We will be immune from death and pain. Scripture states this clearly: The dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality (1 Cor 15:52-53). And again, He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Rev 21:4). St. Thomas goes on at some length and you can click on the word “impassibility” to read more.
Our bodies will be free from the things that restrain them now. Subtlety refers to the capacity of the resurrected body to be completely conformed to the capacities of the soul. St. Thomas says of this quality, The term “subtlety” has been transferred to those bodies which are most perfectly subject to their form, and are most fully perfected thereby. … For just as a subtle thing is said to be penetrative, for the reason that it reaches to the inmost part of a thing, so is an intellect said to be subtle because it reaches to the insight of the intrinsic principles and the hidden natural properties of a thing. In like manner a person is said to have subtle sight, because he is able to perceive by sight things of the smallest size: and the same applies to the other senses. Accordingly people have differed by ascribing subtlety to the glorified bodies in different ways (Summa Suppl. 83.1).
We will have complete freedom of movement. Our souls will direct our bodies without hindrance. St. Thomas says, The glorified body will be altogether subject to the glorified soul, so that not only will there be nothing in it to resist the will of the spirit. … from the glorified soul there will flow into the body a certain perfection, whereby it will become adapted to that subjection: … Now the soul is united to body not only as its form, but also as its mover; and in both ways the glorified body must be most perfectly subject to the glorified soul. We have already referred to Jesus’ ability, in His glorified body, to be anywhere immediately, without regard to locked doors or other hindrances. Consider, too, these description of the agility of the resurrected body:
As they [on the road to Emmaus] talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them (Luke 24:15).
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus, and he disappeared from their sight (Luke 24:31).
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you” (Luke 24:36).
The glory of our souls will be visible in our bodies. We will be beautiful and radiant. It is written in the Scriptures, The just shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43). And again, The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds (Wisdom 3:7). And again, The body in sown in dishonor, it shall rise in glory (1 Cor 15:43).
Msgr. Charles Pope
is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian in Washington, DC. He attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary and holds Masters degrees in Divinity and in Moral Theology.
He was ordained in 1989 and named a Monsignor in 2005. He has conducted a weekly Bible Study in Congress and in the White House, for two and four years, respectively.
Reprinted with the permission of Msgr. Pope. Originally published on his blog on the website of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.