There was no needy person among them.

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Enable us, we pray, almighty God,
to proclaim the power of the risen Lord,
that we, who have received the pledge of his gift,
may come to possess all he gives
when it is fully revealed.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

There was no needy person among them.

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.

Jesus helps Nicodemus understand this re-birth.
It has to do with believing in Jesus, lifted up on the Cross and raised from the dead.
This is the gift which pledges life now and eternal life, as the lasting gift.

We see what it looks like in the life of the early community: no one is in need.
Only a community that has faith in the gift of everylasting life could be that free and generous.

We can proclaim the power of the risen Lord in our lives today by living with more Easter joy
and sharing it with greater Easter freedom and love.
.

The Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory, alleluia.

 

Intercessions: 

The spotless Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. Let us give thanks to the Father, and say: 
Source of all life, raise us to life.

Source of all life, remember the death and resurrection of the Lamb slain on the cross. 
- listen to his voice as he lives for ever, making intercession for us.

Now that the old leaven of wickedness and evil is destroyed, 
- may we always feed on the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Grant that today we may put aside all friction and jealousy, 
- and show greater concern for the needs of others.

Send into our hearts the spirit of the Gospel, 
- that we may walk in the way of your commandments, today and forever. 

Closing Prayer: 

Risen Jesus, help me to proclaim your loving power.
You have pledged me a gift - now help me to share it.
May my heart always long for sincerity and truth.
May I be inspired by the earliest apostles
to share what I have and to share what you have given me
with joy and a love for the needs of others.

My heart longs to open my ears 
and listen for your words in my life today
so that I might lift my voice in praise of you.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

In today's Gospel passage Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a leading Jew, comes to Jesus at night; maybe this is just so that no one sees him do so, but maybe it also symbolizes one man trying to move beyond the night which the Pharisees seem to find themselves in.  His first comment is nothing more than a polite opening move, and Jesus advances the exchange by putting a curious statement on the table; this is reminiscent of the exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, who one-up each other until she realizes, from what He tells her, who He is. 

But the second time Nicodemus speaks, he is careful and only asks a question --- although with a hint of disbelief and almost mockery.  When he speaks a third time (which will come in tomorrow's reading), he only asks “How can that be possible?” 

On the whole this entire passage is not so much a conversation as it is an excuse for Jesus (or John) to present some ideas.  The whole passage, begun as a conversation, slides so easily and so thoroughly from conversation to commentary that it is virtually impossible to separate what Christ says from what the commentary is.

We need to note that Nicodemus appears only twice more in John: he contests the plan of the Pharisees and chief priests to arrest Jesus (7:50-51) and then brings 100 pounds (!) of myrrh and aloes to prepare Christ's body for burial.  Whatever we might think of the subject of the “conversation” in today's Gospel, it seems clear that by the time of Christ's death Nicodemus was well on that path to rebirth or being born from on high.

But what does that say to us?  Maybe simply that we sometimes feel lost in the nighttime darkness of our lives and that we need to approach Jesus in our solitary desperation.  Rebirth, just as the more usual birth, takes time to prepare --- and is only done in darkness.... 

by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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