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Thursday, April 20, 2006

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Easter Week

Acts 3:11-26
Psalm 8
Luke 24:35-48

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ghosts and the spirit

"Touch Me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do." —Luke 24:39

The first reaction to the risen Christ was and is: "In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost" (Lk 24:37). Jesus tried to change that first impression by showing His nail-scarred hands and feet and by eating a piece of fish (Lk 24:40, 42). They still thought He was a ghost. "Then He opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures" (Lk 24:45), but the apostles still stayed behind locked doors (Jn 20:26). Only through the reception of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday did the disciples move from a ghostly awareness of the risen Jesus to a confirmed faith in Him.

The Holy Spirit is the down payment on and confirmation of all God's works, including Jesus' resurrection (2 Cor 1:21-22). The Spirit makes the resurrection real for us — a concrete, practical, flesh-and-blood, life-changing experience. Most Christians today have not moved past that false first impression of the risen Christ as a ghost. Our timidity and fears betray that fact. We need the Holy Spirit to confirm our faith in the risen Lord. Then we will act normally, run out into the streets, and declare the glory of God (Acts 2:4ff).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I act normally for someone who has seen the dead come to life. May unbelievers not understand me, my life, and my lifestyle.

Promise:  "When God raised up His Servant, He sent Him to you first to bless you by turning you from your evil ways." —Acts 3:26

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who has conquered our fear and timidity!

Reference:  (Prepare for a life-changing Pentecost on Pentecost Sunday by praying the Pentecost Novena. For supporting teaching, order our leaflet Pentecost Novena or on audio AV 103-1 or video V-103.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 27, 2005

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