Daily Reflection for Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Tuesday’s readings at this link: CLICK HERE
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
Responsorial: Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Gospel: Luke 10:21-24
Our Reflection on Tuesday’s Reading:
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. Isaiah 11:2
Today’s readings reference the sometimes-forgotten member of the Holy Trinity—the Holy Spirit. In the first reading, Isaiah predicts the coming of the Messiah and mentions that the Spirit of the Lord will be with him. The gospel writer says that Jesus rejoiced in the spirit. While the Spirit is mentioned in the Creed and many other prayers in the Catholic Church, I hear few homilies referencing the Spirit and generally little discussion of the role of the Spirit in our daily lives. When people speak of their faith, they often discuss God or invoke the name of Jesus, but the Holy Spirit is the unsung hero of Christianity and is key to our faith.
God is the Father. Jesus is the Son who walked among us. Then there’s the Spirit. Jesus was conceived by the Spirit. The Spirit descended upon Jesus when he was baptized in the Jordan River and later upon the Apostles at Pentecost. In the scriptures, the Spirit is depicted as a dove, a wind, a cloud, fire, a breath or even as love itself. In Romans, Saint Paul talks about the Spirit interceding for us in heaven and giving us life. Isaiah says that the Spirit gives wisdom and understanding. In John, Jesus breathes on the disciples and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit.
Thomas Merton, the monk turned theologian, echoes this when he talks about finding the spirit in his breath. Maybe he came to this conclusion because the Hebrew word for spirit is the same word as breath. The number of metaphors required to try to describe the Spirit shows that it has always been hard to explain, even for the prophets and theologians. The Spirit gives us life, intercedes for us in heaven, gives us wisdom and understanding, wipes away our sins during baptism and yet still is often overlooked.
Personally I find Merton’s comparison the most intriguing. Breathing, like the Spirit, is something so simple and unconscious, but necessary for life. But Merton is not just using this as a metaphor to understand the Spirit, but as a way to be in the Spirit and have it within us.
Today, as you journey into Advent, take a moment to breathe in the Holy Spirit. Know that the Spirit of God is in you and gives you life.
Peace and blessings,