THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD (1 Corinthians, chapter 15) – Part II

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.

"…I LOOK FOR THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD…" (CREED)

Saint Nicholas Cavasilas writes: "The resurrection IS THE RESURRECTION OF OUR HUMAN NATURE. Such things God gives freely, for just as He forms us WITHOUT US WILLING IT, so He forms us ANEW though WE HAVE CONTRIBUTED NOTHING TO IT. On the other hand, the Kingdom and vision of God and UNION WITH CHRIST are PRIVILEGES WHICH DEPEND ON WILLINGNESS. They are possible ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WILLING TO RECEIVE THEM AND HAVE LOVED THEM AND LONGED FOR THEM. For such it is fitting that they should enjoy the presence of the things for which they longed; FOR THE UNWILLING IT IS IMPOSSIBLE… One need not, therefore, marvel that while all will live in immortality, IT IS NOT ALL WHO WILL LIVE IN BLESSEDNESS. ALL EQUALLY enjoy God’s Providence for our nature, BUT IT IS ONLY THOSE WHO ARE DEVOUT TOWARDS GOD WHO ENJOY THE GIFTS WHICH ADORN THEIR WILLINGNESS" (The Life in Christ, pp. 81-82… 3rd Ed.)

With the aim of making faith in the future transfiguration of bodies easier, the holy Apostle compares the future resurrection with sowing, a symbol of resurrection given by nature: "But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised up? And with wh11at body do they come?’ Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. And what you sow, you do not sow tath body that shall be, but mere grain–perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases and to each seed its own body" (1 Corinthians 15:35-38).

With the same aim, the Holy Fathers of the Church have indicated that in the world in general nothing is annihilated and disappears and that God is powerful TO RESTORE THAT WHICH He Himself HAS CREATED. Turning to nature, they found in it similarities to the resurrection, such as the sprouting of plants from a seed which is thrown in the earth and rots away; THE YEARLY RENEWAL OF NATURE in springtime; THE RENEWAL OF THE DAY; THE AWAKENING FROM SLEEP; THE ORIGINAL FORMATION OF MAN FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH; and other manifestations.

The Universal Resurrection and the events that follow after it are realities which we are incapable of representing fully with our imagination; nor can we fully understand them WITH OUR RATIONAL THOUGHTS, nor resolve those numerous questions which arise before the curious mind in connection with them. Therefore, both these questions themselves and those personal conceptions which have been expressed in answer to them–often in various forms–in the writings of the Holy Fathers and Teachers of the Church, do not enter immediately into the subject of dogmatic theology, the duty of which is to sketch the precise truths of faith founded upon the Holy Scripture. (Source: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky)

_______________

"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostom

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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