Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!
It was quite natural for the apostles to think that they were seeing a ghost when Jesus stood among them. It is because ghostly apparitions prove to us that the soul survives the body after death. This is why Jesus showed them his hands and feet and even challenged them to touch him in order to prove that he is not a ghost but it is truly him risen from the dead: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and blood as you can see I have.” Here the disciples were confronted by an entirely new reality. Here they saw not just the soul which lives on beyond the death of the body. Rather, what they saw was the body of Jesus, who truly died, now risen and living because his soul was restored to it.
“By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his passion. Yet, at the same time, this authentic real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ’s humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Father’s divine realm.” (CCC, 645)
“Christ’s Resurrection is the principle and the source of our future resurrection.” (CCC, 655) Because Jesus rose from the dead, we know that even though we die, we will surely resurrect from the dead also. And at our own resurrection, our bodies will be like unto the risen body of Jesus. Yes, it will be the same body but this time, it will be incorruptible and immortal: “This corruptible (body) must put on incorruption; and this mortal (body) must put on immortality.” Our resurrected bodies will not be like the walking dead…lifeless, soulless, in the state of decay. Rather, our risen bodies will be like that unto Christ’s risen body: youthful, beautiful, and immortal. Our bodies will rise with all the soundness of body which is natural to man. Our bodies will no longer bear physical defects. They will be totally free from the defects of the present life. All will rise in the condition of perfect age, that is, of 33 years, which is the age of Jesus when he died and resurrected from the dead. Those who died before reaching the perfect age will be given what they lack. Those who died old, who lost the perfect age, will have restored to them what they once had. In other words, we will all rise in the eternal youthfulness of Jesus Christ.
Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus tempers our sorrow over the death of a beloved. Yes, we grieve over the death of a loved one but not to the extent of losing all hope. Knowing that death is but temporary, we look forward when we shall meet each other again when we rise from our own graves. The resurrection of Jesus also takes away our fear of death. Thus, martyrs and saints can readily give up their lives for Jesus because they know fully well that what they lost for him, they will receive from him again. The resurrection of Jesus gives us the incentive to live uprightly and to avoid evil. Our lives are not regulated by brief and determined time. Instead, our lives are regulated by eternity. We strive to live uprightly because we know that we shall receive eternal rewards for whatsoever we do here on earth. The resurrection of Jesus invites us to repent and to be converted for the sake of what lies ahead: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Jesus, I trust in you! O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!