Thursday - Easter Time
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God,
your Son Jesus Christ came from you
and bore witness to the things
he had heard and seen.
He could not but bear witness to you.
Give us the Spirit of your Son, we pray you,
to speak your word and to live it,
that we may show Christ, your living Word,
to those who have not seen him.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.
Reading - John 3,31-36
John the Baptist said to his disciples: "He who comes from above is above all others; he who
is of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes
from heaven bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, but his
testimony is not accepted by anybody; though anyone who does accept his
testimony is attesting that God is true, since he whom God has sent speaks
God's own words, for God gives him the Spirit without reserve.
loves the Son and has entrusted everything to his hands. Anyone who believes in
the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will
never see life: God's retribution hangs over him."
• During the month of January we meditated
on John 3, 22-30, which shows us the last witness of John the Baptist
concerning Jesus. It was a response given by him to his disciples, in which he
reaffirms that he, John, is not the Messiah, but rather his precursor (Jn 3,
28). On that occasion, John says that beautiful phrase which summarizes his
witness: “It is necessary that he grows greater and I grow less!” This phrase
is the program for all those who want to follow Jesus.
• The verses of today’s Gospel are, again,
a comment of the Evangelist in order to help the communities to understand
better all the importance of the things that Jesus did and taught. Here, we
have another indication of those three threads of which we spoke about before.
• John 3, 31-33: A refrain which is
always repeated. Throughout the Gospel of John, many times there appears
the conflict between Jesus and the Jews who contest the words of Jesus. Jesus
speaks of what he hears from the Father. He is total transparency. His enemies,
not opening themselves to God and because they cling to their own ideas here on
earth, are not capable to understand the deep significance of the things that
Jesus lives, does and says. In last instance, this is the evil one which pushes
the Jews to arrest and condemn Jesus.
• John 3, 34: Jesus gives us the Spirit
without reserve. John’s Gospel uses many images and symbols to signify the
action of the Spirit. Like in the Creation (Gen 1, 1), in the same way the
Spirit descends on Jesus “like a dove, come from Heaven” (Jn 1, 32). It is the
beginning of the new creation! Jesus repeats the words of God and communicates
the Spirit to us without reserve (Jn 3, 34). His words are Spirit and life (Jn
6, 63). When Jesus is about to leave this earth, he says that he will send
another Consoler, another defender, to be with us forever (Jn 14, 16-17). By his
Passion, Death and Resurrection, Jesus obtains for us the gift of the Spirit. Through
Baptism all of us have received this same Spirit of Jesus (Jn 1, 33). When
he appears to the apostles, he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy
Spirit!” (Jn 20, 22). The Spirit is like the water which springs from the
persons who believe in Jesus (Jn 7, 37-39; 4, 14). The first effect of the
action of the Spirit in us is reconciliation: “”If you forgive anyone’s sins
they will be forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained!” (Jn 20,
23). The Spirit is given to us to recall and understand the full significance
of the words of Jesus (Jn 14, 26; 16, 12-13). Animated by the Spirit of Jesus
we can adore God in any place (Jn 4, 23-24). Here is fulfilled the liberty of
the Spirit of which Saint Paul speaks: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there
is freedom” (2 Co 3, 17).
• John 3, 35-36: The Father loves the
Son. He reaffirms the identity between the Father and Jesus. The Father
loves the Son and places all things in his hand. Saint Paul will say that the
fullness of the divinity dwells in Jesus (Col 1, 19; 2, 9). This is why the one
who accepts Jesus and believes in Jesus has eternal life, because God is life. The
one who does not accept to believe in Jesus, places himself outside.
4) Personal questions
• Jesus communicates the Spirit to us,
without reserve. Have you had some experience of this action of the Spirit in
• He who believes in Jesus has eternal
life. How does this take place today in the life of the families and of the
5) Concluding Prayer
me the greatness of Yahweh,
let us acclaim
his name together.
Taste and see that Yahweh is good.
How blessed are those who take refuge in
him. (S 34,3.8)