Resurrection of the Body

Resurrection of the Body - by Luca Signorelli - from the Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto

 

The Active Study of the Four Last Things
and the Deep Consideration of them,
is the thing that will keep you from Sin.

--Saint Thomas More

 

Resurrection of the Body


Christ's Resurrection
Prefigures Our Own

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Introduction

Death entered into this World by Sin (Romans 5:12). So all will Die. There are some Scripture Scholars who hold that those Living at the End of the World will be Taken-up to Christ without undergoing Death. However, it is Difficult to Reconcile that Opinion with the Fact that the Punishment of Original Sin Imposes the obligation of Undergoing Death on every Member of the Human Race with the Exception-of Christ and His Mother, both of whom Voluntarily-accepted Death for the Redemption of Mankind (CCC 1008, 1018). "If we Die in Christ's Grace, Physical Death completes this Dying with Christ (begun in Baptism) and so Completes our Incorporation into Him in His Redeeming Act" (CCC 1010).

There will be a Resurrection of all, as Saint Paul explains in First Corinthians Chapter 15. Those who have been Faithful to Christ will Rise Glorious, their Bodies Transformed on the Model of the Risen Body of Christ, Who could Travel Instantly at Will, could Ignore Closed Doors and Come-through anyway, but yet had Real Flesh. Saint Paul says the Risen Body is "Spiritual" (15:44). It is still Flesh, but such that the Flesh is Completely Dominated-by the Soul, so that it can no Longer Suffer or Die.

Saint Paul insists that because Christ Our Head Rose, those who are Members of Him must also Rise. So, to Deny the General Resurrection would imply a Denial-of Christ's Resurrection (1Corinthians 15:13).

After the Resurrection, each person will have the same Body (except for Imperfections) that he had in this Life. If this involves having the same Matter, this is surely within God's Power. No matter what happens to the Body after Death, He can Recall and Rebuild the Material of the Body. In fact, we now know that because of Metabolism -- in which every Cell is Constantly being Torn-down and Rebuilt -- in a Normal Life Span, a Person has the Material for many Bodies.

We will, of course be the same Persons after the Resurrection, as we were before Death.

 

The Catechism of St Thomas Aquinas

The Eleventh Article:
"The Resurrection of the Body"

 

Not only does the Holy Spirit Sanctify the Church as regards the Souls of its Members, but also our Bodies shall Rise-again by His Power: "We believe in Him that Raised up Jesus Christ, Our Lord, from the Dead". And: "By a Man came Death: and by a Man the Resurrection of the Dead". In this there occur Four (4) Considerations:

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) First, the Benefits which Proceed-from our Faith in the Resurrection;

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Secondly, the Qualities of those who shall Rise, taken all in General;

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Thirdly, the Condition of the Blessed;

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Finally, the Condition of the Damned.

 

The Benefits of the Resurrection

Concerning the First, our Faith and Hope in the Resurrection is Beneficial in Four (4) Ways. Firstly, it Takes-away the Sorrow which we Feel for the Departed. It is Impossible for one not to Grieve over the Death of a Relative or Friend; but the Hope that such a One will Rise-again, Greatly Tempers the Pain of Parting: "And we will not have you Ignorant, Brethren, concerning them that are Asleep, that you be not Sorrowful, even as Others who have no Hope".

Secondly, it takes away the Fear of Death. If One does not Hope in Another and Better Life after Death, then without Doubt, One is Greatly in Fear of Death and would Willingly Commit any Crime, rather than Suffer Death. But, because we Believe in Another Life, which will be ours after Death, we do not Fear Death, nor would we do anything Wrong through Fear of it: "That, through Death He might Destroy him who had the Empire of Death, that is to say, the Devil. And might deliver them who through Fear of Death were all their Lifetime Subject of Servitude".

Thirdly, it makes us Watchful and Careful to Live Uprightly. If, however, this Life in which we Live were All, we would not have this Great Incentive to Live Well, for whatever we do would be of Little Importance, since it would be Regulated not by Eternity, but by Brief, Determined Time. But, we Believe that we shall Receive Eternal Rewards in the Resurrection for whatsoever we do here. Hence, we are Anxious to do Good: "If in this Life only we have Hope in Christ, we are of all Men most Miserable".

