Tuesday of 2nd Week of Easter A

What Does It Mean to Be Born Above and in Spirit?

Today’s Gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s Gospel. Yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God, one has to be born of water and Spirit, to be baptized with water and Trinitarian formula. What does it mean to be born of water and Spirit if it’s not to be born from above, Jesus expressed in today’s Gospel? What is it to be born from above, Jesus reminds us again in today’s Gospel, if it’s not to be born of the Spirit? What does it mean to be born of water and Spirit, to be born from above, and to be born of Spirit? In baptism, we are baptized with water and the Trinitarian formula. In baptism, we are given a candle lighted from the Paschal Candle, the Light of Christ, to shine on our Christian journey, to help us to focus on Christ, and to follow Christ who is from above. Through baptism, we are reminded to focus our lives on Christ, and to focus on him is to focus on what is above since he is from above. What is from the above if it’s not the Good? In order to focus on the above, the Good, we are reminded to become like children who depend on their parents as we depend on God completely. How do we become children again to depend on God completely?

Robert Fulghum once wrote a book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Things he learned in Kindergarten such as: “Share everything, Play fair, Don't hit people, Put things back where you found them, CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS, Don't take things that aren't yours, Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody, Wash your hands before you eat, Flush, Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you, Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some, Take a nap every afternoon, When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together, Be aware of wonder.” Being an adult is not all about doing what adults doing, but being an adult is to reshape and to do better what we have learned when we were children. Prior to baptism, we acted innocent as children; but after baptism, we are reminded to reshape our actions to follow the light of Christ.

How do we reshape our Christian life in following Christ? Learn to be sensitive to what does not belong to the Good such as injustice to one another, selfish, harboring hatred and evil thoughts, harboring angers and resentments, negligent or ignored others’ struggling with life, ignore and have an attitude towards parents and the authorities, disregarding the laws and the rules, and many other things that distance ourselves from the Good that through Baptism, we are reminded to reshape our actions, our attitudes and our thoughts to direct them towards the Good. What is to be born from above for you? What does it mean to be born in Spirit for you? What is Baptism for you? Does it mean anything to our daily spiritual life after Baptism? Decision is yours.

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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