By Fr. Roy Cimagala
“YOU must be born from above.” (Jn 3,7)
That’s what Christ told Nicodemus who obviously was astounded by those words. “How can this happen?” was his instant reply. And so Christ had to explain to him the whole business of the need for us to be born again.
This thing about being “born again” or being “born from above” is Christ’s way of telling us that we, as human persons, are not just a matter of genes or of some other natural and earthly elements that may define or identify us.
Our real identity is to be like Christ who is the Son of God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, and as such, is the perfect image God has of his own self. And since God created us in his image and likeness, then we can say that we have been patterned after the Son who became man to save us, to recover us, to show us the way of how we can be that image and likeness of God.
And since Christ is both God and man, we have to understand then that our humanity would not be complete unless it is also hinged to the divinity of Christ. This “hinging” of ourselves to the divinity of Christ is what is involved in our being “born again.” In other words, there is something divine also in our humanity, if our humanity has to have its fullness, completion or perfection.
Let’s always remember that our life is not simply a natural, human life. It is also meant to be supernatural since it is supposed to be a life with God, involved in his work of creation and redemption of mankind, and in the over-all providence he exercises over all his creation.
No wonder then that we can find ourselves at wit’s end as to what and how to do what Christ would ask of us, since there will always be things that would be beyond our powers to carry out.
Because of the supernatural dimension of our life, we should see to it that we be guided always by our Christian faith, and not just by our senses and our spiritual powers of intelligence and will, though all these are also indispensable.
We should just go along with what God through Christ and through the different instrumentalities God communicates with us would ask of us, no matter how impossible for us to do, because what is impossible for us is always possible with him.
Like Mary who just said, “Be it done to me according to your word,” when the archangel Gabriel told her she would become the mother of the son of God, we should just believe and accept what is told and given to us, even if we don’t understand the things being asked of us.
Let’s remember that we are meant to assume the identity of Christ. And that is not a gratuitous, baseless assertion, much less, a fiction or a fantasy. It is founded on a fundamental truth of our faith that we have been created by God in his own image and likeness.
And this truth of faith has been vividly shown to us since it is acted out in the whole history and economy of salvation that culminated in Christ offering his life and his very own self as the Bread of Life so we can have the eternal life with him, and so that he and us can be one.