The second reading today screams of the glorious theology of our bodies! Our bodies are currently those that are “corruptible which will clothe itself with incorruptibility.” They are those “which are mortal that will cloth itself with immortality.” Our bodies were made to last forever…they were made for eternity. The death (corruptibility) of the human body was not something that God destined for us from the beginning of time (Original Man) It was only through that first/original sin that death entered the world (Historical Man) As Romans 5:12 tells us, “…sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned.” Death is a result of sin, yet as Christians we know that sin and death didn’t, and don’t, have the final say. No! There has been a triumphant victory over sin and death. Not by any battle that we have won, but “thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus is that victory! This victory is the reason why the “Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.” It’s the reason why “theology entered the body through the main door” (TOB 23:4).
For “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Eschatological Man). In other words, the incorruptible and immortal Word of God chose, out of love for humanity, to become and take on mortal and corruptible human flesh to cleanse, purify, and divinize it! “He who knew so sin became sin for us!” Jesus took on the sin of the entire world, which led to the most painful and bloody death of his body, only to then rise from the dead in the most glorious resurrection of His body, screaming and singing “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” It is in this event; the resurrection of His flesh, when human flesh was first covered and clothed in immortality and incorruptibility. This is because sin and death no longer had power over humanity. Therefore, because of Christ’s bodily resurrection and in it alone are our bodies able to share in His immortal and incorruptible nature. We become clothed with immortality and incorruptibility, because we are clothed with Christ! Our death is swallowed up in Christ’s victory! “If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17). This is truly a cause for singing!
Father Paul Houlis is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and currently serves as the Parochial Vicar at St. Paul Catholic Church in Ramsey, NJ. He has attended TOB I, TOB II (where he served as chaplain), TOB III, Theology of the Body & Art: The Way of Beauty, and the Theology of the Body & Priestly Identity courses.