Aim: To become aware of the original beauty and ultimate call of our human body.
Body endowed with immortality (LEW 38): “Man and woman’s entire beings were bright without shadow, beautiful without blemish, pure without stain, perfectly proportioned without deformity, flaw, or imperfection. Their mind, gifted with the light of wisdom, understood perfectly both Creator and creature. The grace of God was in their soul making them innocent and pleasing to the most High God. Their body was endowed with immortality. They had the pure love of God in their heart without any fear of death, for they loved God ceaselessly, without wavering and purely for God himself. In short, man and woman were so godlike, so absorbed and rapt in God that they had no unruly passions to subdue and no enemies to overcome. Such was the generosity shown to man and woman by eternal Wisdom and such was the happiness that they enjoyed in their state of innocence”.
The Risen Body of Jesus (Lk 24:36-43): While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you”. They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have”. And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
The Assumption of Mary (Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus: Defining the Dogma of the Assumption, 1950): “Hence the revered Mother of God, […] like her own Son, having overcome death, was taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendour at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages”.
Our body is the most miraculous creation we possess. It creates and brings forth new physical life. It allows us to experience the sensual pleasures and delights of the earth. It transports us around on the planet. It gives us the opportunity to express joy through dance, movement, and play. It allows us to have the experience of physical health and vitality. It helps define our personal identity. It allows us to express our ideas, feelings and visions. It allows us to physically experience the life-energy that flows throughout the universe. It allows us to learn the lessons of the earth and, through them, grow and evolve. Our bodies are our sacred homes.
St. Louis-Marie de Montfort states emphatically that our body is “endowed with immortality”. In fact, Jesus Christ, by appearing to his disciples in his risen and glorified body, assures us that he has defeated the power of evil – often manifested through the weakness of our body – and reminds us that “glory” is the ultimate call of our body too. In this regard, Mary, our sister in humanity, is the first beneficiary of this truth as well as the star that guarantees the right direction toward our goal.
Personal Reflection and Sharing
How do I relate with my body? What images come to my mind when I think about it?
Do I have a plan for maintaining it in good living and working condition?
How do I envision my body five, ten, twenty years from now? How do I envision it after the death of my present body?