A Gentle Breeze; the Holy Spirit
A follow up to the “Breath of God”
Listen and feel the voice of God, blowing gently across the face of life From where it comes no one knows but upon your soul God’s touch is lasting. “The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (Jn. 3: 8).
“In the beginning; when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.” (Gn. 1: 1-2). The very essence of God is contained within these few words that reveals a mystery known only to God, revealed through Christ His Son, and finally realized in man God’s eternal creation.
From the “Mystery of the Church” St. Paul states, “To me the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ.” (Eph. 3: 8). Within these few words we can see the Mystery as hidden in God, revealed in Christ, and realized in us, the community of love, sharing the life of God. Taken from the book “The Mystery of the Church” by John Powell, S. J.
A compelling narrative on the meaning of what the Holy Spirit has given man with a simple gentle breeze beginning with a mighty wind that swept over the waters of life. Every segment of human experience from new life, through the reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit, to the commission of our being sent to evangelize humanity.
It is through a common exertion of breathing that so much has become a biblical event with enormous outcomes God has used to make himself known to us. Elijah was hiding in a mountain cave fearful of what Jezabel promised to kill him. “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.” The first of several more instances where Jesus also used a silent touch through a whisper and the breath of the Holy Spirit touched those on whom he wished to receive God’s grace for spreading the good news.
Jesus appeared more than once to his disciples and said ``Peace be with you, as the Father has sent me so I send you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (Jn. 20: 20 - 23).
Our Lord commissions his disciples before ascending to heaven; “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am always with you, until the end of the age.” (Mt.28: 19 20).
Even though here Jesus does not breathe on them the action is the same by sending Elihah, the disciples in the upper room and now sending those who will begin establishing his church.
Ralph B. Hathaway