2nd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 4:23-31
After their release Peter and John went back to their own people and reported what the chief priests and elders had told them. And when they heard it, they raised their voices to God with one accord and said, “Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them, you said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of our father David, your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly? The kings of the earth took their stand and the princes gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed. Indeed they gathered in this city against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do what your hand and your will had long ago planned to take place. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, as you stretch forth your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Gospel: Jn 3:1-8
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; So, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
The Spirit recreates! A couple travelled from upcountry to the city to meet their son. At one of the doors, he saw men going in and others coming out again and again. The middle aged women that came out were So, beautiful. He thought that inside the door, the women were getting transformed into being beautiful. He asked his son to go get the mother (his wife) So, that she too could go through the transformation and regeneration. The son had to go through So, much explanation to convince the father otherwise. Nicodemus had a similar desire for transformation. That is why he went to Jesus by night. The answer from Jesus confused him even more, “how”, i.e., the way to achieve rebirth! Jesus made it clear that rebirth or regeneration is the action of the Spirit when we submit our will to God. Only then do we become sons and daughters of God and citizens of heaven?
PRAYER: Lord, help us treasure and submit to the transforming power of the Spirit in our lives. Amen!
WE NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN: There are some things which we need to consider in this Gospel passage: First, about Nicodemus, and second the transparency of Jesus to the question raised by Nicodemus. Nicodemus belonged to the famous sect of that time and a Pharisee. Nicodemus in a civil position was a ruler of the Jews. It is from such reason of fear of the Jews he went to Jesus by night, and posed the question as we have read. The reply from Jesus struck a hard blow against the religion of the Pharisee. “Born again” this phrase, was used to introduce Nicodemus to the true spiritual nature of Christ’s kingdom. As Christians, let us understand the true meaning of being born again. It is being born of the spirit and following Christ.