Fr Paul Gooley reads from the Gospel of John (3: 7-15) in which, Jesus tells Nicodemus ‘the Son of Man must be lifted up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him’.

Fr Paul says Nicodemus, who we hear of in the Gospel, is a figure who gradually comes out of darkness – the realm of evil, untruth and ignorance; he comes into the light of Jesus, the light of the world.

In their conversation Jesus reverses the relationship between teacher and disciple. Nicodemus, who is a teacher of Israel, becomes a disciple who learns from Jesus.

Nicodemus is attracted to Jesus because of the signs/miracles that he is doing, which reveal Jesus as an agent of God. Nicodemus is told that if he believes in Jesus, he will know and see more amazing things, things not of this earth but of heaven.

Nicodemus will come to realise that the ‘lifting up’ of the serpent in the desert in the Old Testament, and mentioned in this Gospel, points to Jesus being ‘lifted up’ on the cross and ascending to the Father.

Jesus had prophesied that when he is raised up, he would draw all people to himself.

And so, with the resurrection of Jesus, which we are now celebrating, Fr Paul say the faith of Nicodemus will come into the fullness of light.