2nd Week of Easter, Tuesday, April 13
Acts 4:32-37 / John 3:7-15
Jesus continues his instruction; "We must be born of the spirit. "
A town drunk and loafer underwent a religious conversion. Some of his old cronies ridiculed him. One said sarcastically, "Surely you haven't begun to believe all that stuff about changing water into wine?" The ex-drunk replied, "I can't tell you whether Jesus turned water into wine in Cana.But I can tell you he turned wine into food in my house." This is what Jesus meant by saying that we can't see where wind comes from and we can't see where it goes, but we can hear the sound it makes. We may not know about all the mysteries connected with the Spirit, but we know about the effect of the Spirit on our own personal lives.
How has the Spirit affected our life? "Strong beliefs win strong men [and women] and make them stronger." Walter Bagehot
In this passage Christians are called the faithful. It is only the fullness of the Faith that make the Church, or any society or group in the Church, one in heart and soul. In this Faith we love the same and think the same. That 'same' is the thoughts' of Christ. By accepting Jesus our way of thinking means becoming more and more like him. With this we shall have the same mind, the same will. Christ becomes the whole content of our life. We want to keep nothing back. All that we are and all that we have is gladly spent in giving God a better service. "Everything they owned was held in common " (verse 32). They were free to give or to keep (verse 4.34). When God is all they want - when God is their real riches - men have no use any more for earthly goods. Their happiness is to use all in the service of God. There was among them an atmosphere of religious awe. They had respect for one another. One of those who sold his land and gave his money to the Apostles was Barnabas from Cyprus. He had a meaningful name: Barnabas means son of encouragement. He was true to his name.
We know from our disappointing experiences how difficult it is to be a real community. We have different personalities with different ideas, attitudes and potentials. The great obstacle is we ourselves: we want people to go our way, and we impose our own views. In our Christian communities, there is one who can unite us in himself. It is Jesus, our model and our Lord. We believe that we come together here in his name and for his sake. He is alive and present among us. He brings us together in one faith and one love. It is a lifelong task. Can we be one heart and one soul in him?
All life comes from God, the natural as well as the supernatural: The giver of life is the Spirit. In Greek, as in Hebrew, the word Spirit is "wind, breath, life and soul". Genesis speaks of the natural life of man when it says: "God fashioned man from the dust of the soil.
Then he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and thus man became a living being" (Genesis 2.7). This is the natural life. This already is the gift of the spirit. Through man's sin, death came into this world. Man had to die. The new life is also the gift of the spirit. By the birth from below we become children of men. Through the new life from above we become a child of God. This gift came to us through Jesus dying for us on the Cross. Just as the Jews were healed from the snake bites by looking at the bronze serpent, so men get their new life from the Cross. The water of baptism is the spirit. As the fertility of soil comes through the water, so does the new life. The Spirit is the life-giving water.
Prayer: All praise and thanks be to you, Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You have given us your risen Son to be alive in our communities. Make us see him with eyes of faith, that he may unite us, heart and soul. May his dynamic presence among us move us to become with him, each other’s bread of life, that no one among us may hunger for food or help when in need. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen