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26TH APRIL 2022


When Nicodemus came to see Jesus, he only appreciated him as a teacher who has come from God. His reason for cherishing Jesus was that the signs he performed could only come from someone who lived in the presence of God. There is apparently no direct link between what Nicodemus said and the response of Jesus which is about being born from above. Unaware that Jesus was speaking of a sacramental birth, Nicodemus questioned Jesus about how anyone can be born after having grown old. This dialogue is the basis of the Gospel Reading today as Jesus reiterates the need to be born from above. The radical nature of the birth of which Jesus speaks is emphasized by the contrast he makes between flesh and Spirit in John 3:6. The work of the Spirit is invisible and mysterious yet it is known through the concrete experience of its beneficiaries. What those born of the Spirit become is incomprehensible to the world of flesh, just as Jesus himself is incomprehensible to the Jews. The high regard Nicodemus had for Jesus placed him a step ahead of his compatriots in understanding what it means to be born from above. Unfortunately, his understanding was not enough for him to grasp the depth of the statement of Jesus.

Nicodemus needed more faith which he would only acquire through the unique witness of Jesus to heavenly realities. No other person could give that witness because Jesus is the only one come down from heaven; he is the only one who knew the Father. When a person is born from above, he/she lives in the Lord and the things of this earth are of no value to him/her. The person sees material things no longer as his/her own but what is to serve the good of the community. This is manifested in the life of the early community of which the First Reading speaks about today. The believers were able to put their possessions together because they were united, heart and soul so there were no individualistic tendencies among them. The care and concern for the other made it possible for them to share what they had according to the needs of the members. Such communal life is only possible if members are fully committed. In the absence of such commitment, it is impossible to experience true communal living as witness to the Christian faith.


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