Do we realize living is the breath of God in us?
Christ is in us always Pentecost is a remarkable reminder of the sacred air we breathe. “…and then He breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit…” Pentecost, the foundation of the church in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
That Holy Spirit descended in many tongues to send out in all the languages of the world the great miracle of God’s sacrificial love through Christ. Being united in the Holy Spirit is something that is a great part of our cultural diversity within our faith and religion that unifies us. Enjoying, and living as sacred the diversity of gifts is proclaiming the marvels of God, the sacredness of life. More than any other church in history our Roman Catholic Church continues to reflect the fullness of human diversity in many faces, languages and races of God.
There is also the unity of our Catholic faith journey with the various races and cultures, right here in our parish. Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, British, Filipino, Polish, German, Dutch, Mexican, Cuban, French, Irish, Scottish, Tongan, Caribbean islands just to name a few. We are joined in an amalgam called the American Catholic Church.
In our beautiful Napa Valley culture and racial diversity is celebrated as a contribution to the quality and joy of life for us. The many cultural influences in our foods, wines, art, literature, and richness of music have helped us to celebrate God’s many faces and gifts of humanity—all created in the image of God.
Maybe we are finally coming to grips that such is the will of God that we are to rejoice in the bounty of God’s creation; in the many images of God. Fortunately, many people are beginning to recognize that we need to know each other better, and celebrate diversity. Living in the Spirit of God we do destroy each other in the name of a single homogenized way of doing things or do we celebrate and raise up one another.
A part of such diversity of cultures in our parish is expressed this weekend in the beautiful call of the Holy Spirit by parishioners. Our Pentecost Sunday Masses find the call proclaimed in some of the languages of our community: French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Tagalog echoes the call: “Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth!” Such a proclamation should unite us in our diversity as God intended, enable us to see that each of us has an immeasurable dignity as a person. To treasure the gift of our planet, we need to live in harmony with the earth as our sacred garden, our workshop, and our playground.
There are more messages we need to hear and live: that freedom is a very precious gift, at the heart of our being—that family—and reverence for all human life is at the heart of being made in the image of God.
We are called to make changes in our absurd consumption of resources. Instead of making ecology a political division, realize that we are at the crucial point in the earth story with global warming. It is our holy responsibility to preserve this sacred planet. I’m certain you’ve considered how well God’s created system works in harmony and synergy. Trees take in the carbon dioxide that we exhale and we take in the oxygen from trees and other plants. The tide and moon is a form of hydro power that converts the energy of tides into electricity or other useful forms of power. It is a renewable source of energy since it only uses the energy from the changing of the tides instead of burning or consuming any form of energy source. It is also considered to be inexhaustible. God’s gift of making our planet 2/3 water helps us become natural fuel consumers and eliminate fossil fuel dependence and pollution.
And on this sacred planet, our life is the air we breathe for our bodies—and do not take for granted as we work to end pollution. Our very first inhale, began with God’s breathing into us; creating us. Our very act of breathing is spirit filled. That recycled breath is in common and communion with all things living.
What comes into our lungs, fills our bodies, gives us life is the breath of God, warming us, regenerating us. When we are filled with the Spirit of Christ our exhale is co-creating air—words of healing, helping, and words of peace. We exhale hope in words and deeds for those who are less fortunate as we share our blessings. We exhale words of welcome for the foreigner the stranger and work to help transition them in a new faith home. Jesus breathed into us a long time ago and his healing breath continues through our words and work. He continues to give us new life by offering us His Body and Blood.
Come Holy Spirit…. Breath of God, fill our minds, our hearts, our lungs, with your life-giving breath, recreate in us anew, the meaning of the gift you have given us, Come Holy Spirit renew us that we may renew the face of the earth.