Easter 2nd Week, Tuesday, Apr 21

Acts 4:32-37 / John 3:7-15 
Jesus continues his instruction: “We must be born of the spirit.”

A town drunk and loafer underwent a religious conversion. Some of his old cronies ridiculed him. One said sarcastically, “Surely you haven’t begun to believe all that stuff about changing water into wine?” The ex-drunk replied, “I can’t tell you whether Jesus turned water into wine in Cana. But I can tell you he turned wine into food in my house.” This is what Jesus meant by saying that we can’t see where wind comes from and we can’t see where it goes, but we can hear the sound it makes. We may not know about all the mysteries connected with the Spirit, but we know about the effect of the Spirit on our own personal lives.
How has the Spirit affected our life? “Strong beliefs win strong men [and women] and make them stronger.” Walter Bagehot
There is a book in the Old Testament called Qoheleth (or Ecclesiastes) that begins with this phrase: Vanity of vanities. All is vanity. It gives a graphic description of vanity as like that of chasing the wind. Vanity can also come in many forms like looks, intelligence, talents, but whatever it is, one can never get enough of it.

For eg. when it comes to looks and appearances, we can never get tired of looking at ourselves in the mirror. In the gospel, Nicodemus took pride in himself as a Pharisee and as a teacher of religion and a man of knowledge. But it is also this pride, or vanity, in his knowledge that led him to ask the question: How can this be possible?

He had some fixed ideas about God but when the ways of the Spirit goes beyond his knowledge, he was like trying to catch the wind with a net.

Even when we look at the 1st reading, and we hear that the whole group of believers were united in heart and soul, sharing everything in common and no one was in need, we may wonder if this can ever happen in our present times, and if this can ever be possible.

Yet the ways of the Spirit and the mystery of God can address all possibilities. When we are moved by the Spirit, all possibilities can turn to realities. When we are moved by the Spirit, we won't be chasing the wind; we will move with the wind.

Easter 2nd Week – Tuesday - Liturgy

We know from our disappointing experiences how difficult it is to be a real community. We have different personalities with different ideas, attitudes, and potentials. The great obstacle is we ourselves: we want people to go our way, and we impose our own views. In our Christian communities, there is one who can unite us in himself. It is Jesus, our model and our Lord. We believe that we come together here in his name and for his sake. He is alive and present among us. He brings us together in one faith and one love. It is a lifelong task. Can we be one heart and one soul in him?

Penitential Rite:
-The community of believers was of one heart and mind; beyond the many divisions and dissentions among us
-No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own; beyond our over-attachment to possessions
-There was no needy person among them; beyond our lack of generosity for the needy among us

Opening Prayer
All praise and thanks be to you, Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You have given us your risen Son to be alive in our communities. Make us see him with eyes of faith, that he may unite us, heart and soul. May his dynamic presence among us move us to become with him, each other's bread of life, that no one among us may hunger for food or help when in need. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

General Intercessions
– Risen Lord, be greater and stronger than our divisions. Unite all those who believe in you, we pray:  – Risen Lord, you have given your people a new heart. In our communities, make us one heart and one soul, we pray: 
– Risen Lord, that the best witnessing we give to you may be that we accept one another and care for one another and serve one another, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father, we ask you for food and drink and you give us your Son. May no one in our communities go hungry or feel abandoned when in distress, but may we learn from your Son Jesus to be faithful companions to all who need us. With our solace and support, may we also give them ourselves, as Jesus did and still does for us, he who is our Lord forever.

Prayer after Communion
God, our Father, we have encountered your Son Jesus in faith in this Eucharistic celebration. With him by our side, may we be a deeply believing community in which love and sharing are no empty words, a community which keeps dreaming that we can find one another and create a new future together through him, in whom we have been reborn,  Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord forever.