Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Yesterday and the day before our Gospel passages told about Nicodemus’ conversation with Jesus. He had great difficulty understanding what Jesus was telling him – partly, at least, because of what Nicodemus thought he already knew. Jesus was telling Nicodemus that for him to be able to follow Jesus he must allow Jesus’ action to bring about a radical transformation within him resulting in a deeper, life giving relationship with God, NOW!
In this relationship he will experience God’s incredible love – so powerful that God gave his only begotten Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life! Proof of this new relationship is not found in spoken words but in the personal daily works which may be clearly seen as done in God. Anyone who has been offered this gift and rejected it is condemned, not by God, but by his own self!
We who witness to the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ would do well to ponder the message of John 3:1-21 which challenges us to let go of our preconceived notions of Jesus and to hear more clearly the Gospel’s proclamation that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
Everyone is called! Those who respond do not have to earn, purchase, or otherwise finagle their way into this relationship. It is a free gift from God in Christ Jesus. Those who truly accept this gift surrender their selves to God’s will so completely that they no longer have to worry about slavishly following God’s written rules. Their deep desire for unity with God allows God to write His will in their minds and hearts (Hebr. 8:10; 10:16; & Jeremiah 31:33) and empowers them to strive to do His will always in order that they remain in his covenant of love.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
- Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., is Retreat Director at Bishop Molloy retreat House: “The Passionist Spiritual Center in New York City”, www.bishopmolloy.org