Our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and we recommend accepting its use to take full advantage of the navigation

A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

View other days:

Liturgical day: Monday 2nd 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.
Responsorial Psalm: 2
R/. Blessed are all who take refuge in the Lord.
Why do the nations rage and the peoples utter folly? The kings of the earth rise up, and the princes conspire together against the LORD and against his anointed: "Let us break their fetters
and cast their bonds from us!"

He who is throned in heaven laughs; the LORD derides them. Then in anger he speaks to them; he terrifies them in his wrath: "I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the decree of the LORD.

The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod; you shall shatter them like an earthen dish."
Verscicle before the Gospel (Col 3:1): Alleluia. If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 3,1-8): Among the Pharisees there was a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. He came to Jesus by night and said, «Rabbi, we know that you have come from God to teach us, for no one can perform miraculous signs like yours unless God is with him». Jesus replied, «Truly, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again from above».

Nicodemus said, «How can there be rebirth for a grown man? Who could go back to his mother's womb and be born again?». Jesus replied, «Truly, I say to you: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Because of this, don't be surprised when I say: ‘You must be born again from above’. The wind blows where it pleases and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit».

«No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again from above»

Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, «a ruler of the Jews» (Jn 3:1) comes to Jesus. The Gospel says he does it by night: what would his comrades say should they find out? In Jesus' teachings we find a baptismal catechesis that, most surely, circulated in the Evangelist community.

A few days ago we were still celebrating the Paschal Vigil. An integral part of it was the Baptism celebration, which is the Passover, a step from death to life. The solemn benediction of water and the renewal of baptismal promises were key points of that holy night.

In the baptism ritual there is an immersion in water (death symbol) and an emergence from water (a new life image). We are submerged in sin and we come out of it renewed. This is what Jesus calls «to be born from above» or «to be born again» (cf. Jn 3:3). This is “to be born of water”, “to be born of the Spirit” or “of the blowing wind...”.

Water and Spirit are the two symbols used by Jesus. Both express the action of the Holy Spirit that purifies and grants life, cleans and encourages, calms the thirst and breathes, smoothes and speaks. Water and Spirit make a single thing.

But Jesus also says the flesh is in opposition to the Spirit: «What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit» (Jn 3:6). Carnal man is humanly born when he appears down here. But the carnal man is defeated by the spiritual man, who is spiritually born in the Baptism. Which means to be born anew and of above. A beautiful formula by Saint Paul could be our reflection and action motto, mostly in this Paschal time: «Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life» (Rm 6:3-4).