Discussion about the Origins of the Messiah
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Claretian Communication Foundation
2016 March 12, 2016
REFLECTION: Nicodemus is a minor figure in the New Testament, but an interesting one because, although he appears only three times on the gospel scene, we can witness how he gradually evolved from being an honest coward to being a courageous believer.
Nicodemus is first mentioned in John’s gospel when he comes at night to investigate Jesus (Jn 3). Since he interviews Jesus at night, it is obviously because he does not want to be seen in public with him. As member of the Sanhedrin, he cannot risk his reputation of impartiality, prudence, loyalty to the Law. Our Nicodemus is cautious, circumspect, timid. He is definitely a coward, but an honest one since he does go to the trouble of interviewing Jesus. Ironically, the name Nicodemus in Greek means “conqueror of the people.”
Then, in today’s gospel episode, we see Nicodemus timidly defending the right of Jesus to a fair hearing. And he is insulted for this.
Finally, we see Nicodemus helping Joseph of Arimathea bury Jesus (Jn 19:39). He even provides a large and costly quantity of spices for this. At this point we suspect that the honest coward has become an honest and courageous believer.
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2017 April 01, 2017
The men and women of God are always an enigma to others. Their credentials after all are not accessible to scrutiny of the senses. It is something that happens in the inner recesses of the person that compels him or her to do God’s work. They cannot keep it or ignore it. As Jeremiah said “But his word in my heart becomes like a fire burning deep within my bones…” (Jer. 20,19) Hence the religious authorities of Jesus’ time cannot place Him. He does not fit into their categories that would qualify Him as a man of God. But those who have sensitivity to the hidden workings of God could feel this calling. Nicodemus could not understand why he is defending Jesus. He felt that there is something more than meets the eye about Him. He could not resort to physical evidences such as Scriptures and lineage to base his belief in Jesus. It would take time before all becomes clear to him. He stands in front of a mystery so big that he needs time to comprehend a part of it.
2018 March 17, 2018
NO ONE HAS EVER SPOKEN LIKE THIS MAN
We always think that if Jesus were living with us now, it would be easier for us to believe. I don’t think so. Just the opposite. In fact the people who were his neighbors were the first to doubt him since they saw him as an ordinary boy, an ordinary man, the son of their neighbor carpenter Joseph and his wife Mary who is the friend of the wives in the neighborhood. So how could they believe that this ordinary man is indeed the Son of God the Savior of the World, the King of the world to come. That is why when they heard him speak they could not but exclaim: NO ONE HAS EVER SPOKEN LIKE THIS MAN. Because aside from being just their neighbor, he was saying things that contradicted all they had been taught. He would say, “It has been said of old…BUT I SAY TO YOU…” Instead of hating enemies, He said one must love one’s enemies. Instead of a “tooth for a tooth” he says one must forgive 70 times 7 times. Instead of lamenting that one is poor, one should feel blessed. He said his flesh is food indeed and his blood is drink indeed. And finally he said, 3 days after he would be crucified, HE SHALL RISE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD. No one has indeed ever spoken like this man, because he is not a mere man, but is truly the SON OF GOD.
2020 MARCH 28, 2020 FEATURED
Written by Super User
In today’s Gospel, we see the few people who have tried to defend Jesus: the temple guards who were unwilling to arrest him and Nicodemus who had tentatively supported him arguing that they cannot condemn anyone without first hearing him and his defense.
In today’s world, we are also called to stand for the teachings of the Lord and to defend those who are unjustly persecuted.
The fact is that the tragedy suffered by Christ still persists in human history. Indeed, our modern world is still in need of redemption.
And every man and woman has to play certain roles similar to those evoked in the Gospel.
Jesus came to overcome evil through love. His victory was accomplished on the cross. But his victory is to be prolonged by us; his mission is to continued by each one of us.
Today’s Gospel challenges us: Are we capable of perceiving Jesus and his teachings in the world today? In the drama of life, what role do we play? © Copyright Bible Diary 2020
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