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God reveals his glory

In today’s Gospel, the crucified and risen Lord Jesus appears to his Apostles. He has a glorified body, but still has the wounds of love on his hands, feet and side.

Jesus tells them to touch him because it is truly him who was crucified. He even asks for something to eat, and eats a baked fish in front of them.

This reveals to us many things about the resurrected body that we will have in heaven on the last day. There will be a new heaven and a new earth because they will be united under God and totally imbued with God. As St. Paul writes: “God will be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15:28

When I mentioned this to some fourth graders, a boy raised his hand and said, “What if I do not like fish, can I still make it to heaven?” Yes, because - with the help of God’s sanctifying grace - we follow God’s commandments and repent and do penance, especially on Fridays and will be made perfect for heaven. In heaven, we will never be tempted again, and by God’s grace all our virtues and powers of mind and body will be perfect.

Can we point to heaven? Yes, we can point to Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist for he is the Son of God on earth, essentially bringing heaven to earth. Jesus is always in the state of sanctifying grace, fully and perfectly in communion with God the Father. He gave glory to God by ordering every-thing to God, doing exactly what the Father wanted him to do for our salvation.

By taking on our sins in his body, Jesus offered himself up to the Father on the cross as a payment to redeem us, to buy us back from the power of the Devil. He opened the gates of heaven with his blood that we might receive his sanctifying grace. We received sanctifying grace at our Baptism and continue to grow in sanctifying grace by living a life of prayer, service, study and especially receiving Jesus Christ in the other sacraments worthily with growing devotion.

When we die in the state of grace, immediately God will show us our place in heaven, but most of us will have to be purified in purgatory before going there. Thus, we must rely on our family and friends to practice the Catholic faith and offer Holy Masses and prayers for us to speed up the process of purification. Jesus taught, “You must be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect.” Mt. 5:48.

When our soul is perfectly purified and united with our perfectly purified body, we will be our true selves, no more imperfections. Our immortal bodies will share in the four qualities of the glorified body of Jesus Christ, namely: impassibility, brightness, agility, and subtility.

Impassibility means that we will never be sick, hungry, nor experience any pain from heat or cold or anything ever again. There is NO COVID 19 OR ANY OTHER PLAGUE IN HEAVEN! We will be able to dance on the surface of the sun, sleep on the artic ice next to a polar bear, who would not harm us even if bites us. In this new heaven and new earth, polar bears will not have aggression toward us because we are fully sons and daughters of God and must be honored.

Another quality of our glorified bodies is called “brightness” or “glory.” The saints are endowed by God with different degrees of brightness or glory, as St. Paul writes: “One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, another the glory of the stars. For star differs from star in glory.” (1 Cor. 15:41-42).

Another quality is “agility.” I talked about dancing on the sun, well you can add to that swimming with the Blue Whales in the deepest oceans, flying with the eagles in the highest

mountains, and exploring the furthest reaches of the universe all for the glory of God because of the quality of “agility”.

Because God reveals his glory through creation, but most fully through the Holy Spirit within us, we worship him in thanksgiving for the natural world of creation, and the supernatural wonders of Jesus, his Saints and Angels, and his Sacraments. Wherever we want to go to appreciate and show forth God’s glory, we can go there with a split-second thought because we are in God who is all in all.

The other quality of the glorified body is exemplified by Jesus who passed through the locked doors to be with his faithful disciples. This quality is called “subtility” by which our bo-ies are in complete control of our intellectual soul, which is fully empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gives us another sense of the glorified body when he ascends into heaven, forty days after his resurrection, blessing his Apostles and disciples with his wounded hands of love.

One Saint who increased his love of Jesus by meditating on his life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, was St. Joseph of Cupertino. Although he struggled in his studies, he applied and was accepted into a religious community of Francis-cans in Italy.

There he experienced ecstasies of divine love and he some-times would levitate during his prayers. After many years of training in humility and theology, he was eventually ordained a deacon and then a priest. People would sometimes see him levi-tate while saying Holy Mass, which began to draw many people to Holy Mass. He was soon isolated because people were com-ing for Mass for the wrong reason. Instead of feeding Christ, and being fed by Christ, by giving themselves to Christ for his saving mission, they were only feeding their curiosity.

Being a wonder worker is a marvelous thing, but the greatest thing Fr. Joseph did was to allow God to use his body to feed Christ in the poor, comfort the lonely, forgive sins in confession and celebrate the Holy Mass by saying, “Take and eat, this is my body given up for you.”

God rewarded St. Joseph of Cupertino with a taste of hav-ing a glorified body, the ability to levitate, a degree of the qual-ity of “agility”, to fly upward toward heaven. That probably will not happen to us, but we can still feed Christ by receiving him with faithful hearts and bodies in the Sacraments, and feed him by serving the poor and lonely around us.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Thomas McCabe

PS Thank you for your Easter cards and gifts


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