Monday, May 19, 2008
Feast of the Most Holy Trinity
Excerpt from homily [St. John 3:1-15(16-17)]:
Nicodemus was a religious leader and teacher who sought to know more about Jesus and His teaching. Jesus, like Nicodemus, was considered a "Rabbi", or teacher, which meant that He taught the Hebrew Scriptures and explained the things of God. In addition to His teaching, Jesus was known for the miracles He did, which are called "signs" by the Evangelist John. Jesus teaches Nicodemus what it means to born of the Spirit so that Nicodemus might see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus is correct in saying that one cannot enter his mother's womb to be born again. But that is a birth of flesh. Jesus teaches that one must be born of the Spirit. He must be born "of water and the Spirit" to enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus does not understand and neither would we, if it was the case that we were not born of the Spirit. If Jesus told Nicodemus that babies were born from the mother's womb and Nicodemus would not believe Him then Nicodemus will certainly not believe that one must be born "of water and the Spirit" to enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus has to believe in Jesus before he can believe and understand His words but Nicodemus does not see Who Jesus is, thinking Him only to be a teacher. So Jesus says,
We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
To believe, Nicodemus needs to receive "our witness", that is the witness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The only One who can teach "heavenly things" is the Son of Man who has come down from heaven who will ascend into heaven and who is in heaven. Nicodemus needs to see that Jesus is the "Son of Man" before He can believe and "enter the kingdom of God." Since Nicodemus knows the things of Moses Jesus teaches him about Moses so that he may know the "Son of Man." Jesus tells Nicodemus, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."
Benedicta sit sancta Trínitas, atque indivísa únitas.
Blessed be the Holy Trinity, and undivided Unity.