Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Share On

Muslims start the month of Ramadan


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 3,7-15

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. 'How is that possible?' asked Nicodemus. Jesus replied, 'You are the Teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things! 'In all truth I tell you, we speak only about what we know and witness only to what we have seen and yet you people reject our evidence. If you do not believe me when I speak to you about earthly things, how will you believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of man; as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues his dialogue with Nicodemus. It is clear to the disciple the need to be reborn from above by the Spirit of God. The Spirit's action is strong and also mysterious, just as the action of the wind is strong and mysterious: neither where it comes from nor where it goes is known. The Greek word "pneuma," used by the evangelist, indicates both the "wind" and the "Spirit" of God who guides the prophets in their prophecy. This double meaning allows the evangelist to emphasize that the action of the Spirit is "voice," that is, word and announcement, and at the same time "wind," that is, strength and movement. Here we touch the heart of the Gospel according to John, that is, the mysterious action of the Spirit that leads to believe in Jesus and therefore to salvation. Nicodemus is attentive to the words of the young master. And, astonished, he presents him with all his scepticism: "How can these things be?" Jesus, at first, responds with irony: "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?" It is a pedagogical way for Jesus to help him get rid of the resigned pride that tarnishes the adult and wise eyes of Nicodemus and do not allow him to clearly see the newness of God. We too know how much our supposed wisdom is often marked by hopeless pride: we do not rely on the words of the Gospel that ask us to look beyond our usual horizons, which we continue to consider unchangeable, despite the disappointments or failures of our lives. For Jesus this is not the case. His wisdom is far greater than ours because it is the wisdom of God himself who knows how to look at the entire humanity with limitless love. Rebirth in the Spirit occurs through the cross, that is, through that boundless love that leads Jesus to offer his own life to save others. Certainly, the Father will raise him from death for such love. But already in the cross the breadth of Jesus' love for all is clear. By standing under the cross of Jesus we better understand the breadth of his love for humankind. We are all saved by the mantle of his limitless love.