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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Second 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 Ason 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.
Responsorial Psalm: 92
R/. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The Lord is king, in splendor robed; robed is the Lord and girt about with strength.

And he has made the world firm, not to be moved. Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting you are, o Lord.

Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed: holiness befits your house, o Lord, for length of days.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 3:15): Alleluia. The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. Alleluia.
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.” 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.”

“You must be born from above”

Fr. Xavier SOBREVÍA i Vidal (Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus explains to us the difficulty of foreseeing and understanding the action of the Holy Spirit: indeed, "it blows where it wishes" (Jn 3:8). He relates this to the testimony He Himself is giving and to the need to be born from above. The Lord says clearly: "You must be born from above" (Jn 3:7); a new life is necessary to enter into eternal life. It's not enough to just get by to reach the Kingdom of Heaven; a new life regenerated by the action of God’s Spirit is required. Our professional, family, sports, cultural, recreational, and above all, pious life must be transformed by the Christian sense and by God's action. Everything must be transversely permeated by His Spirit. Nothing, absolutely nothing, should be left out of the renewal God accomplishes in us with His Spirit.

A transformation that has Jesus Christ as its catalyst. He, who was to be lifted up on the Cross and who was also to be resurrected, is the one who can cause the Spirit of God to be sent to us. He who has come from above. He who has shown through many miracles His power and His goodness. He who in everything does the will of the Father. He who suffered until shedding the last drop of blood for us. Thanks to the Spirit He will send us, "we are restored to paradise, led back to the Kingdom of heaven, and adopted as children, given confidence to call God "Father" and to share in Christ's grace, called children of light and given a share in eternal glory" (Saint Basil the Great).

Let us allow the action of the Spirit to be welcomed within us, let us listen to Him, and apply His inspirations so that each of us may be —in our usual place— a good example lifted up that radiates the light of Christ.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “By his coming, Christ brought with him all newness.” (Saint Irenaeus)

  • “With his newness, he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old.” (Francis)

  • “The baptismal water is consecrated by a prayer of epiclesis (either at this moment or at the Easter Vigil). The Church asks God that through his Son the power of the Holy Spirit may be sent upon the water, so that those who will be baptized in it may be ‘born of water and the Spirit’ (Jn 3:5).” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 1238)