Recently some words the priest says during the Mass have had an impact on me. It is the part right before the consecration when he puts his hands over the hosts and the chalice of wine. The priest says, “Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray by sending down your Spirit like the dewfall. I found the words “like the dewfall” very beautiful, and I started to think about that.
When there is dew, it is in the morning. We don’t hear it fall like the rain. When we go outside, it is just there. It comes very quietly, mysteriously, and gentle. There is no thunder or lightning or pitter-patter. It just appears.
We see in the book of Exodus that before God sent the manna to the Israelite community in the desert, He sent dew. Once the dew evaporated, then they picked up the manna. During the night or the early morning when the Israelites were sleeping (or maybe not sleeping) in their tents, I doubt they heard anything fall. Breakfast was simply served quietly and miraculously every morning. “In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, ‘What is this?’ for they did not know what it was. But Moses told them, ‘This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.'” Exodus 16:13b-15
Likewise at Mass, we do not see the Holy Spirit come down upon the gifts on the altar but He does come – like the dewfall. The Holy Spirit comes quietly and unseen, and soon at the time of the consecration, the bread and wine miraculously become the body and blood of Jesus.