The Spirit of God

Genesis tells the story of how God formed man and “blew into his nostrils the breath of life” (Gen 2:7). We hear in the Gospel on Pentecost (John 20:19-23) how Jesus breathed life on his disciples saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit!”


When a child falls and hurts their knee, the caregiver often breathes onto the wound and the cooling breath helps it to feel better. The high point of the Chrism Mass during Holy Week is the consecration of the chrism and holy oils by the bishop (OBO no. 25). These oils are used in the sacraments, chrism is used in baptism and confirmation. His breath represents the invocation of the Spirit, meaning that man should be delivered from evil. Through this breathing, the power of God is given to the water and oil.

The Flaming Breath of God

After Jesus’ death the disciples feared for their lives. The enthusiasm and courage that Jesus had given them seemed to have vanished. They were afraid that the people responsible for killing Jesus would do the same to them. This power, this flaming breath of God, is exactly what the disciples needed. Imagine what it was like for Peter. Jesus had changed his life and with his death he must have felt he had lost everything. Jesus entered that locked room and breathed on his disciples. He gave Peter a new found courage and went on to play a significant role in the early church. This man, who struggled with doubts and fear, became a leader and spokesperson for the apostles. He performed miracles, preached and converted many people.

Live the Message

Friends, the Spirit of God is in the air. Embrace its presence and allow it to fill your life with courage, strength and transformation. Its a spirit that unlocks doors, builds courage and brings peace.