April 14, 2015
2nd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 4:32–37
Gospel: Jn 3:7–15
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Don’t be surprised when I say: ‘You must be born again from above.’
“The wind blows where it pleases and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus asked again, “How can this be?” And Jesus answered, “You are a teacher in Israel, and you don’t know these things!
“Truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we witness to the things we have seen, but you don’t accept our testimony. If you don’t believe when I speak of earthly things, what then, when I speak to you of heavenly things? No one has ever gone up to heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The picture of that “babaeng grasa” walking down the road with an umbrella years ago reminds me of the unpredictability of the Spirit. The strong wind had already twisted her umbrella but she did not bother fixing it. She knew she just had to keep walking with her twisted umbrella because she understood she couldn’t control the power of the wind.
As no one has complete control of the wind, so no person can control the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this explains why the world finds it hard to control those living life in the Spirit. Their life often defies established social standards. “Flesh begets flesh, Spirit begets spirit”. If you live in the Spirit, the world has no control over you because the world has no power over matters pertaining to the Spirit. But if you live in the flesh, you are subject to the control of the world. From the Flesh we inherited our sinful nature; in the Spirit we inherit everlasting life. It is that sinful nature that the world can ride on. It cannot, however, bridle the bit of the Spirit because this is simply beyond its scope. So, those who live in the flesh are the favorite subjects of the world.
The good news is that it is now possible to live in the Spirit. Thanks to the Resurrection! Unfortunately, some would like to have the best of both worlds by availing of life in the Spirit but remaining attached to the world. The duplicity is disastrous because God abhors hypocrisy. God vomits those who are neither hot nor cold (Rev. 3:15).
Life in the Spirit allows no compromises with the world. Thus, one desiring to live life in the Spirit must be open to possibilities of persecutions in this world. In the long run persecutions empower persons living life in the Spirit to shake themselves off from their comfort zones with strength of testimony as disturbing as the power of the wind. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, grant us the gift of wisdom to step out from the world of darkness and live in the light of the Holy Spirit. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. JUSTIN, a martyr of the early Church who defended the Lord’s teachings. St. Valerian is also honored today together with Saints Tiburtius and Maximus. They were Roman martyrs of the third century. They were buried in the cemetery of Praetextatus.