The Hebrew word for spirit is ‘ruah’, which means “flowing air” or “wind”. The ‘ruah’ spirit of God blows where it will. God’s spirit is not confined by boundaries or limits. Its power is not diminished because we wish it away.
The Spirit of God challenges us to seek peace and justice. The Spirit of God seeks to take up residence as such in each of us; it is the guiding force that enables us to be the disciple that Jesus calls us to be.
However, we need to be open to that spirit and that can be more of a challenge these days than ever. As we look at our world, our nation, or even our Church; the word we hear to describe the state of affairs is too often the word polarization.
Polarization happens when people take up residence in the extremes of ideologies, theologies, philosophies, and politics.
A second problem is that there is the temptation to retreat into either the corner of, “I know it all,” a certain rigidity in thought or the opposite corner of “anything goes,” anything is acceptable.
If we take up residence in the former, we will never hear the Spirit as He speaks to us, as Jesus speaks to us. If we take up residence in the latter, we will become so uncritical, so insensitive, so lax in moral values, that we will also not hear the Spirit as He speaks to us.
Let us not allow ourselves to become a polarizing force, let us not give into the temptation to retreat into one of the corners of life. Let us welcome God’s spirit, the ‘Ruah’, sweeping away snugness, or complacency, and let us embrace the hope and promise of the Easter moment!