Discussion about the Origins of the Messiah
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Navchetana
2018 Saturday of the 4 th Week of lent
Jeremiah 11:18-20; Psalm 7:2-3, 9-12; Gospel JN 7:40-53
The Story of the Disciple Nicodemus
Nicodemus comes from darkness to Jesus who is light (Jn 3: 1-2). Nicademus appreciates Jesus, the Master “You are a teacher from God. No one can do the things you do unless God has given the power.” Jesus was taken up. Immediately Jesus said to him, ‘you born again, No one can enter in the Kingdom of God without being born again of water and Spirit.’ Jesus is asking to foster a childlike and spirit â€“ filled spirituality.
We can find a growth in the discipleship of Nicademus though he was not among the twelve or seventy two disciples of Jesus. In Chapter 7, in front of the Sanhedrin, Nicademus boldly defended Jesus telling, “Unless we give Jesus a chance to defend himself, we have not right to make a judgment on him. Our Law does not permit us.” Nicademus was bold enough to defend Jesus in front of his adversaries (7: 51). When you won’t criticize a person in his absence (which we normally do) you become an amazing gentleman and earns appreciation even by your enemies. That is part of integrity.
We find Nicademus again at the time of crucifixion and burial of Jesus. In the absence of Jesus’ disciples, it was Nicademus and Joseph of Arimathea gave Jesus a dignified burial (Jn 19: 38-40) which will be remembered till the end of the world. Every human being has a right to have a dignified burial since he is made in ‘the image and likeness’ of God (Imago Dei).
In Garhwal District in Uttaranchal in the Diocese of Bijnor, there is a CMI Ashram near the banks of river Ganges. There are many leprosy patients living nearby the Ashram. Usually when the leprosy patients die, they are denied of a dignified burial and their bodies are thrown to river Ganges where the dead bodies are eaten by fishes and animals. The members residing in the CMI Ashram decided to give dignified burial to these forsaken people and the leprosy patients were very glad to hear their decision. Once it happened that on a rainy day an old leprosy patient died. As soon as the Ashram authorities received the news, they plunged into action. With much difficult they collected dry firewood since the mortals are to be burned according to the Hindu customs. They called a Hindu Pundit and managed to give a respectful burial for that old man who had nobody. There is a ray of hope. People like Nicademus are still alive. “Unless you are born again, you can not enter into the Kingdom of God.” Let us grow into the maturity of discipleship and become apostles of Christ, carrying his mission all over the world. Fr Shepherd Thelapilly CMI
Back to Other Homily Sources
Back to: Saturday of the 4th Week of Lent