From the: CATHOLIC DICTIONARY The Catholic Press, Inc. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Imprimatur + Samuel Cardinal Stritch Archbishop of Chicago - Chicago, August 5, 1950
Resurrection of Christ. The greatest of all Christ's miracles and the proof of His divine mission. For although He worked many other wonders, yet without His Resurrection, as Saint Paul states (1 Cor. 15:17), our faith would be vain and we would still be in our sins. The reason for this is that resurrection from the dead was the sign which Christ Himself promised as the proof of His divine mission (Matt. 12:38 - 41; John 2:19), and had He failed to return to life on the third day He would have been convicted of being an imposter. His enemies, the priests and Pharisees, understood full well the importance of this sign, and therefore took precautions to seal the tomb and post guards (Matt. 27:62 - 66). Since these arrangements excluded the possibility of fraud, they thereby increased for posterity the certainty of the miracle. The Resurrection was not an apparent return or a mere hallucination of the Apostles, but resumption by Christ of His human body. It is a historical fact attested by witnesses who could neither deceive, wish to deceive, nor be deceived. Those whom the Bible mentions as having seen the Risen Christ include: Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome; the Apostles; Cleophas and another disciple at Emmaus; Saint Paul; more than 500 disciples. Of the fact of Christ's Resurrection, therefore, there can be no doubt (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). The Apostles bore witness to it constantly; in fact, it formed the basis of their entire preaching (e.g., Acts 2:24-32; 2 Cor. 5:15; 2 Tim. 2:8). Not only is it the foundation of our faith; it is also the pledge and example of our own resurrection. Easter Sunday is the Feast of the Resurrection. Resurrection of the Body. The doctrine that the souls of all men, both good and bad, will be reunited to their bodies at the second coming of Christ. Just as the body shares in the good acts or in the sins of the soul in this life, so it will share in its reward or in its punishment in eternity. Each soul will be reunited, by the power of God, to identically the same body which it inhabited in this life. The risen body, will be without any defect of human nature and will be invested with the special qualities of the glorified body. This doctrine is the 11th article of the Creed, and one of the principal doctrines of our Faith. This consoling truth was known to the orthodox Jews of the Old Testament (2 Mach. 7:9-11) and was more clearly and emphatically taught by Our Lord on various occasions (Matt. 22:23-32; John 5: 28-29). Indeed, by Himself rising from the dead, Christ gave us a pattern and a pledge of our own resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20-23; 1 Thess. 4:13); for at His command on the last day our bodies will be restored to us in a condition like to His own glorified body: subject to our souls, and immune from decay, suffering, and death (1 Cor. 15:42-44).