April 13, 2015
Monday, 2nd Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 4:23–31
Gospel: Jn 3:1–8
Among the Pharisees there was a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. He came to Jesus by night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you have come from God to teach us, for no one can perform miraculous signs like yours unless God is with him.” Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again from above.”
Nicodemus said, “How can there be rebirth for a grown man? Who could go back to his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you: No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Because of this, 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.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Our life is seventy of eighty for those who are strong (Psalm 90:10). The number is not to be taken literally, but the message is clear: life on earth is short. Moreover, life is not only short but also subject to deterioration with the passing of time. Beyond a certain age, the quality of biological life deteriorates, diminishing the aging person’s enjoyment of temporal life. Given the finite nature of biological life no one in his right mind would push his lifetime beyond its established limits.
Are we slaves of death then? Not after Jesus rose from the dead! Death doesn’t have the final say anymore. If ever we have to die it is because we need to go through a brief transition from finite existence to eternal existence. As such death has been transformed to a rebirth. Death, in this sense, becomes necessary because without rebirth a person cannot come to eternal life. Reduced to a state of transition death immediately gives way to the resurrection so that the resurrection’s transforming power can bestow eternal life to those who believe.
To be covered by this transforming power of the resurrection one needs to be baptized in water and in spirit (Jn 3:1-8). We have complied with this requirement when our parents had us baptized while we were still infants.
But God has a deep respect for human freedom. Even if we have been baptized, the resurrection has no power over us if we use our freedom to take exemption from the resurrection, preferring to live under the shadow of death. Everything now depends on our openness to the life in the Spirit.
But time won’t wait. When our time comes, it comes without failing. Let us open ourselves up to the promptings of the spirit because life is short and we may not have the luxury of time to tarry. – 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 so that in freedom we may submit to the power of the Spirit by living under the light of the resurrection. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. MARTIN I, the last martyr Pope, was a native of Italy. In the same year he was elected Pope (649), he convoked a synod at the Lateran against Monothelitism, the heresy which professes that Christ has only one divine will. The Pope affirmed the doctrine of the two wills of Christ, human and divine, and excommunicated those who professed otherwise. The Eastern Emperor Constant II, who openly supported the heresy ordered the arrest of the Pope, charged him with treason and sent to exile. He died in 656.