Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”  Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” – John 3:1-3

No one can behold the realm of God without being born from above (or anew, again).  All three possible translations of the Greek contribute to the fullness of the understanding of the truth that Christ is trying to communicate to this Pharisees, this man who would later become a prominent Christian in the Church.  In beholding and then comprehending a new understanding of the faith requires a revolution of vision.  In certain ways, I requires starting all over again … this time as if one had God as one’s parent.  It is a fresh vision, a new vision, a heavenly vision.

I find various expressions of the Church tend to emphasize one or the other or even the other.  Some expressions are filled with “born again” language; others, “born anew” language; still others, “born from above language”.  I find it best not to isolate one from the other, but rather to hold then together as a fuller whole.  In my contemplative expression of the Christian faith, we think often in terms of “being born from above”.  Yet, in my contemplative expression, we must always be remembering to be “born anew” lest we get lost in ancient ways.  And, of course, in daily Benedictine practice, “each day we begin again”.  You most likely live within an expression of the faith that is not precisely like mine or even quite different from mine … but always your faith, to be a living, continually refreshing and growing faith, must always be being born anew, again, and from above.   Do not become stagnant.  Do not become imprisoned in the past.  Do not grow stale as years old bread.  But always be a child eager to learn and to mature.

Always in Christ’s Service,

Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

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