In Easter week we covered at daily Mass all the appearances of the risen Christ in the gospels. For the rest of the season of Easter, for the next six weeks or so, our gospel readings are all from John’s gospel. This is because John was formed over a number of years as the reflections of the post-Easter church about the life and words of Jesus, reflecting that Easter faith. The particular outlook and theology of John’s gospel helps our own faith the resurrection: and this faith needs strengthening, particularly at this challenging time.
One of the great themes of Eastertide is baptism, because normally at Easter a large number of people all over the world are baptised. In today’s gospel from John chapter 3 we see the strange encounter between the Lord and the pharisee Nicodemus. If you have the chance, read it carefully: it has important features of the storytelling of John’s gospel. [Text available here on the Vatican Website] The details are important: for example, Nicodemus comes to see Jesus at night, which always has a symbolic meaning here; we also see the author’s technique of misunderstanding in the dialogue between the pharisee and Jesus. The point of the exchange is bring to light an aspect of Christian teaching – here, the importance of baptism, of being born again by water the Spirit.
Even though the baptisms we normally celebrate in the Easter season are mostly being postponed, here and all over the world, baptism is still central to our reflection in these days and weeks. We should hold in our prayers those who have had to delay their baptisms.
God bless and take care