The breath of the Spirit

The RSCJ community in Paris, with whom I have stayed for a few days, have this image in their prayer room. It shows the figure of Christ, from the centre of the tympanum at Vezeley Abbey. Whereas most tympanums portray some sort of Last Judgement or other scene likely to instil fear and repentance in worshippers, this one shows the pentecostal mission of the apostles, with the Holy Spirit descending on them through the outstretched hands of a benevolent and Spirit-filled Christ, sending them forth into the world.

The beautiful, multi directional spirals and ripples on Jesus' clothes are the breath of the Spirit, which, like the wind, blows where it wills... (John 3.8). There is immense strength in that Spirit, but also a graceful gentleness. Today, feast of Pentecost, but every day too, may the Spirit breathe in and through all of us, filling us with all strength and grace for the mission to which Christ sends us, wherever and whatever it may be.