However in what Jesus said I can see an echo of his earlier words: “You need to be born again.” What I would like to draw your attention to this Sunday is the moment a child is born. The birth isn’t the beginning of child’s life it is more about passing from life to life. To be new born means that one moves from old life to new one.
It’s interesting to see a new born child. Do you agree that the first moments the child is out of the womb it looks as if the child was suffocating, but doctors and nurses, and we too, know that it is just a stage when the child stops using the umbilical cord to breathe and begins to breath clear air with his or her nose and lungs, though as I have said it may look like suffocating.
Each one of us has gone through this. If we are here today it is because we left our mother’s womb. However a similar process still happens in what we go through in our daily life. St John in the Apocalypse says: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, the first heaven and the first earth disappeared.”
To see the new heaven and new earth we need to leave the old ones. Heaven and earth here don’t mean just the blue thing above our heads and the dirt we walk on every day. So what does it mean for us? If the first haven and first earth are like breathing with the umbilical cord the new heaven and new earth are like breathing with your nose and lungs. To explain it let me also use the image of a person needing an oxygen bottle to breathe. How often we are like the person! We’ve got bottles with various things which we believe should keep us alive and going. Some people suffocate if they don’t go shopping. Some can’t survive without getting feelings from other people.
A little example may help to understand: Imagine someone baking a cake and now he or she gives you one. So what do you say: “Oh Dear, thank you. It is such a beautiful cake!” But the person say: “No, it is nothing special. It is just a plain cake.” But in his or her heart the person is saying: “Give me more of these compliments. Tell me more about how beautiful the cake I made is.”
How many people need this kind of praise to keep going? If they don’t hear from others how beautiful they are they get depressed and are hardly alive. They are like a person with an oxygen bottle – they inhale the stuff from the bottle. It keeps them going. Jesus however tells us: “It is destructive. It is addictive. So cut it off. Don’t be scared you won’t die. For some time you will be like a new born child, kind of suffocating but then you will experience true freedom.”
My Sisters and Brothers! Imagine a morning like this. You wake up and you say to yourself: “God is my Father. He loves me. I am his beloved child.” Inhale it. Breathe in. WOW!!! Now you can go ahead with your day. This thought makes your day. You don’t need to fight for people’s feeling. You don’t need to go shopping to prove your value. You don’t need to maintain this perfect image of yourself.
This is the new heaven and new earth Jesus wants to take us to. If a bottle is still sitting on your back cut it off. Let it go. Don’t be afraid to be born again. Now you can hear Jesus command: “Love one another.” Jesus didn’t say do your best to be loved, because you are already loved by God. But he said: ”Love others!!!” because you have been set free by your Lord to love.