Spawn of Mars
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Eternity With Love Handles
God's Gonna ResurrectThis?
Monday, August 1, 2005 1:54 am
It's right there in the Nicene Creed: "I expect the resurrection of the dead." On the final day we will each arise as Christ arose and be restored to our bodies, no matter how dispersed our flesh might be among the elements of the Earth. To be sure, on that day our bodies will be uncorrupted and imperishable, glorious bodies like the glorious body of Christ; but I've always wondered: What will those bodies look like?

Christ looked like the Jesus at 33 — that is, the Jesus at the time of His death. If I died right now, would I be resurrected with a bald spot and love handles? Insofar as these things are a function of corruption, I suppose the answer would be no; but what, then, does that mean? Do I suddenly become the trim and virile, fit and vigorous man I am not? Do I become what I would have been, had I been born in Eden? I am sure that some theologians have pondered this; but I haven't read them. I don't think the Magisterium has an opinion, since the particular details of the general resurrection have not been given to the Church.

So if you don't mind, I will offer a little speculation.

An important clue, I think, is in the Eucharist. The glorious Body of Christ is there as the host; yet there are — obviously — no bodily attributes whatsoever. In other words, a resurrected and glorious body need not manifest itself in an expected way. The body is as real, distinct, and unique to each of us as are the reason, soul, and will. On the last day we will be given, again and truly, the bodies we had at death. But the notion that Heaven will be filled with infants, children, teenagers, and adults young and old seems absurd, somehow.

What will be returned to us, I think, is the substance of our bodies. In body we will be substantially as we were, just as a consecrated host is substantially the Body of Christ. Which is not to say we will be formless. We will surely have some form. Some default form, if you will. Yes, Christ can appear as 33-year-old man, just as Mary can appear as a very young woman, despite having raised a 33-year-old and lived long past his death; but what if they, and eventually we, default to something else? Say, to children? I'm not just being sentimental. I'm not getting all Hallmark on you. I'm serious. I suspect that in Heaven we will be children.

This hardly proves anything, but I'm especially guided by the following:
And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 18:2-3

And they brought to him young children, that he might touch them. And the disciples rebuked them that brought them. Whom when Jesus saw, he was much displeased and saith to them: Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter into it. Mark 10:13-15
I know that Jesus was not being literal in these passages. His point, quite different from mine, was that we must be like little children if we expect to enter the Kingdom of God. Still, I find these words highly suggestive. It seems so right that Heaven would be filled not merely with childlike people but with actual children. Of such is the kingdom of God. And then there's this:
For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married, but shall be as the angels of God in heaven. Matt. 22:30
It's not so surprising that there would be no marriage in Heaven. After all, what is marriage for? Apart from providing for the best upbringing of children, marriage contains and sanctifies the act that produces those children. Since no more people will be created — let alone born and raised — after the end of the world, marriage will have no purpose. Sex will have no purpose. There will be no sex in Heaven. Unless you're an angry jihadi, I think you'd agree.

Well, what sort of human is it, who has no need or capacity for sex? A child, of course. Yes indeed, I am only speculating, and perhaps ill-informedly; but I really think that on the last day we will be resurrected as children.
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