Enfleshed Peace As The Ghost’s Surround Us

Enfleshed Peace As the Ghosts Surround Us

Luke 24:36-48. .but the whole group was terrified thinking they had seen a ghost. .”

Ghosts, haunt the living, they represent the unfinished business of the dead, and the unfinished business of the living as well. As the writer of Luke’s gospel alludes: “They were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost (24:37)”. The disciples are convinced that this figure of Jesus in their midst is a phantom, there to settle a score because they are guilty.  Only a few days earlier, they had abandoned Jesus. They had deserted their friend in his time of need–even denying they knew him. On that first Easter at dusk in the city where Jesus was killed, within walking distance from his grave, the disciples find themselves with a presence. And they are terrified.

“At first, they saw Jesus as a manifestation of death, Dominican theological Herbert McCabe preached on this resurrection account. “They have to learn that he is a manifestation of life.” Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you,” with a smile of love, showing he had not come with a grudge. And he says to them “For a ghost does not have flesh and bones you see that I have.” (verse 29). And he tells his friends they are to go preach repentance of forgiveness throughout the world.

The ghosts surround me and, they surround all of us, I have been in ministry since I was eighteen years old, and have touched the lives of thousands. And each day as I move on the street, I think of the one’s I see on every street corner, a  recent suicide, the people whose hands I have held in death these months, and the thousands whom I have taken care of through the years and wonder if I have failed. I call one ghost the “Angel of Death”, who flutters around, reminding me that my time is near, reminding me to do my best.

Jesus returns to the site of his betrayal, to the people who renounce him, in order to announce forgiveness. He will not let the forces of alienation and death govern his life. Instead, Jesus surprises the guilty with an offer of peace.

And so his face appears laughing, waving the ghosts away reminding me how much he loves me and tells me I am safe in his arms, and with a reminder to simply do my best. That presence is so vibrant, so alive, so real!

Let Jesus sweep your ghosts away as well, simply be open to his voice! He loves each of us more than anything else in the world, trust, and no matter what comes. you will feel safe.!


Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

http://www.temenos. org



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