This seems to be the difficulty Nicodemus is having in today’s gospel as he tries to understand what Jesus means when he says “You must be born from above”. It is difficult, maybe impossible, for him to comprehend this rationally. It is only by entering into a relationship with Jesus - allowing himself to be loved –that he will be able to grasp this mystery. “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.”
What happens when we allow ourselves to enter into a deeply loving relationship with another, being willing to be vulnerable and be seen as we are, with all of our strengths and faults and burdens? When we allow ourselves to be deeply loved, we are transformed. We become more patient, kinder, more forgiving, more hopeful, more compassionate, more just, more loving. We may have difficulty explaining it, but the transformation is visible and concrete.
In today’s first reading, we hear of the transformation that has occurred in the minds and hearts of the apostles. They were of “one heart and mind”, not claiming their own possessions but sharing everything so that there was no needy person among them. “With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.” Jesus’ act of love, and their willingness to enter into this love, transformed the way they saw themselves, transformed their relationship to material goods and property, and transformed the way they treated each other. The changes were tangible and real.
In this second week of Easter, we continue to celebrate and ponder Jesus’ Resurrection – not as a moment in history, but as an ever present invitation to enter into a deeper relationship of love with one another, with Christ, with the Source of all life.
Today, minute by minute, may I open this invitation, letting God’s love through Christ penetrate and transform my mind, my heart, my vision, my hearing and my actions.
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