Christ and Nicodemus, by Hans Thoma (1878)
A Gospel according to John 3:7B-15
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.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
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.”
REFLECTION: "Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen"
Today we continue reading the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus. Here Jesus keeps explaining to him about how we have to be bold in our testimony. You see, Nicodemus kept meeting with Jesus at night. Maybe because he was afraid of what others would think of him since he was a member of the Sanhedrin.
Nicodemus presses on with questions that might sound dumb. They probably weren't. He was an educated man and was most likely using questioning/philosophic techniques from the era.
He was questioning without mercy.
And Jesus very lovingly and patiently answered Nicodemus. He kept exhorting him to give testimony. And told him how this courage would come once one is born of the Holy Spirit.
Eventually Nicodemus will show up twice more in John's Gospel. Once during the trial of Jesus in the Sanhedrin, trying to help Jesus through his expertise, and at the end with Joseph of Arimathea, carrying Jesus' body into the tomb.
Nicodemus is showing us also that no matter our station in life, through our work, our works, our words, and actions, we can still give testimony of our faith in Jesus.
Our vocation in PAPA is to pray for priests. In these times, when priests are alone without their flock, have we spent some time of our day to invite others to pray for them? Do we reach out to our priests to let them know we are praying for them?
Do not be afraid, and pray to the Holy Spirit to help you reach out of the shadows to tell every person you know about our purpose: "To pray for priests and recruit all to pray for priests by any necessary means." (Handbook pg. 10).