May God hold you in the hollow of His hand

The same word in Greek – pneuma (πνευμα) – and in Hebrew – ruach – can mean breath, wind, or spirit. The Spirit of God is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament as breath, wind, or spirit. In Job 33:4 we read “The Spirit of God made me and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.” After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and breathed on them and said “…receive the Holy Spirit” [Jn 20:22]. And in the Acts of the Apostles we read “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting … And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit …” [Acts 2:2-4].

Jesus told Nicodemus “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound that it makes but do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” [Jn 3:7].

Just as we cannot see the wind but can perceive its effects, so it is with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. Even with the most sensitive equipment we cannot capture an image of the wind; it is no different with the Holy Spirit. But while we cannot physically see, touch, feel, or detect the Holy Spirit we can observe and experience the effects the Holy Spirit produces on us.

When the wind blows we see trees bend, dust whirl, waves appear, and clouds move across the sky without any visible means of motive power. At times the wind is like a gentle whisper, tickling our skin, almost unfelt or detected. At other times the wind can be a terrible and terrifying force, such as a hurricane or a tornado, full of sound and fury, yielding almost unimaginable destructive power.

The Spirit of God is like the wind; He is always present, blowing soft or hard, moving us in the direction only He knows is best, and like the wind, we can either relax and go with the flow or struggle and push back. Airline pilots love to fly with a tail wind because the flight is much smoother, it takes less fuel, and the flight time is shorter. They know that to fly into the wind will result in a longer, bumpier, and more costly flight. Shouldn’t we receive the Holy Spirit in the same manner?

Give yourself over to the Holy Spirit and let Him carry you through life. As an old Irish blessing says so very well: “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.”

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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