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You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Conversation with Nicodemus
- March 18, 2012
The first thing that Jesus tells Nicodemus is that to understand heavenly things, one needs to be âborn againâ â not a physical, but a spiritual re-birth. In other words, one mustnât just âsee thingsâ but âlook into the meaning of thingsâ.
Then Jesus uses another metaphor -- to talk about âthe things of heavenâ one needs to go âup to heavenâ. But who can do this save one alone, the âSon of Manâ whose home is heaven? It is the Son of Man who must be lifted up, as Moses raised up the bronze serpent in the desert, so that as many as raised their eyes to this symbol were saved from death.
There is a play on âbeing lifted upâ â it means both, âbeing raised up on a crossâ, the death
Jesus was to die by crucifixion; and also his âglorificationâ or âexaltationâ â when the Father takes Jesus to himself, and places him at his right hand, giving him a Name above all other names. For Jesus raised on the cross, it is also the moment of his glorious Resurrection, when he pours his Spirit into the hearts of all those who believe in him.
This then is the mission of Jesus: not to judge and condemn the world, but to save the world, and bring it to eternal life. To have faith in Jesus, to place oneâs trust in him, is to open oneself to everlasting life.
Sadly, not everyone wants this. Evil-doers love the dark, where they can work their evil without being seen. But those who are good and honest come into the light so that it can be clearly seen that God is in all that they do.
The conversation with Nicodemus is the first of the great conversations in Johnâs Gospel. Step by step, Jesus leads this intelligent Jewish lawyer to realize that it is the life in the Spirit which is vital, which is Godâs gift, and which creates new persons in all who receive it.