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156 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

All the dead will rise when Jesus comes again to judge the living

and the dead. In the final resurrection, our bodies will be transformed,

though we do not know precisely how. The manner of our resurrection

exceeds our understanding and imagination and is accessible only to

our faith.

But someone may say, “How are the dead raised? With what

kind of body will they come back?” You fool! What you

sow is not brought to life unless it dies. And what you sow

is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel of wheat, per-

haps or of some other kind. . . . It is sown corruptible, it is

raised incorruptible. . . . The dead will be raised incorruptible.

. . . For that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incor-

ruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with

immortality. (1 Cor 15:35-37, 42, 52, 53)

Every time we attend a funeral vigil or Mass, view a deceased body

at a wake, or pass by a cemetery, we are reminded of this simple and

profound article of the Creed, the belief in the resurrection of the body.

It is a sobering belief, because it reminds us of the judgment yet to

come, and at the same time it is a joyful belief that heralds life everlast-

ing with God.


The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns

in glory.

—CCC, no. 1040

Immediately after death, each person comes before God and is judged

individually (the particular judgment) and enters heaven, Purgatory, or

hell. Yet at the end of time when Christ returns in glory, a final judgment

will occur when all are raised from the dead and assembled before God;

then their relationship to him is made public (the general judgment).

The judgment scene in the Gospel of Matthew is perhaps the most

accessible way to appreciate the Last Judgment. “When the Son of Man