This Sunday is the Baptism of the Lord. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a Dove. Saint Peter Chrysologus writes “Today the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters in the the likeness of a dove.A dove announced to Noah that the flood has disappeared from the earth; so now the dove is to reveal that the world’s shipwreak is at an end for ever. The sign is no longer an olive-shoot of the old stock: instead, the Spirit pours out on Christ’s head the full richness of a new anointing by the Father, to fulfill what the psalmist had prophesied: Therefore God, your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.” T.S Eliot in one of his poems writes ” The dove descending breaks the air with flames of incandescent terror of which the tongues declare the only hope, or else despair lies in the choice of pyre or pyre to be redeemed from fire by fire.” Augustine writes “The scriptures uses the symbol of the dove to express simplicity and the symbol of fire to express fervor.” Once on a Pentecost Sunday Saint Teresa of Avila experienced an ecstasy; she saw a dove come down and rest on her head, its wings like flakes of mother-of-pearl glowing brightly.” We read in the Song of Songs ” My dove in the cleft of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” Today may the Olive Branch that the Dove brought to the ark fill us with the fragrance of the Holy Spirit. You are the precious dove that Jesus calls his beloved in the Song of Songs.