dispelling doubts about the resurrection
"He had the resurrection of the dead in view." —2 Maccabees 12:43
One of Jesus' most amazing revelations was that He is the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25) and that He will raise us from the dead. However, many Christians in Corinth didn't believe in the resurrection. They asked Paul: "How are the dead to be raised up?" (1 Cor 15:35) They reasoned that, if Paul was unsure about the details of the resurrection, this would cast doubt on the whole idea of resurrection.
The Sadducees tried the same tactics by posing the problem to Jesus that, if a woman married seven times, "at the resurrection, whose wife will she be?" (Lk 20:33) They figured if Jesus wasn't clear about the relationship between marriage and the resurrected life, then faith in our resurrection was implausible.
Another confusion about the resurrection was based on the Biblical teaching that we must be holy to see God (Heb 12:14). Because no one seems able to meet the standard, the question arises: Why would we be raised from the dead, if we aren't holy enough to go to heaven?
To answer these questions, the Holy Spirit taught the early Church about purgatory and praying for the dead. This was a practical affirmation of the truth that Jesus will raise us from the dead.
Prayer: "Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them."
Promise: "Happy now are the dead who die in the Lord!" —Rv 14:13
Praise: Believing in the Church's teaching concerning purgatory, Laura, a young teen, has a special devotion to those holy souls.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Judgment Day on audio AV 75-3 or video V-75.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010
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