Gospel Reflection — John 3:7-15
Leading up to this passage, we meet Nicodemus, a high-ranking Pharisee who comes to see Jesus under the cover of darkness. He shows an interest in Jesus, and seems to want to know more about Him. But Jesus tells Nicodemus that he needs to be born again. His response, just before this passage, is that he isn’t sure how he would go about crawling back into his mother’s womb, especially since he’s pretty old now and therefore wouldn’t fit. Like that’s really the issue. I can just imagine Jesus doing a facepalm and saying, “No, Nicodemus. No. I mean really? Did you honestly think that’s what I meant?”
What Jesus really wants is for Nicodemus to be born of the Spirit, which we know sacramentally happens through Baptism. But it’s not just about the Baptism itself, but about what it means to live in the Spirit once one has been “born again”. Jesus says, “The wind blows wherever it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes. So it is with everyone who is born in the Spirit”. The Spirit goes where He wills, not where we will. God is free! We cannot control Him. And here Nicodemus is hiding from the Pharisees, worried about being made known, hiding within his comfort zone, somewhere that he is safe, where he has control. God says, “No, Nicodemus, you must rely, depend upon, and trust in Me! Stop hiding in the darkness, come out! Rise to new life! Believe in Me, trust in Me and I will lead you. Give up the illusion of comfort and safety of your own control, and let Me keep you safe and lead you where I will!”
Since we are a people born of the Spirit, let us not then return to the darkness and visit the Lord in the secret of the night, clinging to what we desire. We must let go of everything and abandon ourselves to God.