Today’s Gospel: John 3:7B-15
It’s not wrong to want to understand the ways and the reality of God. But there are times, I think, when we let the not-understanding interfere with the knowing.
Nicodemus, a learned man and Pharisee, slinks through the dark of night to where Christ and the disciples are staying. He has heard of, and indeed seen, some of the miracles of Christ. He knows who Christ is, but he insists on understanding the mechanics, the details.
“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 born of the Spirit,” Christ tells him.
Afraid, Nicodemus demands, “How can this happen?”
Jesus reminds Nicodemus that he knows exactly what He means. Christ tells Nicodemus that he and all the other Pharisees must start with what they know in their hearts, in their bones – that the light of God is here and a new life begins with the Christ.
I have to admit I have more than a little Nicodemus in me.
“But how… but why?” And my favorite: “Well…how exactly does that work?”
Demanding mind-understanding first, before committing to heart- (or soul-) knowing denies the reality of faith.
Don’t be afraid to know what you know, even when – especially when – you still don’t understand.
In this passage and throughout the gospels, Christ says, ‘Start with Who am I’; all else flows from that Spirit-filled heart knowledge.
How often do I nail my soul to the floor, stuck on what I don’t understand rather than letting my heart-knowing lead the way?
O generous and loving Holy Spirit, fill me with courage to ever seek to understand, always firmly grounded in what I know in my heart to be true. Amen.
Copyright 2018 Annette K. Tenny
Annette K. Tenny is a freelance writer, member of the Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the Catholic News Herald, the Charlotte, NC, Diocesan newspaper.
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