Finally, it Withdraws us from Evil. Just as the Hope of Reward Urges us to do Good, so also the Fear of Punishment, which we Believe is Reserved-for Wicked Deeds, keeps us from Evil: "But they that have done Good Things shall Come Forth unto the Resurrection of Life; but they that have done Evil, unto the Resurrection of Judgment".

 

Qualities of the Risen Bodies

There is a Fourfold (4) Condition of all those who shall take part in the Resurrection.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Identity of the Bodies of the Risen. -- It will be the same Body as it is now, both as regards its Flesh and its Bones. Some, indeed, have said that it will not be this same Body, which is Corrupted, that shall be Raised-up; but such View is Contrary-to the Apostle: "For this Corruptible must put on Incorruption". And likewise the Sacred Scripture says that by the Power of God, this same Body shall Rise-to Life: "And I shall be Clothed again with my Skin; and in my Flesh I shall See my God".

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Incorruptibility of the Risen Bodies. -- The Bodies of the Risen shall be of a Different Quality from that of the Mortal Body, because they shall be Incorruptible, both of the Blessed, who shall be Ever-in Glory, and of the Damned, who shall be Ever-in Punishments: "For this Corruptible must put on Incorruption; and this Mortal must put on Immortality". And since the Body will be Incorruptible and Immortal, there will no longer be the use of Food or of the Marriage Relations: "For in the Resurrection they shall neither Marry nor be Married, but shall be as the Angels of God in Heaven". This is Directly-against the Jews and Mohammedans: "Nor shall he return any more into his house".

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Integrity of the Risen Bodies. -- Both the Good and the Wicked shall Rise-with all Soundness of Body which is Natural to Man. He will not be Blind or Deaf, or Bear any kind of Physical Defect: "The Dead shall Rise again Incorruptible", this is to mean, Wholly Free from the Defects of the Present Life.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) The Age of the Risen Bodies. -- All will Rise in the Condition of Perfect Age, which is of Thirty-two (32) or Thirty-three (33) Years. This is because all who were not yet Arrived-at this Age, did not Possess this Perfect Age, and the Old had already Lost it. Hence, Youths and Children will be given what they Lack, and what the Aged once had, will be Restored-to them: "Until we all Attain the Unity of Faith and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a Perfect Man, unto the Measure of the Age of the Fullness of Christ".

 

Condition of the Blessed

It must be known that the Good will Enjoy a Special Glory, because the Blessed will have Glorified Bodies which will be Endowed-with Four (4) Gifts.

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Brilliance. -- "Then shall the Just Shine as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father".

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Impassibility (i.e., Incapability of Receiving Action). -- "It is Sown in Dishonor; it shall Rise in Glory". "And God shall Wipe away all Tears from their Eyes; and Death shall be no more. Nor Mourning, nor Crying, nor Sorrow shall be anymore, for the Former Things are Passed Away".

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Agility. -- "The Just shall Shine and shall Run to-and-fro like Sparks among the Reeds".

littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes) Subtility. -- "It is Sown a Natural Body; it shall Rise a Spiritual Body". This is in the Sense of not being Altogether a Spirit, but that the Body will be Wholly Subject to the Spirit.

 

Condition of the Damned

It must also be Known that the Condition-of the Damned will be the Exact Contrary-to that of the Blessed. Theirs is the State of Eternal Punishment, which has a Fourfold (4) Evil Condition. The Bodies of the Damned will not be Brilliant: "Their Countenances shall be as Faces Burnt". Likewise they shall be Passible, because they shall never Deteriorate and, although Burning Eternally in Fire, they shall never be Consumed: "Their Worm shall not Die and their Fire shall not be Quenched". They will be Weighed-down, and the Soul of the Damned will be as it were Chained-therein: "To Bind their Kings with Fetters, and their Nobles with Manacles of Iron". Finally, they will be in a Certain-manner Fleshly both in Soul and Body: "The Beasts have Rotted in their Dung".

 

Resurrection of the Body

by Father Pablo Straub


An Eight Minute Homily