Easter Monday: The Wonderful Prerogatives of Our Lord’s Glorified Body
by Rev. Bruno Vercruysse, 1859
1st Prel: Represent to yourself the glorified body of Jesus.
2d Prel: Ask for grace to comprehend the perfections of our Lord’s glorified body, and to have our share in them with Him on the great day of the Resurrection.
Point I: The Immortality and Impassibility of Our Lord’s Body
Consideration.– As soon as our Lord’s soul was reunited to His body, the latter received the property of impassibility. This body, formerly subject to all human infirmities — cold, hunger, weariness, the pains and sorrows of death — became absolutely impassible and immortal; “Mors illi ultra non dominabitur.” “Death shall no more have dominion over Him.” (Rom. 6:9.)
Application.– How had Jesus, as man, merited such glorious gifts? By His death and sufferings, endured for His Father’s glory and man’s salvation.. We shall receive the same gifts on the like conditions; therefore, why should we so greatly fear death? Let us sanctify our sufferings by accepting them, as well as death itself, with entire resignation to the will of our Heavenly Father, offering them up in expiation of our sins, and those of others, after the example of our Divine Lord. The more we suffer with Him, the larger our share in the wonderful perfections of His glorified body. Happy the Christian, happy the religious, who bears this in mind! How great will be his courage, how perfect his submission, under every affliction! Let us endeavor so to live that we may be of this happy number.
Affections.– Make acts of faith in these consoling truths. Ask of God the grace to have them ever present to your mind.
Resolutions.– In all hardship and bodily suffering, I will bear in mind these words of the Apostle: “We look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory.” (Philip. 3 : 20, 21.)
Point II: The Spirituality and Agility of Our Lord’s Glorified Body
Consideration.– A spiritual body is one that has spiritual properties, such as the power of penetrating matter, of passing at a single act of the will from one place to another, at whatever distance; how, or in what way, we can not comprehend, much less explain. Nevertheless, such were the properties of our Lord’s glorified body. He proved that He possessed them by appearing several times in the midst of the disciples, as St. John relates, although “cum fores erant clausae, propter metum Judaeorum.” “The doors were shut, for fear of the Jews.” (St. John 20: 19.)
Application.– Such, again, will be the perfection of the glorified bodies of the just after the resurrection, and for all eternity in heaven. I shall one day partake of them; the hope and assurance of it are given to me by St. Paul in these words, “Seminatur corpus animale, surget corpus spirituale.” “It is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body.” (1. Cor. 15:44;) provided that I endeavor to live a spiritual life. “Si facta carnis mortificaveritis.” “If by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live,” (Rom. 8: 13,) as the Apostle St. Paul expresses it. Does my conscience testify that I have done this?
Affections.– I will rejoice from my heart, and endeavor to animate my devotion by dwelling on these pious and consoling considerations suggested by the mysteries of the Paschal time.
Resolutions.– I will ask myself frequently in the words of Thomas a Kempis: “To what end camest thou hither? Was it not that thou mightest become a spiritual man?” (Imit. i. Book, xxv.)
Point III: The Lucidity of Our Lord’s Glorified Body
Consideration.–Those that would walk securely in the dark must provide themselves with a light. For Jesus risen there is no more darkness. His glorified body is its own light. The splendors of His divinity, flowing from His soul to His body, have made Him more radiant than the sun at noonday. The Apostles had once before seen something of this glory, on the day of His transfiguration.
Application.– If I share the resurrection of the just, such will also be the radiance of my body; the more brilliant in proportion to the mortifications to which it has been subjected, and the labors it has endured for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Colloquy with God the Father. Thank Him for the privileges granted to the humanity of the Incarnate Word, our beloved Saviour. Beg of Him grace to prepare yourself for impassibility and immortality by invincible constancy in your good resolutions; for spirituality and agility by facility and promptitude in penetrating the mysteries of faith and the secrets of the spiritual life; and in fine, for lucidity by the light of good example and edification.