Scripture: Lectionary 269. 4/18/12 Acts of Apostles 5:17-26. Psalm 34:2-3.4-5.6-7.8-9. John 3:16-21
Nicodemus has come to see and speak with Jesus at night. Is there any wonder that Jesus would dialogue and speak to him about light and seeing with the eyes of faith? We may remember that the Prologue of John has the theme of light within it. The Prologue is also a key toward understanding how to interpret the rest of the Gospel and to realize the importance of this overture to tell us that the Word of God became flesh and lives among us. His divinity is affirmed as well as his humanity in verse 14 of the Prologue. It also is an Incarnational text that shows us the role of Mary the Mother of Jesus without mentioning her name—just as Paul does in Galatians 4:4-5.
Jesus’ words today make clear what the Prologue has announced. “Whatever came to be in him, found life, life for the light of men. The light shines on in the darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5). He introduces the Baptist as one who testifies to the light (Jesus, the Word of God). At the end of the first reference to the Baptist verse 9 tells us: “The real light which gives light to every man was coming into the world.” Nicodemus has dialogued with Jesus now Jesus will begin a monologue that reveals light to Nicodemus, the light of faith or believing that Jesus has come into the world to bring light and life. Jesus is leading Nicodemus who is coming to believe in him who is the Son of God whom the Father has sent into the world not to condemn it but to heal and save it. When we believe with all our heart and soul and mind that Jesus is the Son of God, the Word made flesh, we are no longer of the world nor are we judged or condemned. Chapter 3:16 has become one of the most popular of verses for Christians and it helps us to get beyond the commercialism of it and to believe in its revelatory message. The Gospel of John is the revelatory Gospel par excellence.
All of the dialogues lead to the message that Jesus is whatever symbol helps us to grow in our faith—light, bread, life, truth, shepherd, vine, etc. Some of these symbos fit other religions and may help them to understand what we Christians are saying about who Jesus is. Above all, God is love as we learn both in the Prologue and especially in those chapters we read during Holy Week, chapters 13-19. Yes, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).
The Fourth Evangelist is also helping us to go back to John 1: 11-12: “To his own he came, yet his own did not accept him. Anyone who did accept him he empowered to become children of God.” We believe, Lord. Help us through our unbelief. May we say with St. Thomas, the Apostle, “My Lord and my God.” Amen Alleluia.