Monday, June 13, 2011
Space, time, and glorified bodies
I've been thinking about resurrected bodies. Flesh glorified.
The pondering began last week as we read about the Ascension. It is a conundrum to consider Jesus still enfleshed, fully human, fully divine, somewhere in a "place" called heaven. His body is simultaneously broken on the cross, hidden in all the tabernacles of the world, and fully and wonderfully glorified in heaven.
So many mysteries...
If I were a physicist I would work with joy toward a physical explanation of how this is possible. Some new understanding of spacetime, of string theory M evolving into N O P and Q, and then from string to liquid, and liquid to mist.
Instead I sit and ponder.
Last night it came to mind again, this enigma of glorified bodies, as I prayed the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary. I thought about the fourth mystery, Mary's ascension into heaven. I thought about the angels and saints waiting with joy to greet her, this amazing person who's fiat wrought so much change. Most of these beings were incorporeal, with only three exceptions: Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus himself.
I wonder why our triune God decided to give Mary and the other two humans a taste of what the rest of us will only discover at the end of time?
I went on to think about Peter and the sons of thunder on the mountain, with Jesus transfigured, communing with Elijah and Moses.
Unlike Elijah, Moses died a traditional death and was buried. And yet there he stood with the others, similarly glorified.
I think the disciples walked up the mountain and stepped outside of time for a moment, and into a time to come. They saw Christ as He would be post-resurrection; shining like the sun. They saw Elijah, still in the bodily form he'd had when the wheels drew him up into the sky. And they saw Moses also in bodily form, though his body would have long since turned to dust.
The boys undoubtedly received a foretaste of resurrection to help equip them for the work of spreading the gospel. But for me it is says so much more than just that.
(Though "that" is no small thing.)
For me the story says "Wonder."
Don't be afraid to think "how can this be?" Not in the way you would think it if you were told that a purple Leprechaun just brought you a pot of gold. But in the way that you think about the colors of a sunset, knowing there is an explanation and wondering what it is.
And know that Pascal, Newton, Magnus, Bacon, Kelvin, Henrietta Swan-Leavitt, Florensky, Milne, Einstein, Jaki, and Sandich anticipate their own glorified bodies, watching and urging us on to keep searching.