As we continue to rejoice in our Lord’s resurrection during this Octave of Easter, a question no doubt surfaces for all of us, “Who will rise?”
The answer is, “All the dead will rise.”
Yes, all the dead one day will rise again, those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. — Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 998.
All will rise “at the end of the world.” (John 6: 39-40)
In Christ, all will rise again with the bodies we now have, but Christ will transform these bodies to be like his glorious body. (CCC 999) The manner in which he will do this is unknown to us. But we are told that we will be like him. The only things we know of our future resurrected bodies come from the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrected body; it was recognizable as Jesus, yet different is some marvelous ways. It was a real body, yet it could walk through walls and ascend into heaven. It could eat and be touched.
We will rise because God loves us and loves life itself. God chooses to restore us to full life in body and soul.
For us Christians, then, the human body is real, good and immortal. God created the body and declared it was “good.” He united the body with the soul to make it one being, one person. Because of this union of body with immortal soul, the body too becomes immortal through the resurrection.
Jesus kept his human body forever. Ever since Christ took his human nature (body and soul) to heaven in the Ascension, God has a body forever. Jesus Christ did not “un-carnate” when he ascended to the Father.
One of the things I love to preach on is the great dignity we have as sons and daughters of God. We are the adopted sons and daughters of God and Jesus is God’s co-eternal Son. Because of our dignity, God chooses to bestow a certain divine-like quality to our very being. We are not only spirit, but also flesh. That very flesh was taken up into life of the Trinity with Jesus’ incarnation and ascension. Where Jesus has gone, we follow.
As we bask in the warmth and joy of the Resurrection of our Lord, let us meditate on the mystery into which we are drawn up…. the mystery of the death and resurrection of the Jesus, the Christ.
Yes, we all will rise. Those who do good and are faithful to the resurrection of life. Those who do evil and are faithless, to the resurrection of judgment.