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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 talks about the difficulty of foreseeing and knowing the action of the Holy Spirit: in fact, it “blows where it wills” (Jn 3:8). He ties it to the testimony He is also giving about and the need to be born from above. “You must be born from above.” (Jn 3:7), clearly says the Lord; a new life is necessary to have access to eternal life. It is not enough to "get by" to reach the Kingdom of Heaven; a new life, regenerated by the Spirit's action, is needed. Our professional, family, sporting, cultural, playful and, most of all, pious life, must be transformed by our Christian feelings and by God's action. Everything must be transversely impregnated by His Spirit. Nothing, but nothing at all, should make us stay outside the renewal God's Spirit, offers us.

A transformation where Jesus Christ is the catalyst. He, who previously had to suffer the Crucifixion and then resurrect, is who will send us God's Spirit. He who has come from above. He who has shown His power and His goodness, through His many miracles. He who always does His Father's will. He who has suffered to the last drop of blood for us. Thanks to the Spirit He will send us, we “shall be able to ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven; by the Spirit we obtain his filial adoption; by the Spirit we are allowed to call God our ‘Father’, to participate of Christ's Grace and to receive the right to share the eternal glory” (Saint Basil the Great).

Let us give the Spirit's action our warmest welcome, let us listen to Him and let us apply His inspirations so that each one of us —wherever we should be— can set up a good and noble example that inflames Christ's light.

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)