23 When they were released they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who didst make the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,25 who by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, didst say by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves in array, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed–27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,28 to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place.29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness,30 while thou stretchest out thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus.”31 And 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.
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.”
THE FIRST READING: Peter and John reported their harrowing ordeal at the hands of the chief priests and elders upon their release, which moved the people of the way to fervently indulge God to give them the ‘chutzpah’ to boldly speak and proclaim His word in spite of the threats they face. The prayer invocation of these devoted followers of Christ were answered by God who filled them with the Holy Spirit such that the place they stood in was visible and audible shaken!
THE GOSPEL READING: Afriad to be seen with Christ in broad daylight, Nicodemus a scholar and ruler of the law, was in the dark on the matter of the wonderous signs and wonders performed by Christ. He mustered up the courage to indulge Christ, referring to Him as Rabbi; a charitable acknowledgement that the “signs” and wondrous miracles He performed, affirm that He was a man of God and a verifiable authentic teacher of the mosaic law! Our Lord use a figure of speech known as expizeuxis—rhetorical language—to drive home the absolute requirement that every believer must be baptized or born anew by water and the Spirit or fire in the Sacrament of baptism! Nicodemus’ apparent questioning conflation of Christ’s teaching is shown to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, when he rightly supposed that we must re-enter and exit our “mothers womb,”a reference to Mother Church, the body of Christ— the repository and purveyor of the Holy Sacraments. Mt 3:1-17
It is indeed regrettable that we who have been licitly baptized and confirmed according to the proper Rites of the Catholic Church have not developed, nutured or cultivated a healthy appetite to dig into sacred scripture nevermind being a public expositor of the faith. If the truth be told, we have allowed false teachers, secularists, materialist and political propagandists to indoctrinate us with false propositions that has no historical equivalence!Brothers and sisters, let us gird ourselves with the unadulterated gospel truth by means of His Church, so we may speak and live the word of God, with humility, charity, boldness and fearlessness!
LET US PRAY:Psalms 2:1-9
1 Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and his anointed, saying,3 “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the LORD has them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,6 “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”7 I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my son, today I have begotten you.8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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