Saturday, September 1, 2018
Jesus answered Nicodemus’s question, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”– John 3:5-8
So many ways to explain the words “unless they are born of water and the Spirit”, and so many have. I have come to understand this phrase to mean … that one can only find themselves in the Realm of God by way of washing away that which blinds us and by way of allowing the Presence of God awaken and sustain us.
I recall my first year in seminary. For the last couple of years in college my grades began to slip and reading had slowly become an experience I subconsciously avoided. By way of some urging that I cannot now recall, I went and had my eyes checked. I remember the words of the optometrist, “How do you find your way anywhere without eyeglasses!” So eyeglasses were ordered. I can still relive that moment when I walked outside wearing those glasses and being awestruck by how clear and beautiful the world appeared. Once my vision was adjusted it was if a whole new world appeared. Somehow this is like what happens in the spiritual experience of being born with water and the Spirit.
The Kingdom of God, or as I prefer to call it the Realm of God, is always present, but so many cannot see it … except for those who allow themselves to be cleansed of the dust that blinds and to be given a new set of eyes. When Christ speaks of “entering” the Realm of God I think of it in the sense of the Realm of God appearing, appearing within the midst of the Creation and Providence around us.
Each day I have a ritual I go through. As I shower, I also shower my soul with confession and resultant mercy. As I slowly awaken, I pray for the Lord the awaken my spirit. It is a rather intentional ritual … but it serves as reminder of how the Lord walked me into the Realm of God.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz