RESURRECTION OF THE BODY

Background music:
"On the Wings of Change" played by Michael Gask.
We shall be changed; the trumpet will sound,
the dead will be raised, and we shall be changed!

a. Analogies

It is not so difficult to believe in the resurrection of the body since our whole world is undergoing a bodily transformation.

Diamonds from star-dust. They were formed billions of years ago when star dust came under great heat and pressure in the geologic processes of the earth. What a transformation! From a soft element it became the hardest substance on earth able to reflect light with amazing brilliance.

Seed to flower. Even more amazing is the ability of life forms to transform matter. A seed is planted in the ground. It undergoes a bodily death, but in the process the living entity transforms matter into an organization of astounding beauty. What a marvel!

Caterpillar to a butterfly. From an egg it emerges as a caterpillar eating leaves, it changes into a pupa and emerges as a butterfly. What a transformation!

b. Composition of the human body

The human body is composed of atoms which in turn are composed of energy squeezed into such a tiny space that it becomes convoluted into atoms. The apparent solidity of matter is due to the high speed and vibrations of atomic particles, e.g. electrons speed around the nucleus at 600 miles per second.

On the chemical level, the body is based on the carbon atom (star dust) which has the ability to hold 4 other atoms to itself thus making possible the complexity of the molecular structures of cells and bodily organs.

The body identity or complete information of its construction is contained in the nucleus of almost every cell of the human body (DNA). And, we must never forget that this identity has been orchestrated by the soul.

c. Resurrection of the body.

Jesus left no doubt in the minds of the apostles that he had risen bodily from the dead. When he appeared to them He said: "Why are you disturbed? Why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and my feet; it is really I. Touch me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do."(Lk 24:38-40) And as dogma of faith states: "The dead will rise again with the same bodies as they had on earth."

Here we must pause and reflect what "with the same bodies" may mean. Most theologians require at least part of the matter of our earthly body to refashion the risen body. For the Thomists, on the other hand, no matter of our earthly body is required but only the identity of the soul. As soon as the soul informs a certain quantity of prime matter, 17 this becomes the same body previously possessed.18

We know that the identity ( blueprint=DNA) of the body resides in the nucleus of almost every cell of the human body. At death, the body decays and the set of instructions written in the cells disappears, but the soul remembers the set of instructions or identity of the body it possessed in life. If this is not the case, God does remember the identity of each body he has created. And so at God's command the soul refashions the same identical body which under God's influence would also acquire new dimensions of existence.