Have you ever seen or been part of a new birth? Perhaps it was the birth of a baby, maybe even your own child; perhaps it was the birth of an animal; or perhaps it was a “rebirth” of a relationship, of restored health, or even of restored hope. Can you recall a specific event? What is rekindled within your heart as you think about this experience?
The Old Testament reading today beckons us into the mystery of life coming from the breath of God. The familiar Genesis text, the second account of the creation story, recounts the formation of human beings in this way: “…the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.”
What the author so vividly captures is the action of a God who loves us so much that He forms us from His very breath, His very being. God, out of love and a desire for relationship with us, brings life out of nothingness. Love between and among the persons of the Trinity spills forth to create us, to sustain us, and to give life anew. This is not a one-time act of creation, but an ongoing relationship of love, a “love affair” between God and us. This love bespeaks a God who longs to fill us with His “breath” again and again, even in the places where there is nothingness, emptiness, and even death.
You and I are invited today to ask God to fill us, particularly in
the places within ourselves that so deeply need His life. In love,
He gives this to us lavishly and freely. God is eager to fill us
with more—if only we have the humility to ask.
So, where in your heart or in your relationships would you like to ask God for His “breath”? Let us have the humility to ask so that we might receive His Life for ourselves and our world.
Breathe your life, O Breath of God.
Speak your words and raise these bones.
Come from the winds, from the four winds come!
And bring these dead to life!
Free our fire, O wind of God.
Fan this flame to burn out bright.
Come to our cold, where the night has hold,
and bring our dark to light.
Hold us near, O breath of God.
Tend our tears and calm our cries.
Sing in the dark till the storm is gone,
and soothe our souls to rest.
Be our breath, O life of God.
Give us voice and wake our song.
Send us on the winds to the ends of earth to rouse, to warm, to heal.
And with these winds the world will know,
will know that You are Lord.
-- “Breath of God”, Robert J. Dufford, S.J.
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