Gospel Reflection – Tuesday, April 9, 2024 – John 3,7b-15 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Acts 4,32-37)

Reading the Acts of the Apostles

The multitude of believers were of one heart and one soul. No one considered the things they owned as their own, but everything between them was held in common.

With great signs of power, the apostles gave testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And the faithful were esteemed by all. Among them, no one was in need, because those who owned land or houses sold them, took the money, and placed it at the feet of the apostles. Then, it was distributed according to each person’s needs.

Joseph, called Barnabas by the apostles, which means son of consolation, Levite and native of Cyprus, owned a field. He sold it and went to deposit the money at the feet of the apostles.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 3,7b-15)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, Jesus said to Nicodemus: “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wants and you can hear its noise, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. This is what happens to everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus asked: “How can this happen?” Jesus answered him, “You are a teacher in Israel, but do you not know these things? Truly, truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony. If you do not believe when I tell you about the things on earth, how will you believe if I tell you about the things in heaven? And no one has ascended into heaven except he who came down from heaven, the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that all who believe in him may have eternal life.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I want to take you on a spiritual journey that connects the timeless truths of Scripture with our daily experiences. I want to take you to a transformative encounter with the Word of God, which challenges us to live according to His will and fills us with hope and purpose.

Imagine for a moment a community in which all believers live in deep communion with one another. A community in which there are no divisions, envy or selfishness. In this community, everyone shares their goods and resources, caring for each other with sincere love. This community is a tangible reflection of God’s kingdom on earth.

This vision of community is presented in the first reading of the Acts of the Apostles. The text tells us how the first Christians lived in a profound unity of hearts and minds. They shared everything they had, no one was in need, and there was a vibrant joy that flowed between them. This communion was so powerful that no one considered their property as their own, but as a common good to be shared.

This passage challenges us to reflect on how we live in community today. As Christians, we are called to be a family united in Christ, to care for one another, and to share our resources generously. This fellowship is not limited to just our local church, but extends to the entire family of God around the world.

Imagine what it would be like if we lived this communion in our own lives. If we looked at the needs of others before thinking about ourselves. If we were willing to share our talents, time and resources to help those who are struggling. This is the essence of Christian love in action.

Dear brothers and sisters, today’s Gospel brings us a profound message about the salvation that God offers us. Jesus says to Nicodemus: “You must be born from above.” He is inviting us to be born again, to experience an inner transformation that is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This image of the new birth reminds us that as Christians we are called to abandon our old ways of living and embrace a new life in Christ. We must renounce sin, selfishness and everything that separates us from God. We must allow the Holy Spirit to purify us, renew us, and empower us to live a life of holiness.

However, Jesus’ message does not end there. He goes on to say, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”

This reference to the story of Moses in the desert leads us to a powerful image of redemption. In the desert, the people of Israel were being attacked by poisonous snakes, and many were dying. But God gave Moses instructions to make a bronze serpent and set it up on a pole. Everyone who looked at the bronze serpent would be cured of the poison and live.

This story is a prefiguration of the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. Just as the bronze serpent was lifted up to bring healing and life to the people, Jesus was lifted up on the cross to bring salvation and eternal life to all who believe in Him. He is the medicine for the poison of sin that afflicts us.

Dear brothers and sisters, the central message of these biblical passages is clear: we are called to live in communion with one another, to share our resources, and to care for one another with sincere love. We are invited to be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, to abandon our old ways of living and embrace a new life in Christ. And we are reminded that salvation is available to all who look to Jesus, the Son of Man lifted up on the cross.

These spiritual truths can seem abstract and distant in our everyday lives. But allow me to bring concrete examples to illustrate its meaning and practical application.

Imagine a family that, instead of just pursuing their individual interests, meets regularly to discuss each other’s needs and how they can help each other. They share their meals, share their hardships, and pray for each other. This family becomes a community of love and mutual support, reflecting the fellowship of the first Christians.

Imagine a young man who, instead of giving himself over to the fleeting pleasures of the world, decides to give himself over to Christ and seek inner transformation. He turns away from bad influences, seeks holiness, and allows the Holy Spirit to guide him in all areas of his life. This young man experiences a new life in Christ, full of purpose and meaning.

Imagine a person who, instead of just worrying about their own well-being, gets involved in humanitarian aid projects, dedicating their time and resources to help those in need. This person becomes an instrument of love and compassion, reflecting the generous heart of God.

These examples show us that spiritual truths are not just abstract concepts, but living principles that can transform our lives and communities. When we commit to living by these principles, our faith becomes tangible and our testimonies become powerful.

But how can we apply these principles to our daily lives? Here are some practical guidelines:

First, look for opportunities to get involved in your Christian community. Participate in Bible study groups, service ministries, and prayer times together. Be willing to share your gifts and resources with others.

Second, reflect on your own life and identify areas where you need to be born again. Ask the Holy Spirit to cleanse, renew and empower you to live a life of holiness. Abandon the standards of the world and embrace God’s will for your life.

Third, be aware of the needs around you. Be willing to sacrifice your time, talent and resources to help others. Be an agent of love and compassion in your home environment, work, community and beyond.

Dear brothers and sisters, as we conclude this homily, I want to remind you of the divine grace, love, and hope offered to us. God invites us to live in communion with each other, to be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and to look to Jesus, the Son of Man raised on the cross, as the only way to salvation.

May these words remain in our hearts and motivate us to live in accordance with the teachings of the Scriptures. May we be instruments of transformation in our communities, spreading the love of Christ wherever we go.

Let us pray together: Dear God, thank you for calling us to be part of his family and live in communion with each other. Give us the grace to be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and to look to Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Enable us to live according to the principles of the Scriptures in our daily lives. May Your love and grace be evident in everything we do. In the name of Jesus, amen.

May God bless you all. Amen!