Posted by: livingscripture | April 15, 2015

Second Wednesday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

 “Jesus said to Nicodemus, ‘God has so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.  For god did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him…And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil…whosoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God’.”        (John 3: 16-21)  

How should we live this WordNicodemus 1

This is the last day in which John’s Gospel presents the figure of Nicodemus who comes to question Jesus at night.  He is Teacher of Israel and Jesus presents him with revelations that are important for us as well, above all the word ‘verdict’.  “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil”.  The Evangelist sees in this verdict, not so much an event that will happen at the end, but rather a present reality.  It deals with the ‘realized eschatology’ proper to John.  According to this perspective, it is not so much God who judges, but people themselves, with their very life.  With their rejection or with their acceptance of the love appearing in Christ, people build their own salvation or condemnation; they become light or darkness.  Therefore, it is faith that brings the verdict and people judge themselves with their behavior.

John’s text offers us two additional clarifications that are precious:

  • The Evangelist defines the incredulous as those who love the darkness, those who knowingly choose it and are attached to evil. Today we can define it with a very actual term, the ‘corrupt’ who then become corrupters.  It is not only a question of doing evil out of weakness and fragility, but rather they are up to their neck in evil.  John is announcing here a fundamental moral principle – action conditions understanding.  Interior freedom, love for the truth, an upright way are the indispensable pre-conditions for ‘knowing’.  Holiness of life is necessary to create a theological/hermeneutic place in which the mystery of God can be revealed in all its power within the human heart.
  • Finally, we observe in the last verse of the text that the Evangelist uses an interesting expression, ‘lives the truth’. According to our usual Western cultural way of understanding, truth is something to learn intellectually.  Instead, for the world of the Bible and especially for John and Paul, God’s truth is not so much to be learned as to be lived.  It is God’s Plan of Salvation to be received in our life and to be built together with Him.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder these words and beg Jesus to keep me always in His Truth, alive and active with Him in bringing about His Kingdom on earth.

The Voice of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

Teaching is beautiful if the one speaking acts.  There is only one Teacher who spoke and all was done and the things He did in silence are worthy of the Father.

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