April 20, 2020 – 2nd Week of Easter

“Being ready and willing to give ourselves entirely to the Lord – to the Spirit of God – and allow Him to ‘make us anew and renewed!’”

(Based on Acts 4:23-31 and Jn 3:1-8)

A businessman, once, wanted to sell his vast old castle along with his property.

The massive building had, however, been empty for months and needed many repairs.

Uninhabited for many years, and been prone to many thieves, vandals and natural calamities, there was a lot of damage to the building.

Doors had been damaged
Windows had been smashed
The interiors were badly damaged

As he showed a prospective buyer the building and the property, this businessman took pains to explain that he would replace the broken windows, bring in the engineering crew to correct any structural damage and clean out the garbage.

But the one who came to buy had other plans. “Forget about the repairs,” the buyer said without giving heed to what the businessman was saying.
“When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I am not interested in the building alone; I want the entire site!”

The businessman was worried about the many repairs he had to do before he undertook the deal. But the one who came to buy was interested more in the land – the site itself – than the building and the minor repair works.

Something similar happens when we seek to hand over the property of our lives to God.

We, get perplexed and worried over the many little aspects

But the Lord is interested in our entire life

He demands a total transformation.

He requires a complete conversion.

This is what the Gospel of the Day also points to – “No one can enter the Kingdom of God, without being born of the water and the spirit” (Jn 3:5)

Jesus is in conversation with Nicodemus.
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews.

The Gospel is particular to point out that “he came to Jesus at night” (Jn 3:2)

Nicodemus finds three mentions in the Gospel of St John.

One, in this meeting with the Lord. (Jn 3: 1ff)
The second, in discussion with the chief priests and Pharisees who were discussing the origins of Jesus, the Messiah (Jn 7: 45-52)
The third, at the burial of Jesus, along with Joseph of Arimathea (Jn 19: 38-41)

In all these three occasions, we find an element of darkness that is associated

It was in the darkness of a night when Nicodemus first came to meet Jesus…
Second, Nicodemus was in a discussion of darkness that made plans to eliminate Jesus
Third, Nicodemus buries the body of Jesus in the darkness of nature and human folly

Darkness would seek to get associated with Nicodemus every time…

But Jesus, the light of the world, invited Nicodemus to move to the light
… “those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God” (Jn 3:21)

Jesus invites Nicodemus to experience and live the Truth…
… that one needs to be born from above to see the Kingdom of God
… that one needs to be born of the water and the spirit to enter the Kingdom of God

The same invitation is rendered to each one of us.

We too may often be finding ourselves in the “darkness”…

But Jesus, the Light of the world invites us to embrace Him wholly and to undergo a complete transformation.

What is needed is to let the Spirit of God work in ways that He wants

We need to have complete openness to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
We need to have total docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit…

We need to allow the Spirit of God, “the Wind [to] blow where it wills…’’ (Jn 3: 8)

When the early Church went through moments of persecution and hardships, they allowed themselves to be guided and led by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Offering their struggles, they prayed to the Lord; and they were filled with the Holy Spirit
“And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness!” (Acts 4:29-31)

Yes, when we make a complete offering of our lives to the Lord…
… we are filled with Power and Courage!

The Lord seeks the complete property of our lives.

We may be worried about the complications in which a transformation is possible

We may be thinking, how can I, with so many complications in life, have a true conversion

But the One who comes to occupy our lives has other plans…
He says “When I occupy your life, I’m going to build something completely different.

I am not interested in the externals; I want the entire soul
… the whole life!”

Are we ready and willing to give ourselves entirely to the Lord – to the Spirit of God – and allow Him to “make us anew and renewed”?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The truly loving heart loves God’s good pleasure not in consolations only…

… but also in afflictions!”

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