Guest Post: Born From Above, Here on Earth

A Reflection on the Readings for Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

What if we read today’s readings in the opposite order: the gospel of John first, then the Acts of the Apostles?

In the gospel, we are listening to Jesus’s conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee, the kind of guy who really likes the rules, and really likes to understand how God works, so he can do his religious duties exactly right.  Along comes Jesus, telling him something baffling: he needs to be “born from above,” or “born again,” as we heard in yesterday’s reading.  Nicodemus doesn’t get it.  An important question for you and I is, do we get it?

As Jesus tries to explain that this is a spiritual rebirth, one of water and the Spirit (as in our Baptism), Nicodemus still doesn’t understand.  He has the noble goal of understanding what God is doing up there in Heaven, and how we get there… so why another birth down here?  Jesus corrects him; this is about what happens here, on Earth, when he says “If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?”  Our rebirth in the Spirit doesn’t just get us into Heaven one day; it gets us into the Kingdom of God today.  In that Kingdom, things are different, because the Spirit is in charge.

That Kingdom is clearly visible in the first reading.  Christians are selling what they own to provide for the needs of people in their community.  UntitledNo one is claiming their possessions are their own.  Today we call this teaching ‘the universal destination of goods (Catechism 2402-2406).’  God gave us all the talents, wealth, time, and property we have to serve the Kingdom, and not just to please ourselves.  In that sense, all you have is made to be your holy part of Jesus’s work here on Earth.

Do we get it?  Do we live as a fearless, resurrection people?  Do we freely risk our time, our talents, our hearts, and our treasure for the sake of Jesus’s mission to Love and Heal?  Are we living differently here on Earth because of God’s abundant love for us?  Do we believe that God will provide?  May we have faith and sure knowledge, especially in this Easter season, that God’s love frees us to use everything we own and all that we are for His great mission.  Amen!

– Chris Nieport

Originally posted at Ite Missa Est – Written by Chris Nieport

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