Resurrection of the Body
Prefigures Our Own
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
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
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:
First, the Benefits which Proceed-from our
Faith in the Resurrection;
Secondly, the Qualities of those who shall Rise, taken all in General;
Thirdly, the Condition of the Blessed;
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
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
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".
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".
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.
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.
Brilliance. -- "Then shall the Just Shine as the Sun in the
Kingdom of their Father".
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".
Agility. -- "The Just shall Shine and shall Run to-and-fro like
Sparks among the Reeds".
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
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