A janitor in an office claims one night that he saw a chair being lifted from the floor and placed on the top of the table. Puzzled by what he saw, he returned the chair in its original position – only to see it moved again. Still skeptical, he repeated what he did. The third time the chair moved, he got scared and fled. Are Ghosts for real? Not long ago, an equally amusing and heartwarming movie titled “GHOST” caught the public interest and broke box office records. It shows how the ghost of a young husband who was killed helps the surviving wife solve a crime involving the couple’s best friend.
The Gospel talks about ghosts after Jesus had resurrected from the dead. His disciples were overcome by doubt and misgivings and thought they were seeing a ghost (Lk.24, 37). Jesus tried to dispel their doubts saying: “Touch me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do” (v. 39). He even ate baked fish with them to prove that He really had a body. What kind of body did the Risen Christ have? In his article “Who would want to go to Heaven?” Jim Auer writes that Christ’s glorified body was different than before. Neither was it a ghost or disembodied being. The Risen Lord could eat and drink, but he wasn’t limited by material objects like walls and doors. He appeared and disappeared whenever he wanted. Perhaps this is a hint of what our own risen bodies will be like.
The appearances of the Risen Lord served to bolster the drooping faith of his close followers buffeted by doubts and misgivings. “Was He really the expected Messiah?” “Did He really rise from the dead?” The disciples seemed afraid to believe. The disciples’ attitude represents our own at times. We believe the Holy Spirit continues to guide and inspire the Church and us personally, however, our faith is sometimes assailed by doubts. This is all normal since we are grappling with God’s will in imperfect human language. Our faith goes through temptations and severe trials. However, we remember that faith is accepting God not only in good times but also in bad.
And being God-fearing is no guarantee that we’re spared from trials and doubts as the Old Testament story of Job teaches. It has been said that there are three kinds of Faith: one that is without trials and temptations is called Childlike; one that is tested but overcome by doubts is called Immature; one that is able to overcome doubts is called Adult faith. Which of these faiths have we? The ANSWER is in YOU!
Just a friendly reminder, on the 17th it is Income Tax Day. Be sure you have already submitted your income tax return. On the 21st, we have the optional memorial of St. Anselm. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless!
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,