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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter
Gospel text (Jn 3:7-15): 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 (…). 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.”

The "New Commandment": "gift" and "task"

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, the mention of the "New Birth" describes man’s new condition after Baptism: his humanity is transformed into a being in accordance with the Spirit of God. Christ —"raised up" on the Cross— draws us all to Himself ("gift") and, precisely because this gift restores us from within, it also becomes a new existence.

The inclusion of our self in His —"it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20)— is what really matters. By progressively submerging it in Jesus Christ, the "new commandment" is attached to His newness. "The new Law is the same Grace of the Holy Spirit" (St. Thomas Aquinas); it is not a new rule, but a new innermost being given by the very Spirit of God. St. Augustine summarizes the true newness in Christianity in the formula: "give me what you command and command what you will".

—To be a Christian is first and foremost a Gift, which later develops into the dynamics of living by putting into practice this Gift ("Task").