Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:7-8

We find ourselves still rejoicing and exulting in the Easter Season but I have come to the realization that I have squandered this time of isolation or quarantine. Many took the time to be constructive, to be positive. Maybe I could have learned to speak a foreign language or master the glockenspiel.   Sure I celebrated Mass and attended to my prayers but there were moments that I failed to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in the midst of isolation. 

I could have used this time to enter the monastery of the mind and contemplate God’s goodness.  The period of Eastertide is a time that we all should contemplate the Holy Spirit in order to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost when God’s goodness, His spirit was poured out on the Apostles in an awesome display of wind and fire. I hid away in bitterness and fear but not without hope because the Holy Spirit is there for us to guide from moment to moment. 

Do you sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life?  In this passage, Jesus offers an image of how the Holy Spirit works in us.  He analogizes the Holy Spirit to the wind.  We can hear the wind blowing but cannot see it.  We do, however, perceive the effects of the wind.  For example, when you see a tree swaying, you know that the wind is blowing.

So it is with the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Though we may not be able to tangibly perceive where the Holy Spirit comes from, we will be able to see the effects of the Spirit.  When we perceive a new strength within us, or an increase in virtues, or an ability to forgive, etc., we are aware of the fact that the Holy Spirit is present, leading us, transforming us, and guiding us.

Additionally, we do not know where the wind goes once it passes.  So it is with the Holy Spirit.  If our lives are under the power and care of the Holy Spirit, we do not know where we will be led.  The Holy Spirit leads us in the moment but does not typically reveal our whole future.  We must be content to be led by the gentle daily presence of God, allowing ourselves to be moved here and there.  This requires much trust and abandonment. 

Just as the wind blows where it wills and may become a nuisance, and so we have to build up walls and barriers in defense against it. We can build up walls and restrictions against the Holy Spirit. We may feel that the Holy Spirit is a nuisance that we must guard against, but we must allow the winds of “Holy Serendipity” to carry us aloft. 

Reflect, today, upon the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.  Look for the effects of the Holy Spirit to discern whether or not God is indeed leading you.  Allow yourself to be driven and moved by the Breath of God and anticipate great things in your life.  

May God Bless you.

Rev. Fr. Douglas A. Ondeck