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Monday, August 12, 2013

Resurrection of the Body and a New Earth


Catholic theology teaches that at the end of time, there will be the Final Judgement and also the Resurrection of the Body.

Those that God judges to be holy will all be resurrected with glorified bodies. If you've watched Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, the final scene depicts Jesus in His Glorified Body, though with the scars (or holes made by the nails).

From the account of St. Thomas (Doubting Thomas), we know that Jesus still retained the hole in his chest made by St Longinus (the centurion who pierced Jesus' side on the cross).

Now the question is, what eaxactly does a glorified body look like? Will someone who has a physical handicap, become normal after the resurrection, since it should be a glorified body. All physical impediments are the cause of original sin, therefore, in the New Earth where original sin doesn't exist anymore, will this be the reality? Physical handicaps in this context includes all diseases and medical conditions, like depression, diabetes, deviated septum, etc.

Let's take this imagination one step further. Let's say a baby who died as a result of miscarriage. Will it still be a baby at resurrection? I have no idea, but I think it sounds silly, since in the New Creation, it'll still be dependent on it's parents.

But Jesus said that in Heaven, there will no longer be marriages, so how will this "baby" have parents to look after it. Therefore, I guess, it'll be an adult woman or man at resurrection. Is your mind spinning like mine is?

Some theologians say that the resurrection of the body applies to all bodies, including those of the sinners. So, will sinners have glorified bodies? Obviously not, since they have carried their sins into the afterworld and therefore, they will be walking around with whatever impediments they have. Maybe their New World will be separated from the Saints' New World.

Now comes another complication. The New World or New Creation will be exactly what God originally wanted when He created the Universe 11 billion years ago. So will the New Earth have animals as well?

We know from the Bible that God created the animals to help humans. Let's examine the cows above (courtesy of my niece, Maya). Will the resurrected human need cows for their milk and meat? Several Bible verses say that in Heaven, there'll be no mourning, no hunger, thirst, disease, sadness, etc. Since we don't need to eat or drink, we also don't need cows to help plough the land, since we don't need to plant anything anyway. I guess too God won't make bacteria, parasites and viruses, since they cause death most of time or misery.

So maybe there won't be animals in the New World.

The huge question in my mind, is what will we do on the New Earth with our Glorified bodies?

If you have any hypothesis, please add them in the comment box below.