By Fr. Roy Cimagala
THAT gospel episode, where some resurrection-deniers among the Jews tested Christ with a tricky question about the resurrection, gave Christ the chance to talk precisely about this truth of our Christian faith. (cfr. Mk 12,18-27)
They approached him and posed the question about whose wife a woman who married seven brothers, one after another, would be among the brothers at what they regarded as the so-called resurrection.
And so, Christ told them that at the resurrection, everyone would have gone beyond our earthly condition to enter into our spiritualized and supernatural condition. Yes, we will still retain our body. But that body will be fully subjected to its spiritual and supernatural condition where marriage, whose main purpose is procreation, would already be irrelevant. As Christ said, in the resurrection, we would be like angels, but angels with a body. We will not be pure spirits.
And then he proceeded to explain about the resurrection by citing some passages in the Book of Moses about God being the God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob that should show that God is not the God of the dead, but rather of the living.
If we have to analyze this question about our resurrection more closely, we will realize that since man is by nature body and soul, and our soul is not just a vegetative or animal soul that depends fully on the body, but a spiritual soul, created, generated and meant to be always in union with the eternal Spirit of God, then we can conclude that our spiritual soul will always need our body in its definitive, eternal state in heaven.
Besides, we can also say that since Christ, who is the pattern of our humanity, the savior of our damaged humanity, the living vine to whom we as its branches should always be attached, resurrected from the dead, we too can expect ourselves to resurrect from the dead.
That is why the resurrection of the dead at the end of time has always been professed as part of our Christian faith since time immemorial. Such resurrection has already been shown in the exceptional case of Mary, the Mother of Christ and our mother, who was assumed into heaven, body and soul, and who, from time to time, would make apparitions in bodily form. Any doubt about our resurrection should be laid to rest by this fact.
We just have to understand also that our resurrection is caused by the supernatural power of God who shares it with us precisely because we have been created in his image and likeness, sharers of his life and of his nature. We cannot expect to have our resurrection mainly by our own human powers alone. These human powers of ours should be fueled, so to speak, by God’s grace.
And so, we have to understand then that we can have our proper resurrection when we choose to die with Christ. It’s only with Christ that our death can lead to our resurrection. St. Paul encapsulated this most wonderful truth of our faith when he said, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Rom 6,5)
And so, we have every reason to think that we can live forever in Christ over whom death no longer has dominion. In spite of whatever, we have every reason to be happy and confident, as long as we are faithful to Christ.