselves be enveloped by this fire of prophecy, so that every wound might be healed, and fraternity re-established.