This is a blog that I post to several times a week although not necessarily daily. These reflections are triggered by the scripture found in the lectionary used by many Christian denominations. While I am part of the Catholic tradition, these posts are not --or rarely--sectarian. I try to put myself in the space of a of Jesus Christ and listen to words that come to me as I read and pray the scriptures. Each post also includes a photograph. These rarely have any connection to the content of the post but are simply pleasing images that I capture as I make my pilgrimage through life.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Born from above

Pelicans off Port Everglades
"Amen, amen, I say to you,unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." John 3:3
When Nicodemus came to Jesus at night seeking clarification of his mission and purpose, he hears these words from Jesus.  Nicodemus is confused and perplexed.  He asks how it can be that one who is born can be born again.  Do you have to re-enter your mother's womb?  Jesus answers with words that raise more questions than provide answers.
"Amen, amen, I say to you,unless one is born of water and Spirithe cannot enter the Kingdom of God.What is born of flesh is fleshand what is born of spirit is spirit.Do not be amazed that I told you,'You must be born from above.'The wind blows where it wills,and you can hear the sound it makes,but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."  John 3:5-8
If you live your life purely and solely "in the flesh"--purely and solely on a human level--you will be unaware of the principle of life that is in and energizes all life including all human life.  There is another way of seeing reality if you live your life "in the spirit."  If you are in the spirit, if you have been born of water and the spirit, you enter into a different realm of being.  In a real sense, you become a different being.  The life of the flesh continues, for now, but it is no longer the ultimate reality of human existence.

The fundamental value of the life of the flesh is self interest and appropriately so.  The prime directive is to preserve your life and to enrich it.  You may well see your self interest involving the welfare of others and thus we might say that your self interest is enlightened.  But the bed rock is still the self.

The fundamental value of the life of the spirit is love, spending yourself in the service of others.  Jesus came not to fulfill an important role in the world of the flesh but to spend himself in the service of others, especially those whom the world ignores and those who saw him as an enemy.  "Do to others as you would have them do to you" especially your enemies and those whom the world discounts.

This is the different world that Jesus invites me to enter through water and the spirit.

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