From Above and From Below
He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.
It is a popular expression used among certain Christians. There are people who are born again. The problem is that this phrase, to be born again, makes the same mistake that Nicodemus made when talking with Jesus who tell Nicodemus that he must be born from above.
The word meaning “from above” is translated in a variety of ways. When the curtain of the Temple is torn in two, it is torn really from above to below. (It is often translated from top to bottom. There has already been the mention of Nicodemus being born from above.
In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds us of the mysterious connection caused by his two natures. Jesus is fully human and fully divine. It is the case, then, that Jesus is able to reference both the world of the spirit and the world of the flesh. Our loving God is so loving that Jesus enters into both worlds.
The claim Jesus makes about who he is and his relationship to the Father may not seem all that significant to us. But for the Jews of his day, Jesus’ claims would have been quite amazing. Jesus was not claiming to be simply a prophet, or just a good person, but his claims are nothing less than the fact that Jesus is the divine Son of God.
He does this in so many amazing ways. He forgives sins. He proclaims the Father and he are one. As we get closer and closer to Holy Week, we are reminded of the mix between the world of the spirit and the world of the flesh. We live here on earth and we strive for heaven. And in our spiritual selves, in our immortal souls, we are able to experience the rise to new life with Jesus.
For it is the case that Jesus redeems all of us. He is able to take all our brokenness and sin and heal it if we allow him. He is able to call us into the life in the Spirit if we are open. Because of Jesus, we are born from above. The Holy Spirit heals our brokenness and we are created anew to love and worship God both as creatures of this world and the next. Born on earth, we are destined for heaven, thanks to Jesus.
On the friar, you can listen to our homilies (based on the readings of the day) and reflections. You can also ask us to pray for you or to pray for others. You can subscribe to our website to be informed whenever we publish an update.