In Fr. Dave Pivotal’s second segment of his online series, “The Wild Goose is Loose” The Breath of God, Father Dave explores how the Holy Spirit is the actual breath of God. It is what gave Adam life, from a lifeless form. It is what brings us to life, when we are dry spiritually. It is what happened during Pentecost to the apostles in the upper room. God’s breath brings life! Here are some points to ponder as we think about God’s breath of life.
1. Is your spiritual life locked up like the apostles in the upper room?
The apostles had the fullness of Christ on earth, yet after his death, they were afraid and locked up in the upper room. How could someone be full of Jesus, yet so afraid to go out and continue his mission work? They had all of the head knowledge, but were still so fearful of what had just happened to go out and share the Good News until God breathed on them. It was only then that their life no longer mattered and only spreading the Good News of the Life of Jesus Christ is what mattered. Ask the Holy Spirit to breath life into you.
2. What is missing?
Like I said in my introduction article, I was feeling “spiritually dry”. I think we all have a tendency to go through this desert, where we may feel inadequate to spread the Good News or we feel disillusioned because we don’t feel like God is listening. But most of the time, we are asking God for the wrong “things” during prayer. We may ask for a job, money, big house, and while it is OK to pray for these things, God is not a genie granting our wishes and whims. Instead, ask God to show you what is missing. He will then stir the Spirit inside of you to show you what is missing and the breath of God will change you.
3. If God’s breath brings life, what does Jesus’ breath bring?
There are a few times in the Bible where we read that Jesus breathed. First, in Matthew 27:50, Jesus “breathed his last” upon the cross. In Mark 15:37-39, we learn that the centurion finally realized that Jesus was the Son of God at his last breath. Why did it take this last breath for the centurion to realize Jesus was God’s Son? The centurion’s would have overseen hundreds of deaths upon a cross, what made this one different? I say it has something to do with what Luke wrote in 23:46. Jesus’ last words was to send his Spirit to the Father. Jesus was not killed upon the cross, he actually gave up his life to the Father, something radically different than what a common criminal would have done. Finally, in John 20, when Jesus appeared to the apostles locked away, he showed him his wounds and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Then he breathed on them (he is alive, remember?). His breath brought them peace. Can you ask Jesus to breath on you and bring you peace? This is especially important when you are afraid to go out into the world and speak the Good News.
4. Where else speaks of the “breath of God” in the Bible?
Ezekiel 37 gives us an vivid picture of what the breath of God can do to those who are spiritually dry. Ezekiel is taken to a graveyard filled with dry bones. Ezekiel is asked by the Spirit of the Lord to prophesy and ask the bones to hear the word of the Lord, and there was a rattling noise which came from the bones and flesh was put back onto the bones, yet they were still dead. This I suggest are those who still go to Church or study the Bible, yet they still feel like something is missing. Their faith isn’t a “living faith” or a “saving faith” but just dry and lifeless, going through the motions as a good Catholic should. Then Ezekiel was asked to ask God to breath upon the bones, and they came to life, a whole army for God. This is what the breath of God does, it gives us a living faith which we are ready to stand up for God, and go out love and serve the Lord. This is our mission at the end of Mass. Can you ask God to breath new life into you, and make you spiritually alive?
5. Can we spread the Good News of the Holy Spirit?
In Acts 19, well into the mission of the apostles, Paul encounters some Ephesians who believed in Jesus, but had never heard of the Holy Spirit! Paul asks how they were baptized, and they said by John, and while John baptized in repentance, Paul baptized them in the Holy Spirit and they immediately were changed. While all Catholics were baptized in the Holy Spirit, many times we suppress His voice. He is our Counselor and the one who is supposed to guide us back to God. When we listen to our own voice, rather than His, He can become quiet and patient waiting to be heard again. Ask the Holy Spirit to breath life into your dry bones. And then go out and preach the power and might of the Holy Spirit, God’s breath inside us.
Be sure to watch “The Wild Goose is Loose” to learn more.