Considering the Future: Our Risen Bodies in Paradise
By Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
Lilies, Alleluias, white vestments, Baptismal water. Combined together, these are sure signs that Easter--the festive commemoration of Christ's infallible triumph over sin and death--has arrrived.
Millions of pencils and hours of speech have been dedicated to exploring the mystery of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Christians the world over during this fifty-days season of joy are exhorted to remember that Easter is not just an historical event but it is also a prefiguring of what we will one day experience. As the Apostle to the Gentiles exclaims: "I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from His resurrection; likewise to know how to share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death. Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11).
Every Easter, a perennial query surfaces: if we will be so blessed to be counted among the Elect, what will our risen bodies be like? In attempting to answer this haunting question, Saint Thomas Aquinas and other theologians have long used, in formulating a reply, a brief passage from Saint Paul: "What is sown in the earth is subject to decay, what rises is incorruptible. What is sown is ignoble, what rises is glorious. Weakness is sown, strength rises up. A natural body is put down and a spiritual body comes up" (1 Corinthians 15:42b-44).
Traditionally, four "properties" or "gifts" of the risen bodies of the just have been identified: impassability; subtility; agility; and clarity.
Professor Ludwig Ott, in his popular Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1974), offered a helpful summary of these characteristics.
Impassability is the incapability of suffering "physical evils of all kinds, such as sorrow, sickness, death." So much of our lives we spend in combating headaches and heartaches. Not so in Paradise. Our risen bodies will be strong and supple; we will be unable to suffer the burdens we once encountered here on earth.
Subtility is, as the Angelic Doctor contends, "the power to penetrate." This property does not imply that somehow our risen bodies will become "spiritualized" but rather--like the risen Body of Jesus--that material substances will no longer deter or prevent our bodies from moving. "No entrance" signs will be of no consequence once we enter the pearly gates!
Agility is "the capability of the body to obey the soul with the greatest ease and speed of movement." We will move quickly from one place to another; the Law of Gravity will hold no sway over us in the next life. When considering how Christ appeared and disappeared after his resurrection (cf. John 20:19), we note the characteristic of agility.
Clarity is the fullness of celestial beauty and splendor. Our bodies will radiate with brilliance, much like the Body of Jesus at the Transfiguration. The degree of the radiance of the body will correspond to the level of the clarity of the soul, which in turn depends on the merits of the soul. St. Thomas, referring to Pope Saint Gregory the Great, gives us an analogy which assists us in knowing how clarity will be a gift of our risen bodies: "Thus in the glorified body the glory of the soul will be known, even as through a crystal is known the color of a body contained in a crystal vessel, . . . ." (Summa Theologica, Suppl. 85,1).
The physical resurrection of Jesus is a foreshadowing of our victory over the grave. Our risen bodies will then be like Christ's! This Easter, our hearts leap with anticipation, realizing what God has prepared for those who love Him.
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125
Resurrection; Resurrection of the Dead
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Scientists predict Biblical flood for California HD Video
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 24th, 2017 HD Video
- St. Polycarp: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- 'This is him telling me he is scared' - Heartbreaking image of ...
- Wave of anti-Semitic threats end in vandalization horror - But ...
- Heroic woman saves officer's life during roadside attack
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 23, 2017
- New pilgrimage route recreates Jesus' footsteps HD
- Sts. Perpetua and Felicity HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 HD
- California's floods predicted by scientists, but how? HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.