Feb. 25, 2004 Seventh Sunday Year (C) 1 Cor. 15: 45-49 (Luke 6:27-38) St. Patricks parish is in Kowloon, Hong Kong. There are four weekend Masses including a childrens Mass at 10:45, Sunday. This is the parish where I was formerly pastor. [email protected]. Cf. also Social Concerns Education: -- Fr. Gene Thalman M.M.]


Some of us are quite content with our present life. For many of us the joys of life far outweigh the occasional rough times. And when we think of our death, we feel sad and maybe a little scared. Death means leaving behind all the lovely things of life: our family, our friends, our work, our recreations and our easy chair. Furthermore we have difficulty imagining what our life will be like after death. Given a choice, we would choose to remain right where we are now.


For others, perhaps many of you sitting in this Church this morning, the sufferings of this present life seem to outweigh the good times. It may be that your own body causes you pain and frustration. It may be some family problem or tragedy that makes life so tedious. Or perhaps it is loneliness and boredom. For those of you who are now experiencing this kind life, death has something to say for it.




In First Corinthians, chapter 15: 35-49 [todays reading is 45-49] Paul addresses the question head on: In verse 35, Paul asks: How are the dead to be raised up? What kind of body will they have?


And in verses 35-38, Paul gives a simple example that the newly baptized Corinthians could easily understand. Paul talks about a little seed. Now this seed doesnt look like much of anything. But then the seed is buried in the ground. And after a time the seed turns into a beautiful flower. Who would ever think that that plain old seed could become a lovely flower? Even the biggest tree is hidden in the life of a tiny seed. Paul uses this example of the seed to describe life after death: After we die, we will still be us but oh what a difference!


Next in todays reading (verses 45-49), Paul uses the example of Adam and Christ to show the reason why this marvelous change will take place when we die. Paul says: Adam became a living soul [human being]. All the Corinthians Christians agreed that Christ was infinitely greater than Adam. And they agreed that the Risen Christ had a living soul that he inherited from Adam. But Christ also was divine and he wished to share this divine life with us. Paul said that the Risen Christ was a life giving spirit. The Risen Christ intended to give us life. Therefore after death we would not only be the kind of human persons that Adam was, we would also be the kind of glorious person that the Risen Christ was.


To repeat Pauls words in verse 49,


Just as we resemble the man from earth (Adam) so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.


After our Resurrection, what kind of body will we have? Paul tells us that we will be the same person that we were in our earthly lifeincluding our body. But that our body will also be a new kind of bodylike the glorious body of our Risen Savior.



OUR CATECHISM The 11th Article of the Apostles Creed states


I believe in the Resurrection of the body.

Our catechism explains:


The resurrection of the flesh (the literal formulation of the Apostles Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our mortal body will come to life again.


After our death with Christ, we will still be you, he, her and me.


Todays reading is a source of joy not only for the Corinthian Christian community but for all of us who make up St. Patricks community. When this short life is past, we, all of us, the whole of usall that makes a human being a human being will continue to live on but in a marvelous way. A real human being includes human spirit, human thoughts and human memories. A real human being includes a face that people can recognize. A real human being includes bones, blood, skin, blood and all kinds of organs and stuff inside. In other words we wont be floating around like disembodied shadows. So to the question: What kind of body will we have? Paul and our Catechism answers: A real human body.


Paul quotes Isaias 64: 3


Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.


Todays scripture reading is consolingGod has prepared for us a wonderful surprise. Through the eyes of Faith we can view our physical death as completing our dying with Christ and so completing our incorporation into him in his redeeming act. Those are the words of our Catechism.


That is why St. Therese of Lisieux said when she was dying at the age of twenty-four years old: I am not dying; I am entering life. St. Paul said as he neared the end of his life: My desire is to depart and be with Christ.




May I suggest that during the coming week, we read and think about what Paul has written in the 15th chapter of St. Pauls Letter to the Corinthians. You may also read this chapter to some elderly or sick person who needs some cheering up.




Which chapter of St. Pauls First Letter to the Corinthians do you intend to read this week? [Chapter 15!] . I didnt hear anything.







