The Word of God

Quintessential “Ghostbuster”

Reflection on Mass Reading for April 8, 2021

“Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” Take special note of what just happened in the Gospel. The Apostles are talking about life, suffering, God, and the Messiah. Jesus appears to bless everyone, yet their first interpretation of the event is that they are witnessing an episode from the SyFy Channel. The problem here is simple to see while the remedy is close by. Jesus first asks why there are troubled hearts. Right after that remark, He tenderly instructs the only way to combat fear and doubt: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” We must see today that unreasonable and irrational fear can only successfully be combated by reverting to the entire mystery of Easter, which is the great Truth that Jesus has not only defeated death but also all the forces of evil and darkness. He is on our side. We start to shake and quiver when we forget this wonderful Truth. 

The First Reading also recognizes that human beings, still affected by Original Sin’s vestiges, make mistakes out of many different reasons and faulty mindsets. St. Peter was certainly generous in his assessment of this predicament of ours: Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did,” and then later in that same reading: “For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways.” Easter brings light and clarity to our minds because it reveals that the massive, archetypal, and age-old battle between good and evil has already been won. We are now offered the chance to share in that victory should we choose to do so with the freedom and wisdom that has been purchased for us by the blood of the Lamb. Remember during this glorious Easter Season that the earth’s worst day and best day were just one day apart. 

“In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves.” – Laurie Halse Anderson


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