Resurrection of the Dead
What do Catholics believe about the resurrection of the dead?
Every Sunday, we proclaim in the Creed that we believe “in the resurrection of the body.” Does that mean Christ’s resurrection or our own? Both! Jesus’ resurrection is part of the work of salvation, but it’s also a sign of what’s to come. While death separates our bodies and our souls, this was not the intention of God when He first created us. It’s an effect of original sin. At the end of time, our bodies and our souls will be reunited.
Scientifically, we may have questions about this, since bodies decompose over the course of centuries. Or what about the saints, whose relics are spread around the earth? How the resurrection will happen is a mystery. But we know that our resurrected body will be our body. If we are in heaven, our body will be in a glorified state. Some theologians speculate what this glorification will be like based on Jesus’ resurrected body. Will we be able to walk through walls? Will we eat, since Jesus broke bread with his disciples? We don’t really know the answers to these questions. We do know, however, that we will be free from the effects of the fall (such as sickness and pain) and physical defects that occurred in life. Christ redeems us as whole persons, body and soul!