Fourth Sunday of Lent: Chronicles 36;14-16,19-23. Ephesians 2:4-10. John 3:14-21
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so everyone who believes in him might have eternal life” John 3:16
Journal Entry by Nicodemus -Springtime of year 33
I have been watching and observing this Rabbi Jesus for quite some time. He is a most curious and interesting person. He doesn’t seem to care what others think or say about him; he speaks what he believes to be the TRUTH. I am attracted to him, but at the same time, I am afraid of him. I really don’t understand these mixed feelings that I have. I know that he is a very learned Jew and he speaks with authority like no other teacher I have heard in Jerusalem. I belong to the Sanhedrin. I am supposed to know the law too; maybe he intimidates me. His knowledge and explanation of the law is far better than my understanding. To be quite honest, I am attracted and a bit “put off” by this Jesus. After all, he was raised in Nazareth and comes from a very common background.
Putting aside my internal turmoil, I decided I would go and see Jesus in his dwelling. One problem I have with talking to Jesus publically is that the authorities do not like him. They are always looking for ways to trick Jesus and catch him in not upholding the Law and the Prophets. Since I am a Jew in “good standing”, I did not want to harm my reputation with the authorities.
I decided I would go to Jesus’ dwelling at night when I would not be seen. Even though it was a dark night, there was a soft candlelight glow all around the room. Jesus welcomed me and said, “Nicodemus, welcome to my home. Come in and have some bread and wine with me”. Immediately my darkest fears were washed away and bathed in the light of this loving and accepting person. Jesus put his arm around me and looked directly into my moist eyes. No one had ever said that they loved me before. This great gentle teacher who many called the Messiah and the Son of God, said he loves me.
As we talked, Jesus told me that God is all loving and that he was sent into the world so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life. Jesus took my hand and said, “Nicodemus, my God and I love you very much and I want you to love yourself and others. You are a good person and I desire you to love me and my God.” At that instant, Jesus took away my fear and gave me eternal love, Jesus took away my darkness and gave me TRUE LIGHT. I knew at that moment of grace, that I would no longer be afraid to follow Jesus openly and to tell others about the healing love and light that came into my life that night from Jesus.
As the sun began to create a reddish pink glow in the eastern horizon, Jesus blessed me with Shalom and I journeyed to my home with a loving, light heart.
Rose Ann Barmann, OSB