thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Monday of the Second Week of Easter
Readings may be found here
How many Facebook posts begin with a Greek work from the New Testament?
The Greek word parresia is used in the New Testament (especially the Acts) to describe the quality of early Christian and Apostolic preaching. The word means “openly,” “passionately,” “boldly.” This last word is utilized twice in the translation of our first reading today. We have already seen how the resurrection of Jesus and His gift of the Spirit brings those first disciples alive with passion for their mission. They become eloquent, courageous, and full of fire where before they were frightened, silent, retreating.
On one level, the encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus in the passage from John brings us back to that hesitancy. Nicodemus comes “at night” and fails to acknowledge Jesus’ true identity – he calls Him only “Rabbi.” And Nicodemus resists Jesus’ invitation to see the deeper truth of God’s sovereign power at work. Nicodemus is still trapped by his own limited vision.
Here we see another aspect of the gift of the Spirit and the boldness that overtakes the Apostles after the resurrection. Their encounters with the Risen Lord have given them an entirely new perspective. They now see the depths. The next time you look out at the waves of the ocean, imagine looking beyond the surface and beneath the waves where the hidden tides and currents are the life of the sea. There in the depths lies the truth.
That possibility is open to us as well – to see the world anew with those eyes of faith. To see there the awesome depth and truth of Divine love and grace is to be made anew and filled with the desire to share the gift. May the Spirit give us parresia - boldness in our proclamation of the goodness and mercy of God!