I always like to remind myself how important the movement of air is in our ordinary lives as well as our faith.
In our daily lives, the movement of air is what motivates and directs our weather. The movement of air allows for recreation, while at the same time can cause deadly destruction.
We often use the Greek word for “lungs” which is “pneumon” to describe certain things that require, restrict or effect air movement. Of course our lungs are our personal experience with the movement of air.
We use the same word pneumōn, in things like “pneumatic drill”, powered by air. We know pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that constricts the movement of air.
Did you know that the study of the Holy Spirit is called pneumatology? Why would we call the study of the Holy Spirit with a word meaning “air movement?” If you remember such stories in the Bible, such as the Pentecost story, where the Spirit is ushered into the disciples’ lives by a great wind blowing through the room. Jesus himself breathed on his disciples, “receive the Holy Spirit”, in order to give them motivation and wisdom.
In today’s first reading we read…
“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.”
From the beginning of creation when a great wind blew over the abyss, to the creation of humans, the movement of air is a divine symbol and action that gives us life and sustains us.