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From: 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49

The Manner of the Resurrection of the Dead

[35] But some one will ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind
of body do they come?" [36] You foolish man! What you sow does not
come to life unless it dies. [37] And what you sow is not the body
which is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other

[42] So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perish-
able, what is raised is imperishable. [43] It is sown in dishonor, it is
raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. [44] It is
sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physi-
cal body, there is also a spiritual body. [45] Thus it is written, "The
first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-
giving spirit. [46] But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physi-
cal, and then the spiritual. [47] The first man was from the earth, a
man of dust; the second man is from heaven. [48] As was the man of
dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven,
so are those who are of heaven. [49] Just as we have borne the image
of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
[50] I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom
of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.


35-38. Now that he has shown that the dead will rise, St Paul goes on
to deal with what form this resurrection will take. He postulates certain
questions (v. 35) and replies to them using comparisons taken from the
vegetable, animal and mineral worlds, to help explain what this resurrec-
tion involves (vv. 36-41). He goes on to describe the qualities of the ri-
sen body (vv. 42-44), referring in particular to one of those qualities, its
spiritual nature or "subtility" (vv. 44-50). He then describes the circum-
stances in which the general resurrection will take place (vv. 51-53),
and he ends with a hymn of joy and thanksgiving for all these wonders
of God (vv. 54-58).

36-41. The Apostle uses the analogy of a seed to explain what resur-
rection involves: just as a seed has to corrupt in order to yield new
life, the body has to die in order to be raised up. In the process of
becoming a new plant the seed takes on a new form: the plant is
something distinct from the original seed; similarly, risen bodies will
be endowed with new qualities which they did not have during their
mortal life (cf. note on vv. 42-44).

By referring to the difference in the flesh of different animals and to
the way that one star shines differently from another, St Paul is trying
to explain that risen bodies are also differentiated, the differences
being a function of charity (cf. "St Pius V Catechism", I, 12, 13).

42-44. These verses are the basis of tile Church's teaching about the
qualities of glorified bodies-impassibility or incorruptibility, glory or
brightness, power or agility, subtility or spirituality. This is

what the "St Pius V Catechism" has to say on the subject: "The
bodies of the risen saints will be distinguished by certain transcen-
dent endowments, which will ennoble them far beyond their former
condition. Among these endowments four are specially mentioned
by the Fathers, which they infer from the doctrine of St Paul and
which are called 'gifts'.

"The first endowment or gift is impassibility, which shall place them
beyond the reach of suffering anything disagreeable or of being affec-
ted by pain or inconvenience of any sort [...]. 'What is sown' says
the Apostle, 'is perishable, what is raised is imperishable' (1 Cor
15:42) [...]. The next quality is brightness, by which the bodies of
the saints shall shine like the sun [...]. This quality the Apostle
sometimes calls "glory". [...] This brightness is a sort of radiance
reflected on the body from the supreme happiness of the soul. It is
a participation in that bliss which the soul enjoys, just as the soul
itself is rendered happy by a participation in the happiness of God.
Unlike the gift of impassibility, this quality is not common to all in
the same degree. All the bodies of the saints will be equally impas-
sible; but the bright- ness of all will not be the same, for, according
to the Apostle, 'there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of
the moon, and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star
in glory' (1 Cor 15:41-42).

"To the preceding quality is united that which is called agility, by
which the body will be freed from the heaviness that now presses it
down, and will take on a capability of moving with the utmost ease
and swiftness, wherever the soul pleases [...]. Hence these words
of the Apostle: 'It is sown in weakness, it is raised in glory' (I Cor
15:43). Another quality is that of subtility, which subjects the body
to the dominion of the soul, so that the body shall be subject to the
soul and ever ready to follow her desires. This quality we learn from
these words of the Apostle: 'It is sown a physical body, it is raised
a spiritual body" (1 Cor 15:44)" (I, 12, 13).

The bodies of the reprobate do not have these qualities proper to
glorified bodies (cf. "St Pius X Catechism", 246).

44-50. The Apostle develops what he has said about those who rise
having spiritual bodies--which might seem to be a self-contradictory
notion. Through descent from Adam, whose body was formed from
the dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7), men receive an earthly animal
body which is destined to perish; Christ, the new Adam, when he
comes again will give his own a heavenly body, perfect and immortal:
"It is called a spiritual body," St Augustine says, "not because it has
become a spirit but because it is in such a way subject to the spirit,
to fit it for its heavenly abode, that every kind of earthly weakness
and imperfection is changed into a heavenly permanence ("De Fide
Et Symbolo", chap. VI).

Even in this present life the Christian should strive to reflect this
image of "the man of heaven", by reproducing in himself the life of
Christ: having died to sin through Baptism he has already been raised
with Christ to a new life (cf. Col 3:1-4). Christ's resurrection, St Thomas
Aquinas explains, "is an exemplary cause with regard to the resurrec-
tion of souls, because even in our souls we must be conformed with
the risen Christ, the Apostle says (Rom 6:4-11): 'Christ was raised
from the dead by the glory of the Father, that we too might walk in
newness of life [...]. Christ being raised from the dead shall never die
again [...] so you also must consider yourselves dead to sin', so that
you 'might live with him' (1 Thess 5:10)" ("Summa Theologiae", III, q.
56, a. 2).

45. Commenting on this verse, St John of Avila explains that "God
created the first man and blew into his face, he gave him the breath
of life, and he became a living being. "Et factus est primus Adam in
animam viventem, novissimus Adam in spiritum vivificantem" (1 Cor
15:45). The second Adam was made, Jesus Christ, and not only was
he given and did he have life for himself like the first Adam, but he had
it for many others. Christ has a living spirit, a life-giving spirit which
raises up those of us who desire to live. Let us go to Christ, let us
seek Christ, who has the breath of life. No matter how evil you be,
how lost, how disorientated, if you go to him, if you seek him, he will
make you well, he will win you over and set you right and heal you"
("Sermon on Pentecost Sunday").

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".
Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.
Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University
of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin,
Reprinted with permission from from Four Courts Press and Scepter
Publishers, the U.S. publishers.

6 posted on 09/23/2006 9:32:41 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All

From: Luke 8:4-15

Parable of the Sower. The Meaning of the Parables

[4] And when a great crowd came together and people from town after
town came to Him (Jesus), He said in a parable: [5] "A sower went out
to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was
trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. [6] And some
fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had
no moisture. [7] And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew
with it and choked it. [8] And some feel into good soil and grew, and
yielded a hundredfold." As He said this, He called out, "He who has
ears to hear, let him hear."

[9] And when His disciples asked Him what this parable meant, [10]
He said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom
of God; but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may
not see, and hearing they may not understand. [11] Now the parable
is this: The seed is the word of God. [12] The ones along the path are
those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word
from their hearts, that they may not believe and be saved. [13] And the
ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it
with joy; but these have no root, they believe for a while and in time
of temptation fall away. [14] And as for what fell among the thorns,
they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked
by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not
mature. [15] And as for that in the good soil, they are those who,
hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring
forth fruit with patience."


4-8. Our Lord explains this parable in verses 11-15. The seed is Jesus
Himself and His preaching; and the different kinds of ground it falls on
reflect people's different attitudes to Jesus and His teaching. Our Lord
sows the life of grace in souls through the preaching of the Church and
through an endless flow of actual graces.

10-12. Jesus uses parables to teach people the mysteries of the
supernatural life and thereby lead them to salvation. However, He
foresaw that, due to the bad dispositions of some of His listeners,
these parables would lead them to harden their hearts and to reject
grace. For a fuller explanation of the purpose of parables see the
notes on Matthew 13:10-13 and Mark 4:11-12.

12. Some people are so immersed in a life of sin that they are the
patch on which falls the seed "which suffers from two kinds of hazard:
it is trodden on by wayfarers and snatched by birds. The path, there-
fore, is the heart, which is trodden on by the frequent traffic of evil
thoughts, and cannot take in the seed and let it germinate because
it is so dried up" (St. Bede, "In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").
Souls hardened by sin can become good soil and bear fruit through
sincere repentance and penance. We should note the effort the devil
makes to prevent souls from being converted.

13. "Many people are pleased by what they hear, and they resolve to
do good; but as soon as they experience difficulties they give up the
good words they started. Stony ground has not enough soil, which is
why the shoots fail to produce fruit. There are many who, when they
hear greed criticized, do conceive a loathing for it and extol the scor-
ning of it; but as soon as the soul sees something else that it desires,
it forgets what it previously promised. There are also others who when
they hear talk against impurity not only desire not to be stained by the
filth of the flesh but are even ashamed of the stains that they already
bear; but as soon as bodily beauty presents itself to their eyes, their
heart is so drawn by desires that it is as if they had done or decided to
do nothing against these desires, and they act in a manner deserving
condemnation and in a way which they themselves previously con-
demned when they reflected on their behavior. Very often we feel com-
punction for our faults and yet we go back and commit them even after
bemoaning them" (St. Gregory the Great, "In Evangelia Homiliae", 15).

14. This is the case of people who after receiving the divine seed, the
Christian calling, and having stayed on the right path for some time,
begin to give up the struggle. These souls run the risk of developing a
istaste for the things of God and of taking the easy, and wrong, way
of seeking compensations suggested to them by their disordered
ambition for power and their desire for material wealth and a comfor-
table life involving no suffering.

A person in this situation begins to be lukewarm and tries to serve two
masters: "It is wrong to have two candles lighted--one to St. Michael
and another to the devil. We must snuff out the devil's candle; we
must spend our lives completely in the service of the Lord. If our desire
for holiness is sincere, if we are docile enough to place ourselves in
God's hands, everything will go well. For He is always ready to give
us His grace" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 59).

15. Jesus tells us that the good soil has three features--listening to
God's demands with the good disposition of a generous heart; striving
to ensure that one does not water down these demands as time goes
by; and, finally, beginning and beginning again and not being dishear-
tened if the fruit is slow to appear. "You cannot `rise'. It's not surprising:
that fall!

"Persevere and you will `rise'. Remember what a spiritual writer has
said: your poor soul is like a bird whose wings are caked with mud.

"Suns of heaven are needed and personal efforts, small and constant,
to shake off those inclinations, those vain fancies, that depression:
that mud clinging to your wings.

"And you will see yourself free. If you persevere, you will `rise'" ([St] J.
Escriva, "The Way", 991).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".
Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.
Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University
of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin,
Reprinted with permission from from Four Courts Press and Scepter
Publishers, the U.S. publishers.

7 posted on 09/23/2006 9:34:09 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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