Tuesday 18 April 2023 – Taste and see!

2nd Week of Easter 

1st Reading: Acts 4:32-37

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas (which is translated son of encouragement”), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, sold a piece of property that he owned, then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Gospel: Jn 3:7b-15    

Jesus said to Nicodemus:  “‘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.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, ‘How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, So, must the Son of Man be lifted up, So, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Taste and see! It is important to know the difference between “I don’t understand” and “I don’t want to understand”! The first is easier to handle. The second is an uphill task! Nicodemus appears to have deliberately shut his mind to a saving truth which he does not want to accept. How can such a Biblical scholar fail to understand spiritual regeneration of which Ezekiel alluded to when he speaks of having a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 18:31; 36:26)? Is he resisting change? Christian faith is not an intellectual pursuit. Over and above doctrinal grasp of the Christian faith, is the experience of the power of Christ. No man can disregard a faith which is able to make bad men good (Barclay). Is it not amazing that in the First Reading today Christian faith made the early converts even forgo the natural instinct of private property!

PRAYER: Lord, help us immerse ourselves in you to discover the hidden treasures of our faith! Amen!


GUIDED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: The fundamental things Jesus Christ speaks to Nicodemus is the need to be born from above and the effects of the Holy Spirit. He compares the Holy Spirit with wind.  This is due to the Greek word “pneuma” which means both ‘wind’ and ‘spirit.’  Today’s Gospel continues with the theme of being born a new from above and receiving eternal life. Christ highlights the need of one to be born of the Spirit, to believe in him and have eternal life. The wind blows where it wills and we feel its presence yet we do not know where it comes from and goes to. In this way the Holy Spirit given to us in baptism and confirmation enters our hearts, transforms our life from darkness to light, sinfulness to holiness and condemnation to forgiveness.