4/17/2023 (Monday) Today’s gospel reading: John 3:1-8
1 There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”
5 Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
6 What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.
7 Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’
8 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.”
4/17/2023 (Monday) Today’s gospel reflection: John 3:1-8
As a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus admires Jesus and His authoritative teachings. Yet he goes to visit Jesus in the night because he was afraid or maybe ashamed to be noticed by his colleagues. We could assume that he was a hesitant seeker. He knows the law but obviously, he cannot comprehend spiritual things. Yet unlike the other Pharisees, he was very respectful of Jesus calling Him a rabbi. In return, we could see that Jesus was very sympathetic with Him as He patiently explains what is necessary to see the Kingdom of God.
Though Nicodemus could see that God is with Jesus. He knows that one cannot do miraculous signs without the presence of God. However, he could not identify Jesus as the much awaited Messiah. If he did, he could have said so. For this reason, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. He must first be born again, meaning the Spirit of God must be with him so that he will have a new life. It is only with the Spirit of God that he can have spiritual eyes to see the Kingdom of God.
Just like the wind that we can not see but its presence can be identified by its sound or its impact on the trees, the Spirit of God can be felt but not seen. This means that when we are born of the Spirit, we can feel the difference and others can see its impact. We feel more joyful and peaceful and other people can see it. Otherwise, we are only born of the flesh.
Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will grant us the spiritual eyes to see the Kingdom of God and that others may feel its presence in us. Like Nicodemus, may we continue to seek understanding. Unlike Nicodemus, may we never be afraid or ashamed to meet Jesus.