No Ghost Here
March 27 — Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Readings: Acts 3:11-26; Lk 24:36-48
"Touch Me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." Lk 24:39
Stories of ghosts and other phantoms of the night abound in our popular culture. And without discussing the challenge that this creates for Christians, one point is worth making in light of today's Gospel: Ghosts lack material substance. Even small children know that you can't shake hands with a ghost — or invite him to eat dinner with you.
In this Resurrection account, the disciples are "startled and terrified" precisely because they think they are seeing a ghost. So, Jesus invites them to touch Him. He even underscores in our key verse that His glorified Body has "flesh and bones."
But our Lord doesn't stop there. The Scripture scholar Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere, SSS, writes, "As [the disciples] look on in wonderment, Jesus asks for something to eat. They give Him a piece of broiled fish. He takes and eats it" (vv. 41-43).
Then Fr. LaVerdiere offers a deeper insight, "The disciples and Luke's readers are thus asked to extend nourishment to those in whom Jesus is truly present. They are doing what He had done in memory of Him, and through them others are associated in the breaking of the bread" (Lk 22:19).
The Eucharist is the Sacrament par excellence that points us to this reality. As the words to a popular Eucharistic hymn put it, "God and man at table are sat down."
Every time we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, it is as if we are there with the disciples, sitting at table with Jesus. And we receive Him, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. No phantom. But the very substance of the Son of God Himself.
Lord Jesus, every time I receive You in Holy Communion, it is Easter for me again. Let every Sunday when I receive You be a like a mini-Easter in my life. Alleluia! Amen.
Diary of St. Faustina