"In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost." —Luke 24:37
The apostles thought the risen Christ was a ghost, that He was not real (Lk 24:37). Jesus tried to correct this by inviting them to touch Him and by eating a piece of fish (Lk 24:39, 43). He proclaimed: "It is really I" (Lk 24:39). Likewise today, many people, even Christians, doubt that Christ's resurrection is real. We pay God lip-service by going to church on Easter, but many of us are not so certain of the resurrection as to go to the temple daily and radically transform our lives (Acts 2:46).
Jesus will send the Holy Spirit to confirm us concerning His resurrection. The Spirit desires to work in us, as at the first Easter. He will make God's word burn in our hearts and open our eyes to the risen Christ through the breaking of the bread, that is, the Eucharist (Lk 24:32, 35). The Spirit begins with the Word and concludes with Communion. We need both Word and Eucharist to be confirmed in Jesus' resurrection.
The Spirit confirms our faith in the resurrection in other, more dramatic ways, such as healings and/or deaths. When death hits close to home, when a spouse, parent, or child dies, we sometimes let the Spirit confirm in us the reality of the resurrection. "Ghostly," abstract ideas of life after death can't meet the needs of a person facing the real fear, pain, and suffering of life before death. We must know Jesus, the Resurrection and Life (Jn 11:25).
Prayer: Holy Spirit, confirm me in the resurrection of Jesus, so I may trust Him in every detail of my life.
Promise: "Why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk by some power or holiness of our own?" —Acts 3:12
Praise: Alleluia! Praise the Risen Jesus, Who sends His Spirit upon us!
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006
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