Things to ponder this week, from John 3

Post09First off, I’d like to alert you to the “enlightening links” which you now see in the upper right hand corner of this page.  The Word on Fire site and the RC Spiritual Direction site speak for themselves and have many wonderful things to navigate. The Christian History site, ditto.  My suggestion with Renewal Ministries is to start by clicking on Food for the Journey, Sister Ann Shield’s daily audio teaching based on the daily liturgical scriptures.  Her talks are just 10 to 15 minutes long and are well worth the listen.  The EWTN site has especially good things in the audio library; if you click Faith, you can then select libraries (audio) and begin by clicking on the most recent additions.  Many excellent teachings and interviews are available here.

Now, here are some things to meditate on from John’s Gospel, chapter 3.

Concerning John 3:2 – Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader, came to Jesus “by night”;  What is the most obvious reason he would have done so?  What might be the more important and underlying reason, in St.John’s eyes, that he did so? (See John 3:19-21).  Also, see John 7:50 and John 19:40 to glimpse the courage Nicodemus later displayed.

Concerning John 3:10-13 – Being a leading teacher of Israel, Nicodemus would have been reminded of Deuteronomy 30:12 and Proverbs 30:4 when Jesus spoke about “ascending into heaven.”  After reading the two Old Testament passages, ponder: How was the Lord aiming toward more than Nicodemus’ intellectual curiosity through His use of these words about ascending and descending?  (See also Daniel 7:13 to understand Jesus’ refererence to Himself as the Son of Man.)

Concerning John 3:14-18 – Numbers 21:4-9 is being cited by Jesus, referring to an incident in the Scriptures with which Nicodemus was familiar, but which would have puzzled him in this context.  In verses 16-18, St. John goes on to give the reader the solution to this puzzle, this mysterious and prophetic parallel to Jesus’ life in Jewish history.  Does St. John make the symbolism in the Numbers passage clear to you?

Well, that should be more than enough to chew on this week.  Next Friday I’ll post a few things to ponder from John 4.  Shalom, JC