Memory of the Poor

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For the Jews is the day of the Memory of the Shoah in which they recall the extermination of their people in the Nazi concentration camps.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 3,1-8

There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews,

who came to Jesus by night and said, 'Rabbi, we know that you have come from God as a teacher; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.'

Jesus answered: In all truth I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.

Nicodemus said, 'How can anyone who is already old be born? Is it possible to go back into the womb again and be born?'

Jesus replied: In all truth I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born through water and the Spirit;

what is born of human nature is human; what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above.

The wind blows where it pleases; you can hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

During this Easter season, the Liturgy opens up to us the third chapter of John’s Gospel and presents us with Nicodemus, an authoritative member of the Sanhedrin and a pious and equitable man. During the Passion, we saw him honour Jesus by giving him a dignified burial. Today and in the following days, John the Evangelist presents him to us as he meets the young rabbi from Nazareth for the first time. He had esteemed Jesus considerably in his heart, but was afraid to make it known publicly. This is why he chose to meet him at night. Although what he had wanted to ask Jesus does not emerge from this Gospel passage, he did have a religious respect for that young "teacher who has come from God." He was certainly amazed by the miracles Jesus performed, and he immediately shows his amazement at all that Jesus has done. But Jesus seems to interrupt him and, without waiting for his question, anticipates his question and declares to him that what is necessary for salvation is being born "from above." Perhaps a bit irritated, Nicodemus responds: "How can anyone be born after having grown old?" Jesus does not enumerate actions to perform or list a series of precepts to follow; rather, he upholds the necessity of completely and profoundly changing one’s life. Being reborn does not mean doing more or thinking about something more. Being reborn means welcoming into one’s heart the Spirit of God that recreates life. The breath of the Spirit transforms hearts to the point of making them entirely new, capable of loving and daring in ways that before seemed unimaginable. The prophet Ezekiel writes: "I will give them one* heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God" (Ez 11:19-20). That night, the prophet’s words took on flesh in the aged Pharisee and gave him the energy of a new life: he became Jesus’ disciple.