Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 268. Tue. April 13,2010. Acts 4:32-37. Psalm
93:1abv,1cd,2,5. John 3:7b-15:
John's Gospel contains discourses, dialogues, and monologues. Jesus is
always central to these various ways of communicating. Today we enter the
first discourse in the Fourth Gospel where we continue the night visit of
Nicodemus with Jesus. We remember that Nicodemus is a leader among the
Pharisees and a seeker of the truth. Jesus takes up the thought of being
born from above as constrasted with being born from below. He speaks to the
learned Nicodemus about light and darkness and about Moses lifting up a
bronze serpent in the desert to bring about the cure of those who looked
upon it believing in God's healing power. Nicodemus is a good listener.
We are able to follow him several times in the Gospel of John (3:1-9; 7:50;
As the conversation goes on, Jesus takes charge and enters into a
monologue--something characteristic of the manner in which our author
writes. Jesus uses the example of the bronze serpent in the desert to help
Nicodemus understand who Jesus is as the Son of Man (his humanness and his
limits). He, like the bronze serpent, will be lifted up on a wooden cross
and thus bring about redemption for those who look upon him lifted up and
then believe. Key to our meditation for today are the words, "Just as
Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted
up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life (John 3:15).
Like Nicodemus we must jump-start our faith in Jesus by first listening to
him, then as we learn later, for reasoning correctly about him as Nicodemus
does in chapter 7:50, and finally in rendering service to the Lord by
helping Joseph of Aramathia in the burial of Jesus.
Our continuos reading of the Acts these days after Easter now brings us to
a consideration of the community of Jerusalem where the believers are now
united and have one heart and one soul (cor unum et anima una). They are
seen practicing simplicity of life and sharing their possessions with each
other especially with those who are in need of something. The are the
first 'Koinonia"-- a word that describes more than fellowship with one
another it is community life living it out in both heart and soul in the
"cor unum et anima una." Barnabas joins this community and becomes a
companion of Paul and then a great Apostle at Antioch where the name
Christian will be used for the first time. Now cities are starting to take
up this new movement that started with Jesus and his apostles. Barnabas
sells his property and gives the proceeds to the Apostles thus indicating
that he too understood the meaning of Christian "koinonia."
The readings encourage us to be detached from material possessions and to
listen to the words of Jesus both at night time and during the day. Amen.
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