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  • Nico Quintos

Breathe on Us, Breath of God!

The Bushmen tribe, the oldest inhabitants of South Africa, have a deep reverence for the wind. For the Bushmen, the wind is the source of their life. They feel they are living within it and believe in its transformative power. 

They observed that strong winds can wear down rocks and shape landscapes and desert dunes. They noticed that many plants rely on the wind to disperse their seeds to grow and thrive in new areas. They observed how strong winds can uproot trees and clear away dead or decaying matter, making room for new growth. The Bushman Tribe relies on the wind to blow away their footprints upon their death, symbolizing a fresh start and a return to the great wind from which they came. 

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples like a strong driving wind, breathing new life into their weary souls. Before Pentecost, the disciples were gripped by fear, their hearts heavy with confusion and doubt. But the Holy Spirit, like a powerful gust, swept away their fears and doubts, replacing them with a burning courage and a deep conviction to spread the Gospel. 

In the Gospel, Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection and says:

"Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Then he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Like the wind, Jesus' breath, the breath of God, the Holy Spirit is invisible yet undeniably felt and present. The Holy Spirit is life-giving, forgiving, and transforming!

The Bushmen Tribe always feels as if they live within the wind. 

How about us? Are we truly living by the Holy Spirit? Do we allow the mighty wind of God to blow through our lives, clearing away our fears, doubts, and selfishness? 

Just as the wind blew away the footprints of the Bushmen, the Holy Spirit can remove traces of sin and despair from our lives, leading us to a transformed, renewed life in Christ. The Holy Spirit heals broken relationships, brings peace in times of turmoil, and gives us the strength to overcome our weaknesses. The Holy Spirit inspires us to love more deeply, to forgive more readily, and to serve others selflessly.

Do we want to know if we are living by the Spirit? How do we know we are breathing the Holy Spirit in?

Saint Paul says that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Do we bear these fruits in our lives? Are these qualities what we breathe out to the world around us? 

If the answer is yes, then we live by the Spirit! If the answer is no, we pray: Come, Holy Spirit, breathe on us! Come, fill our hearts!


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