Second Week of Easter, Monday

Readings: Acts 4:23–31; Psalm 2:1–9; John 3:1–8.

Nicodemus in today’s Gospel says he believes in Our Lord as a teacher from God due to the signs he has performed, but his faith is very tentative, maybe even a little rationalistic. He comes at night, so he’s not ready to commit publicly to Jesus yet. What a contrast with the disciples praying together after the Resurrection in the First Reading. Luke describes the Holy Spirit as shaking the place where they’re praying and filling them with boldness in speaking the word of God.

To really enter into the Kingdom of God, Our Lord teaches Nicodemus, a birth of water and Spirit is needed. Christians have had that spiritual birth of water and the Spirit on the day of their baptism. It conferred a new life, a life of the Spirit, and often the effects of that life are not evident unless we see things with the eyes of faith. An attitude of faith is a consequence not only of faith in Christ, but a gift of grace that we receive at baptism. By living as Christians we are showing that the life of the Spirit that has been sown in us is growing and bearing fruit, and in turn Our Lord makes that faith grow and opens our eyes to seeing God’s action in everything.

Nicodemus decided to approach Our Lord because he concluded that the signs Jesus performed could only be done by someone who has God with him. Imagine how he would have reacted in that moment if he realized that Jesus was God Himself. Our Lord teaches Nicodemus that the movements of the Spirit are not always so easily tracked and connected. Let’s examine our faith today and accept Our Lord’s invitation to build on that new life we’ve received from water and the Spirit by having a faith that tries to be attentive to the signs of the Spirit’s presence when they are revealed, and to be open to what Our Lord seeks to teach us in order to live this new life in him more fully.

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