Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

(Acts 4:32-37; John 3:7b-15)

According to Bishop Robert Barron, one of Mother Angelica’s formidable character traits was a deep trust in Divine Providence.  She was able to rise to prominence in mass media because she believed that the Lord would assist her in carrying out His will.  When a huge satellite dish which she ordered to greatly increase EWTN’s outreach was delivered, Mother Angelica did not have the money to pay for it.  She went into her convent’s chapel to pray. “Lord,” she said, “I thought you wanted this satellite thing; now give me the money I need!” When she finished, another nun announced that a rich man had telephoned wanting to make a large donation.  Mother Angelica’s trust in Providence helps us understand the dialogue in today’s gospel.

The reading begins the presentation of the middle chapters of the Gospel of John which will be reviewed until Pentecost.  Much of it reflects the often bitter debate between Christians and Jews in the last part of the first century.  Of course, Jesus speaks for the Christians.  He tells in this case his amicable Jewish counterpart, Nicodemus, that Jews do not understand the radical gift God has offered the world in Jesus.  He turns water into wine and opens the eyes of the blind.  He will give eternal life to those who dare to look on him hanging on the cross as their savior.  But they are to trust him even when odds seemed stacked against them.

We are often tempted to equate Christian faith with a benevolent morality.  For sure, Christianity promotes justice and charity, but our belief is more than that.  It makes us see that Jesus will carry us beyond the troubles we face.  Staying close to him, we will find our salvation.