MONDAY, SECOND WEEK OF EASTER
Reading 1: Acts 4: 23-31 When Peter and John are released from prison, their small community, inspired by the Holy Spirit, breaks into prayer.
Gospel: Jn 3: 1-8 At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus explains to Nicodemus how he must be born again of water and the Spirit in order to enter the kingdom.
NEW LIFE IN CHRIST
In the liturgy of today, we continue to reflect on the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus, a mystery that promises us new life. In the first reading from the book of Acts, after being released from prison, Peter and John, who were already filled with the new life in the Spirit, joined the Christian community in prayer. They prayed for courage and grace in order to respond fearlessly to the authorities and persecutors in the days to come. They did not want to be unfaithful to their mission, nor to be dissuaded or frightened into submission by persecution; their desire was to continue to preach the good news of the resurrection of the Lord fearlessly, witnessing to the new life.
In the gospel passage, we come across a fearful Nicodemus who comes to Jesus at night so that he may not be seen by the Jews, and especially by his Pharisee companions. Jesus tells him that the new life in the Spirit, the life of freedom from the slavery of sin and the fear of death, is only possible through faith in him, the chosen one of God. For it is through him, and him alone, that one receives the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s words light a slow burning wick that will blaze into light in Nicodemus. A man who came to meet Jesus in the night, will come out new, in public after the Crucifixion to claim Jesus’ body.
The anointing of the Spirit that we receive in the sacrament of baptism makes us a new creation, reconciled and dedicated to the Father, and co-heirs with Christ to his kingdom. Jesus, by his death and by his resurrection brought to humanity new life. Embracing this new life in Christ, requires of us to die day by day to the sinfulness that lurks within us, the unhealthy passions and vile cravings that disfigure the image of God in which we are created. Thus, Easter season urges us to respond to this new life in him. Are we ready to renew our “Yes” to him each new day?
Res. Psalm: Ps 2: 1-9, 13 Blessed are all who trust in you, O Lord.
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