Feb. 25, 2004 Seventh Sunday Year 1 Cor. 15: 45-49 (Luke 6:27-38)


ONE WORD: Resurrection


TWO WORDS: Joy of Resurrection


THEME: We attempt to give some indication of the glorious life that God is preparing for us.


TEXT: Perhaps someone will say, How are the dead to be raised up?


TYPE OF HOMILY: Encouragement




DESIRED RESULT: Dear Father, My life has been very difficult recently. I have a serious illness. As a result of last weeks homily, I kept thinking about the kind of life that God is preparing for me. It made me feel kind of good. I think it is my special mission to show to non-Christians my joy and belief as I prepare for death.






Article 11 I believe in the Resurrection of the body. Catechism of the Catholic Church, (Mission Hills: Benziger Publishing Co, 1994), P. 258


The resurrection of the flesh (the literal formulation of the Apostles Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our mortal body will come to life again. Ibid. #990, p. 258.


physical death completes this dying with Christ and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act. Ibid. #1010, p. 263.


In death, God calls man to himself. Therefore the Christian can experience a desire for death like St. Pauls My desire is to depart and be with Christ. (Phil.1: 23) Ibid. 1011 p. 263.


I am not dying; I am entering life. Ibid. 1011 p. 264 (quoting St. Therese of Lisieux, The Last Conversations.)




We must reassert here what has already been presented in chapter 5namely that the human person not simply an embodied spirit, in the sense that the body is base, inhuman, and without intrinsic worth. Holiness is wholeness (Goldbrunner) Our hope is not simply the salvation of our soul but the salvation of our whole being. Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism Study Edition, (Minneapolis, MN: Winston Press, 1981) p. 1149.


Nor is our resurrection at the end of the resurrection only of so many individuals. Our bodiliness also is the natural basis of our solidarity with others and through them with God. We are human insofar as we are oriented towards others. And our orientation toward others is made possible and necessary by our bodiliness. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body is the foundation for the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. The life after death is also communal life. And thus, too, the resurrection of the body cannot be achieved until the consummation of history itself. Ibid. p. 1150



For him [Paul] the resurrection in which we all hope will be a resurrection of the body (1 Corinthians 15), because the body (soma) is intrinsic to the being of the human person (1 Corinthians 15:15-19), Body is not just that through which the spirit acts; it is the whole person. This notion of the body does not eliminate the traditional idea of the soul. Rather it emphasizes the until of the human person. Ibid. p. 145.


[Do we have to wait till the last day to enjoy our glorified bodily existence?]


It is not biblical usage to speak of a purely disembodied soul of man.


How then are we to understand the texts? They speak of a today with reference to something which is not entirely without a body. And at the same time, they speak of those who shall live after death. What message is to be read here? It seems to be that we are to think of the today as something that has already begun, and that it is not without the body. In other words, existence after death is already something like the resurrection of the new body. The New Catechism: Catholic Faith for Adults (New York: Herder and Herder, 1967) pp. 473-474.





When I was a kid, I had a picture of life after death as wearing a white angel suit, playing a harp and singing the kind of hymns that God likes. And although I would have a body it wouldnt be much like my present bodyperhaps mostly a lot of air. There wouldnt be much in the line of skin, bones, muscles and blood. To be quite frank, life after death didnt seem like a lot of fun. The only positive aspect was that it would be better than the other place.


The sermon is personally of great interest to me and I suspect to fellow septenarians.



Chewing, Digesting and DOING Gods Word

Feb. 25, 2004 Seventh Sunday Year 1 Cor. 15: 45-49 (Luke 6:27-38)

NAME_________ Grade_____________


1. __T/F After death we will be floating around like happy ghosts.

2. To describe the difference between our present kind of existence and our existence with the

Risen Christ as the difference between a flower ________ and a beautiful flower.

3. From Adam we have inherited a ________ body. From Christ we receive a _________body.

4. After death we will bear the likeness of the man from ______ and the man from _________.

5. (Optional) Write something about you imagine life after death to be.