Veritas PH

The WORD. The TRUTH.

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Homily for Tuesday of the Second week of Easter, 26 April 2022, Jn 3:7b-15

The image that I get from today’s Gospel is that of the wind vane. Sometimes you still see wind vanes on top of heritage houses. If you look at them from far away you would think they’re just decorative embellishments. No, they are not just decorations. They serve a good purpose—and that is to tell you the direction of the wind in relation to north, south, east or west. You get to know through a functional wind vane where the wind is coming from and where it is going. Make sure though that it is functioning.

I have seen beautiful wind vanes on top of old houses in France. Since the French use the rooster as their national symbol, you see the image of a rooster made of light metal, perched on top of a pole which is actually a circular tube lubricated by grease so that the wind vane can move and follow the direction of the wind.

In our Gospel today, Jesus tells Nicodemus that those who are “born from above” allow the Spirit to blow where it will. Therefore Jesus explains to Nicodemus that to be born from above is to be born of the Spirit.

For the sake of elaboration Jesus is using the metaphor of the wind. To know its direction, you just have to feel it. It goes the same way, he says, with those who are born from above. They are able to know somehow which direction the Spirit is blowing so that they can orient or reorient their lives to its direction. It is not enough that they know. They also have to let other people know. This is what he means by “testifying” or giving witness to the truth.

The disciple, as it were, must also serve as a “spiritual wind vane”, pointing out the Holy Spirit’s direction. This is what Pope John XXIII did when he became Pope and called for the renewal of the Church in the Second Vatican Council. Oh, but many people belligerently opposed him. They would rather stick to what they had gotten used to. They remind me of what Jesus said about the Pharisees who “teach as doctrine mere human precepts.” They feel alarmed if you call for change because they are stuck to one direction, like dysfunctional wind vanes.

In spiritual language we call this the art of discernment. It is basically about being attentive to the movements of the Spirit. And John is telling us that the best wind vane for the Spirit’s direction is the Crucified Messiah, the Son of Man lifted up on a pole like a wind vane. He is lifted up the way wind vanes are positioned on high places so that the whole world can see and know which direction the Spirit is taking us.

Don’t you find it strange that sometimes, someone plays a prank on you? He looks up at something and then you also look up, following the direction of his eyes? You continue looking even if there is nothing to look at because by now, all others around you are also looking to the same direction. They will not know until much later that they have been fooled. I get a feeling that, until somebody tells the rest of the onlookers that they are being pranked, they will keep looking and perhaps even follow the direction the prankster is pointing at.

In the midst of war, we have to ask, which direction will lead us to peace? In the midst of lies and disinformation in the social media, we have to seriously ask ourselves which candidate is telling the truth? Who among them is deliberately misleading us? Sometimes, there are people who function like broken wind vanes. They point westward not because the wind is blowing that way but because they are stuck.

When that happens, all you need to do is to close your eyes and use your other senses. Play it by ear, or feel your way around. Discern, sort out the voices that you hear if you really want to know which direction the Lord is leading us to.

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Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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