Our Glorified Bodies Shall Be Like His

In inspired Scripture, St. Paul tells us:

“[The Lord Jesus Christ] will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.” 1

This means that we can glimpse what our own resurrected bodies will be like someday by studying the resurrected body of Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection by El Greco, Madrid, 1596-1600.•  Jesus’ Resurrected Body is the Same Body He Died In

        The tomb is empty on Easter morning because Jesus’ body is raised.2 On Easter evening, Jesus shows his disciples the wounds of his hands, feet, and side, which he received on the cross.3 His body retains its “flesh and bones” and can be touched and held.4 Our own dead bodies will similarly be reclaimed and resurrected, from the tomb, the sea, or the dust of the earth.5 St. Paul is so insistent on our own future resurrection he says, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised.” 6

•  Jesus Resurrected can do the Ordinary Things He did Before

        On Easter Sunday, Jesus walks and talks.7 He can breathe and eat.8 He knows who he is and he remembers his friends.9 (There is no reason to think that the dead will forget the lives they lived or their loved ones.)

•  Jesus’ Resurrected Body can also do Extraordinary Things

        Though he is no ghost, Jesus can appear suddenly within a locked room or vanish from another.10 He can make himself unrecognizable to those who know him.11 His body can ascend into heaven.12 And now, resurrected to life, he dies no more, for “death no longer has power over him.” 13

        The spiritual gifts granted to some saints on earth (such as bi-location, levitation, incorruptibility, etc.) suggest powers belonging to our future glorified bodies. For her various apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary may be modifying her glorified body’s physical appearance (for example, to be as a dark-haired native at Guadalupe in Mexico, but fair and blond-haired at Champion, Wisconsin.)

•  Our Conclusion

        The bodies in which we live and die will be same ones in which we rise. Our glorified bodies will be able to do the familiar things we know, yet we shall also possess new abilities which seem extraordinary to us now. St. Paul describes our future glorified bodies in this way:

“Someone may say, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?’

It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible. It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

That which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality.” 14

Endnotes:

  1. Philippians 3:21
  2. Matthew 28:6
  3. Luke 24:40, John 20:20
  4. Luke 24:39, John 20:17, Matthew 28:9
  5. John 5:28-29, Revelation 20:13
  6. 1 Corinthians 15:13
  7. Luke 24:15
  8. John 20:22, Luke 24:42-43
  9. Luke 24:39, John 20:16-17
  10. John 20:19 & 26, Luke 24:31
  11. Luke 24:16, John 21:12
  12. Acts 1:9, Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51
  13. Romans 6:9
  14. 1 Corinthians 15:35, 42-44 & 53

8 Responses to “Our Glorified Bodies Shall Be Like His”

  1. Peregrinus Says:

    Be careful here not to assume that all that Jesus does THROUGH His glorified body reveals a natural power OF His glorified body, as your explanation above implies. Our Lord, of course, remains God, as well as man, after His resurrection and sometimes works through His divine, rather than His human, power. Aquinas argues persuasively, for example, that Jesus’ ability to walk through locked doors or walls is miraculous, and not attributable to the quality of His resurrected body.

    • Fr. Victor Feltes Says:

      Thank you for your comment.

      I would like to add that our glorified bodies retaining their old abilities does not necessary mean that we will use them all; such as, for marrying. (Matthew 22:30)

  2. Fort Worth Church Says:

    Praise God that he has the power and will to glorify our bodies as his. Thanks for the article, keep up the good work and advancing the kingdom.

  3. Michael J. Cummings Says:

    Thank you for your enthusiasm in promoting Catholicism and its beliefs. But why do you promote such absurdities as bi-location and levitation? There is no proof that anyone ever bi-located or levitated.You are giving the church a bad name when you encourage people to believe that some ordinary humans possessed supernatural powers. The Vatican does not endorse such poppycock.

    • Fr. Victor Feltes Says:

      The Catholic Church does not require belief in these phenomena any more than it requires the faithful to believe in Church-approved private revelations, such as Lourdes or Fatima. But there is certainly evidence (for anyone willing to explore) that God has exhibited such miracles in his saints.

      For levitation, consider St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663.) For bi-location, consider St. Padre Pio (1887-1968.) Though they are the most famous examples, there is testimony supporting manifestations of these wonders in the lives of numerous saints in recent centuries. (See http://tinyurl.com/pkag9ca or http://tinyurl.com/ncox7jp)

  4. Gerard Mikula Says:

    interesting post, Father Feltes, but there are many questions raised. For example, Since everything within our habitat on the earth is constantly recycling at the molecular level, the individual molecules and atoms that make up our bodies were doing other things in the distant past. They may have been part of another humans body or part of anything else on earth! So at the final judgement, many people will be competing for the same molecules! Of course, God can break his own rules, so it’s not a problem for Him, just impossible for us whom must follow the rules of physics He wrote!!
    Another problem is children who die. If a baptized infant dies at say 3 or 4 years old, will he be an infant for eternity? I suppose his guardian angel can care for him in heaven!
    Another related question: What happens to the poor guardian angels who are assigned to humans who go to hell! The angels are not recycled, each has a human counterpart for eternity!

    • Fr. Victor Feltes Says:

      Thanks Gerald.

      On Shared Matter:
      I’m guessing here, but I’m skeptical that many of our atoms will actually end up in other persons, even after several millennia. In any case, I trust that God has a plan in mind to resolve any such disputes that arise.

      On the Immature Dead:
      This abortionist (http://tinyurl.com/opxdhwv) dreamt about a beautiful field full of playful youths, 4 to 24 years of age, who would run away from him in fear. He was told, “They are the ones you killed with your abortions.” Now such visions are open to interpretation, but his conversion story suggests to me that God provides a means to bring the immature dead to full human maturity.

      On Spurned Guardian Angels:
      Each person is entrusted to the care of a guardian angel, but if we spurn God by choosing Hell these angels’ union with God remains unaffected. As Jesus declared about children on earth, “I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:10)

  5. Anne Says:

    Nice Article Father! I’m glad I read through the comments. As there were two bits of gold nuggets of info that I was happy to be reminded of. One was Padre Pio; I love that Saint! He was the first saint I thought of when bilocation was mentioned. I have read accounts of his bilocation many times. Amazing! and Two, the Serbian abortionist; I read the story years ago about the dreams he had and his conversion, but I had never read the other story that you referenced. What an amazing, chilling story!

    God is amazing! We have no need to doubt that his plan for our resurrection will be amazing too!

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