November 2, The Commemoration of all the Departed Faithful
The final resurrection
Then Job answered and said: Oh, would that my words were written down! Would that they were inscribed in a record: That with an iron chisel and with lead they were cut in the rock forever! But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he will at last stand forth upon the dust; And from my flesh I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing. Whom I myself shall see: my own eyes, not another’s, shall behold him, Job 19,1.23-27
And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it (on) the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him (on) the last day.” Jn 6,39-40
These two passages of the Scriptures, the first from the book of Job and the second from the gospel of John, are one more consoling than the other: one enlightens us on what it will happen by the end of our days on the earth, the other announces our resurrection by the end of the times. We do not know when it will happen, but it will happen. At the end of the life – Job says – when all the dust we have raised in our days on the earth will be deposited, we will see God as he is and that vision will constitute the essence of the heaven for the eternity. A legend narrates that, one day, a monk in a convent, thinking of the heaven as the eternal vision of God, exclaimed: “I wonder how boring it will be watching God face to face for the eternity”. While he was absorbed in these thoughts, he stood up and his legs carried him into a thicket surrounding the convent, from which the song of a nightingale was coming. He stood to listen for a certain time and in the end, when he returned to the convent, no one knew him anymore and he did not remember none of the monks present thereby. Going to rummage into the papers of the past, they found that that monk had lived four hundred years earlier. “Now the Lord – the monk said – has explained to me what is the heaven. If, by listening the song of a nightingale, four hundred years elapsed without my noticing, how will I get bored of the vision of God for the eternity?”. While this will happen in the heaven, in the dimension of the world – the gospel of John says – the time will flow, which, at some point, will end and there will be the second coming, the glorious return of Christ, with the final resurrection of the bodies. We do not know how all this will happen, but, being Jesus of Nazareth resurrected, also our body on a certain day will resurrect again. It will be a big feast because we have been fond of our body, first young and then aged in the years, which allowed us to lift all the dust of which Job speaks. This tells us the today readings and this is our certainty.