When a baby is born, it must immediately transition from dependence on its mother for supplying oxygen to its cells and take its first breath. It is a powerful moment. Breath is a sign of life. In the creation account in Genesis (2:7), God blew the breath of life into nostrils, and the man formed of clay began to live. In the vigil Mass for this Pentecost feast, one Hebrew Scripture reading choice is Ezekiel’s “dry bones” passage. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “See! I will breathe spirit into you, that you may come to life … From the four winds come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life” (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In our Gospel, Jesus breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The feast of the Holy Spirit reveals our connection with God’s own life. Think of the intimacy of having God’s own breath blown into your nostrils! This divine breath gives us power to live beyond our natural selves. In the words of the sequence Veni Sancte Spiritus, this breath will “bend the stubborn heart and will, melt the frozen, warm the chill, guide the steps that go astray.” I need all of that! How about you?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia