Incorruptible bodies of the saints

From pastor’s desk on the 3rd Sunday of Easter, year B

 

Perhaps, some of you might have heard of incorruptible bodies of the saints. It is a strange phenomenon found in number of saints who died, yet their body has not decayed. Among the most known there are such saints as Saint Padre Pio, Saint Bernadette, Saint Vincent de Paul, and Saint John Vianney. There even the incorrupt bodies of saints dated back to antiquity like Saint Agatha (martyred circa 251 AD) and Saint Silvan (died circa 350 AD). There is no scientific explanation why their bodies remain almost intact despite the passage of time. It makes sense only when we look at them trough the lens of faith recognizing  them as signs of God’s grace active in the world. The incorruptible bodies of those saints are signs to us that true holiness permeates even our bodies. It is a foretaste of the life in God and transformation in Christ that goes beyond the grave. It is a hope of the future resurrection and immortality for all believers.

As we are celebrating the time of Easter, we are reminded of the truth of resurrection. For that reason this Sunday too we hear about the Resurrected Christ who presents Himself to the disciples, who are are still incredulous; they still cannot grasp what had happened; they are not ready yet to connect and accept all the prophecies about the Messiah. Despite the disciples’ lack of faith and doubt, Jesus appeared to them and He ascertained that He was real:

Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. (Luke 24:39-40)

Jesus was dead and came back to life. His Resurrection is not a myth; it is a real event. The Roman soldiers were very effective executioners and there was no way that anyone could survive it. Besides, Jesus’s heart was pierced with a lance. So Jesus truly died in His human body, but on the third day He has risen from the dead. After the resurrection Jesus, in His human body, has become more “alive” than before. Jesus’s body is physically real but transformed—glorified. It means that our Lord Jesus is not bound by space and time anymore. As the Church teaches, Christ appears in His resurrected (not resuscitated!), that is, glorified body. Jesus’s body after the resurrection belongs completely to the realm of God, hence, it cannot undergo corruption any longer. From the Sacred Scripture we know it is the same body of Jesus, who was crucified, for when He appeared He showed to the disciples that nail marks on His hand and His feet. He is not a ghost.

Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” (Luke 24:38-39)

This Sunday’s gospel passage communicates to us a very important truth about our belief in the resurrection. It is something that each Christian should embrace with his or her whole heart in order to cast out fear and anxiety of this present life. Namely, Jesus’s Resurrection is a prelude to our resurrection. When we profess our faith in Jesus Christ who died and rose again, we acknowledge that we too one day may rise with Him who is the Source of Life. As we still live here on earth may the example of the saints motivate us to strive for greater holiness so that our death may not be a moment of terror but of a blessed passage from an imperfect mode of living to the perfect one the Kingdom of God.

“Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners, NOW AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH. Amen!”

 

Have a blessed week! Fr. Janusz Mocarski, pastor