|Easter Vigil, 2006, St. Mary of Sorrows|
The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common…There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. Acts 4:32, 34-35
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so, it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:7b-8
Nicodemus is back…well, sort of. We last encountered Nicodemus on Good Friday at the foot of the cross. Now, we get a flashback to when he first approached Jesus like the phantom of the temple-night, curious about who this carpenter-preacher was and by what authority he taught.
This second week of Easter officially starts with Divine Mercy Sunday. Thus far, we have had stories of three men who all needed divine mercy to overcome their doubts (Thomas), the new voice crying out in the post-Resurrection wilderness (Mark), and now this Pharisee-turning-disciple.
Maybe they are perfect examples for us, to remember our flaws and our need for the perfection of God’s love.
Did the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus change anything? I think so. Including this three-question interrogation, Nicodemus appears a total of three times in John’s Gospel.
Later, Nicodemus defended Jesus in the temple when the plot was being hatched by the Pharisees to arrest him. Then he returned with Joseph of Arimathea to bury the body of Jesus after the Lord dies on the cross. When others had left him, Nicodemus was there performing the spiritual works of mercy.
The conversation led to conversion. It is an interesting relationship that comes back to the roots of both words.
Just as Nicodemus emerges from the darkness, our easter call is to come out of the darkness that is conquered by the Paschal Candle.
Come toward the light. Come toward the light. Come toward the light.
Where is the wind blowing you?