“We speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.”

Today’s gospel passage (Jn 3:7b-15) picks up from what we would have heard yesterday had not the Feast of the Annunciation been celebrated.  This episode, in which the religious leader Nicodemus seeks out Jesus to talk with Him, concludes tomorrow.  The Pharisee professes that Jesus comes from God because of His works.  Jesus tells him that one must be “born from above” to recognize the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus misunderstands thinking Jesus said that one needs to be reborn naturally.  Then Jesus talks about the movement of the Holy Spirit and the lack of understanding/belief of the religious leaders (see above).  Finally, Jesus speaks of His descent from heaven and foretells figuratively of His death (being “lifted up” for the same purpose as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert) so that those who believe will be saved.  If we ever grow frustrated about others not accepting our witness to our faith in Jesus, or get discouraged by the growing rejection of Christianity in our culture, imagine how Jesus must have felt.  Here Jesus is speaking with a man who is given great deference by his people as a teacher of religion.  This man likely spent most of his life reading, studying, pondering, debating, and teaching the holy texts.  Yet Jesus calls him out for his lack of understanding of Jesus’ (the Messiah’s) mission.  Is it any wonder that we are challenged in a similar way today?  Nevertheless, we must continue to “speak of what we know and…testify to what we have seen” with perseverance and fervor, trusting that God will use us to move hearts and praying to Him that He will provide abundant water to those seeds He plants through us.

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