Thought of the Day May 24, 2022 Dove: symbol of the Holy Spirit

By 11:34 AM

 One of the symbols of the Holy Spirit used in the Scriptures and by artists is that of a dove. Noah sent a dove out to determine if it was safe to exit the Ark after the flood. When the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak, it was a sign of a new beginning. When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, a dove was seen descending upon Jesus. It too was a sign of the new ministry which Jesus was sent to accomplish. The dove was a witness to John, confirming that Jesus was the promised Messiah. The dove, coming upon Jesus, was a confirmation of the Father's words to Jesus: "You are my beloved Son in whom my favor rests." Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Christ and led Jesus to fulfill the plan of the Father.


In Baptism we do not see a dove, but in faith believe that the Spirit of God has given  us a new beginning as an adopted son or daughter of God, anointing us with the gifts for sanctification. In Confirmation, we do see a dove, but in faith believe that we have been sealed and anointed by the Holy Spirit as a witness of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, we are called to live in the Spirit and follow the lead of the Spirit.


Artists have depicted the three persons of the Blessed Trinity by showing the Father as an older man, the Son in his humanity and the Spirit as a dove. For instance when they depicted the Annunciation, they sometimes show not only Mary and the Angel but a dove in flight. For Mary was to conceive the Messiah by the "overshadowing of the Holy Spirit."  

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