The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter is John 3:17b-15.

Nicodemus, a member of the ruling Jewish council (Sanhedrin) is impressed by Christ but has not yet been graced to know He is the Son of God. Curious, Nicodemus approaches Christ in the darkness of night, fearing the other members of the Sanhedrin who hate Christ and will eventually conspire to kill Him. Christ has emphatically told a confused Nicodemus about the need to be born “from above” through the Spirit in baptism (John 3:1-8).

Because Nicodemus does not accept Christ as God, he does not accept Christ’s revelation and remains confused. Christ rebukes him sharply, lamenting that Nicodemus is a teacher in Israel but does not grasp that men must seek Grace of God in an outpouring of the Spirit to  convert their hearts to God; this teaching is previously revealed by well-known passages from the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezek 36:25-27) but Nicodemus doesn’t yet understand.

Christ now discloses both His Divinity and the eternal salvation that will come from His Passion to those who believe in Him. Stunningly, Christ, speaking as a Person of the Trinity (“we speak”), asserts that He can speak of Heavenly things for He has descended from Heaven and that those who believe in Him will have eternal life for He is the long-expected Son of Man (the Messiah). Referring to Moses’ lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness to save faithless Israel (Num 21:4-9), Christ mysteriously refers to His coming Passion when He will be lifted up on the Cross to save those who believe.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has eternal divine experience which is often difficult for even the learned to understand. Son of Man, Christ is the long-awaited Messiah who descends from Heaven. Divine Teacher, Christ has perfect knowledge of each man’s understanding and guides each man to fully grasp of the mysteries of faith.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Imagine meeting man today who asserts that He is from Heaven and can give you eternal life if you believe. Be astounded (“thunderstruck”) at Christ’s revelation and promise.

2) Because Nicodemus lacks the obedience of faith, he resists Christ’s teaching and remains ignorant. During Easter, return again to the Obedience of Faith (CCC 144-149) and ask our Blessed Mother to pray for you to learn from her perfect obedience to God.

3) Nicodemus draws near to Christ as a “rabbi” to grow in faith; Christ is the heart of all catechesis (CCC 426-429). During Easter, renew your commitment to learn about Christ (through the study of Scripture and the Magisterium) and to know Christ (through a daily life of prayer).

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory

Virtue of the Day – Prudence

Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant