Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.”
Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I thought of this conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus the other day, while reading a picture book to my son about the circulatory system. As we read about the heart and blood vessels, he wanted to know, “Which part of my heart is Jesus in?” His question was so beautiful to me, in his recognition that Jesus is really present with us. We are flesh, and we are spirit. We discussed the spiritual truth about our hearts: that while they are made of chambers and valves, and they are also a home for our deepest desires, a place where we know Jesus, and where we find love and strength.
While it is important for my son to know that Jesus is not literally lodged in his right atrium, I also want him to know that asking what part of your heart Jesus is in is a very real and urgent question. When St. Ignatius of Loyola read about the saints, he noticed a desire in his heart to be like them, to serve God heroically. He took the desires of his heart seriously, and set about changing his life. Our hearts can help us discern how God is moving in our lives, and help us find the courage to take action. I pray for the freedom to do this as boldly as St. Ignatius! Where is God in your heart today?
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
—Pedro Arrupe, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!