“‘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: 7-8)

“Are you born again?”

This was a question bandied about in charismatic circles. The readings for today point to different responses to that question. In John’s Gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again (from above). Jesus is telling Nicodemus and us that believing in the resurrected Jesus is the way of being born again. It is to receive the gift of knowing, understanding and accepting the Son of God who has become one of us to give us a share in his life.

I think Flannery O’Conner, a famous Catholic southern author, offers us a further explanation of this “believing.” She writes, “About the only way you can tell whether you believe or not is by what you do.”

That’s a wonderful lead-in to the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and the story of the early church community and their powerful witness of sharing their goods “so that there was no needy person among them.” The two readings together offer us a challenging invitation to reflect on our own lives.

Rev. Jim Franck, C.PP.S.
Cincinnati Province

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