HOW DO THE DEAD RISE?
I’ve mentioned this before, but I was always afraid of Michael Jackson’s film clip, “Thriller”.
I thought it was so scary that these dead people would come out of their graves and dance their way down the street towards you. No dark street has ever been the same. But when we talk about the Resurrection of the Body, as seen through Christ Himself, I can firmly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that our bodies will not rise from the graves as Michael Jackson’s minions did; but instead, our souls will be united with its glorified body, through the power of our Trinitarian God.
The union of our soul with our glorified body is exemplified in the person of Jesus. What that will look like is beyond us, but we submit ourselves to the process through faith in Christ who “will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body.” This, in a very real and tangible way, is why modern-day ideologies that deny the body will never be compatible with Christianity. It doesn’t make sense to deny the validity of your body because of how you might identify. The body is a non-negotiable part of who we are as persons especially as Christians.
For us Christians, our body matters! Certainly, we acknowledge the weakness of our flesh, especially with its vulnerability towards sin but, more importantly, Jesus Himself rose with the body that was abused, torn and broken by humanity, but somehow, it was different; all the brokenness was redeemed!
As people of faith, we’re already given a foretaste of Christ’s transfiguration of our bodies whenever we participate in the Eucharist. The Catechism tells us, “Just as bread that comes from the earth, after God’s blessing has been invoked upon it, is no longer ordinary bread, but Eucharist, formed of two things, the one earthly and the other heavenly; so too our bodies, which partake of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but possess the hope of resurrection (CCC #1000).” Within those that partake of the Eucharist is this very hope of resurrection. The hope of resurrection is in You!
I think, if we want to delve into the question how do the dead rise? then our starting point is the Eucharist. This great gift is truly one we do not deserve but since the Lord has given it to us, so that we too might one day share in the glory of God, may we genuinely partake truthfully and regularly so that through the source and summit of our faith, we may become what we eat; someone transformed by God.
Take that, death!
Fr William Aupito Iuliano