Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The last four lines in today’s Gospel truly speak to how invasive the Holy Spirit can be in our lives, without our realizing it. Everyday the Holy Spirit works in our schools through all forms of learning. Every new experience, class, or conversation pushes us to grow emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. During my time on a silent retreat called Oramus at Saint Ignatius College Prep, the Holy Spirit taught me how I can utilize silence to connect to my relationship with God. This experience allowed me to gain valuable knowledge that I use now in my daily life.
How can we use Jesuit education as a form through which the Holy Spirit can work in revealing Jesus’ triumph over death?
—Maggie Lyons is a senior at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. She has been involved in retreat leadership and the SICP Harlequins group during her years at SICP. Maggie is excited to attend Marquette University next fall.
moving this way and that,
invisible to our broken, adamic eyes.
Come Breathe on us.
Come breathe and lift and swirl and fill
Perforate our lives with your holy breathe and
enliven these cold forsaken bones
…winnow away death that life might spring up.
Wind of God,
blow far from us
all dark despair, all deep distress, all groundless fears,
all sinful desires, all Satan’s snares, all false values,
all selfish wants, all wasteful worries.
Breath of God,
blow into us your holy presence,
your new creation, your living love, your healing touch,
your unearthly courage, your mighty strength,
your perfect peace, your boundless concern
your divine grace, your never-ending joy.
Wind of God, blow strong, blow fresh, blow on us now.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Amen.
—adapted from a prayer by Bruce Benedict, in Worship Sourcebook, LTP Publications, Chicago, IL.