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

Luke 8,4-15

With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, he told this parable: 'A sower went out to sow his seed. Now as he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. Some seed fell in the middle of thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell into good soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.' Saying this he cried, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!' His disciples asked him what this parable might mean, and he said, 'To you is granted to understand the secrets of the kingdom of God; for the rest it remains in parables, so that they may look but not perceive, listen but not understand. 'This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God. Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved. Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up. As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and never produce any crops. As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The evangelist Luke emphasizes the crowd coming close to Jesus. It is a diverse and mixed crowd, all united by going towards Jesus: they thought that finally they found a shepherd who cared about them and could help them. Jesus realized the need of the crowd and wanted to educate them to welcome the word of salvation. This is why he told them the parable of the sower. Jesus gives particular value to this parable. In fact he explained it privately to the disciples who did not understand it while he was saying it. However understanding its sense is paramount for all. In the parable of the sower it is clear what attitude the crowds, of then and of now, need to have when they listen to the Word of God. The metaphor of the seed signifying the word was common in ancient times, even in Judaism. Jesus uses it to clarify his mission. first striking observation of this parable though, is not about the listener but about the sower. For Jesus, who is the first sower, there is no soil that is not fit to receive the Gospel. The soil is life, or better the heart of every man and every woman, whatever culture and condition they belong to. Even if there are hearts as hard as stone, or terrains that are resistant to every attempt at sowing, Jesus continues to sow in the hope that sooner or later some crack will welcome that good seed and give fruit. The parable, however, does not intend to classify men and women according to the various terrains and to call some of them good soil and others less good and others even resistant. What happens instead, which is also our experience, is that, from time to time we represent the different soils. Diversity depends on everyone's choice. No one is bad or good by nature. If we look at our lives we realize that at times our hearts are similar to a rocky soil, other times it is full of thorns, other times still we let ourselves be overcome by worries and other times we are good soil. With this parable, the Lord invites us to open our hearts to welcome the Word of God and to take care of it with perseverance.