Baptism

April 24, 2017

Monday in the Second Week of Easter

Today’s Gospel

Jn 3: 1-8

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
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.”
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.”
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?”
Jesus answered,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and Spirit
he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
What is born of flesh is flesh
and what is born of spirit is spirit.
Do not be amazed that I told you,
‘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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden D. Nuique)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus seems to be detailing the rite of Baptism to Nicodemus, one of his secret disciples, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin.  Our Lord tells him about being born from above, of being born of water and Spirit.  Actually, God is reminding us of our highly-privileged status as baptized Christians.

It was only last week that we celebrated the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.  On that most holy night, during the Easter Vigil Mass, we renewed our baptismal vows.  Basically, we affirmed our belief in the Symbol of our Faith, the Apostles’ Creed.  We also affirmed our total rejection of Satan and all his works.  In other words, we gave a resounding “Yes!” to our status as God’s adopted children.

As his sons and daughters, child-like and loving towards our Heavenly Father, we do our best to be open to his inspirations.  Whenever we feel joy, we are moved to spread that joy to others.  When we sense that our fellow men and women are troubled, we do our best to give them consolation.  Our response to others vary according to the degree of their need, the greater their need, the more we give of ourselves, for we are children of God.

In this Easter season, we are asked to be more sensitive to the needs of others, to spread the joy of the Gospel, “Jesus Christ is risen!”, especially to those who lack joy, who experience hopelessness.  Let us look to our neighbors, to the larger community, to our country and the world.  If we find someone who needs to experience the joy of Christ’s Resurrection, let us not hesitate to be heralds of the Good News; let us be inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

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