MY daily reflection and prayer:
Monday, April 13, 2015: The Second Week of Easter
Dear my friends,
Here is the Gospel for us today according to John 3:1-8
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
There are so many Christians put a negative thinking on Nicodemus for he came to meet with Jesus at night. But in my mind, all he has done to Jesus are positive and extraordinary! He has faith with prayerful reflection of the word of God.
When he heard about Jesus’ miracles and extraordinary teaching, he decided to meet with him privately, away from the crowds and the public spotlight. Nicodemus was a religious ruler and member of the Sanhedrin, which was the supreme court of the Jews, and a teacher of Israel (John 3:10). He was a devout Pharisee who sought to perfectly follow the law of Moses.
Why did he come to meet with Jesus at night? In my reflection, he did it because he knew that the night was the best time for seeking a private and undisturbed conversation with Jesus. The rabbis declared that the best time to study the law was at night after the day’s work was completed and the household was at rest. When Nicodemus saw Jesus he addressed him as rabbi, a teacher of God’s word and law, and acknowledged that Jesus’ teaching came from God.
In his conversation with Jesus, Nicodemus went to the very heart of the Mosaic law. He asked how can one get right with God and enter God’s kingdom? Jesus answered, “Unless one is born anew, he cannot see God.” For Jesus, the new birth was not a physical birth but the beginning of a spiritual birth which is something completely new and radical, and from above, namely from God himself.
Jesus said to Nicodemus that this rebirth was necessary if one was to enter God’s kingdom. So he explained that this change could only come about through the work and action of the Holy Spirit. This rebirth in the Spirit is very real and experiential, like the wind which can be felt and heard while it is visibly unseen to the naked eye.
Acording to Jesus, the new birth is a spiritual birth to a life which is transformed through the power of God. It brings us into an experiential relationship with God as his adopted sons and daughters (Romans 6:4; 8:10-11). It is possible for us when we are baptized into Christ and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It brings us into God’s kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17).
In Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist, we are to be reborn in the Spirit that we enter to the community in which Jesus Christ is worshipped, honored and obeyed. We enter into possession of the life which comes from Jesus Christ himself, an everlasting life of love, peace, joy, and freedom from sin, oppression, and corruption.
Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, you offer us abundant new life and power to live as sons and daughters of our Father in heaven. Grant us the joy and freedom of the new birth and abundant life which you have won for us. Renew in us the gift of faith to accept, obey and worship you in Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist now and forever. Amen.