The Resurrection of the Dead

For All Souls Day, from Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life by Joseph Ratzinger:

"The Body of Christ" means that all human beings are one organism, the destiny of the whole the proper destiny of each. True enough, the decisive outcome of each person's life is settled in death, at the close of their earthly activity. Thus everyone is judged and reaches his or her definitive destiny after death. But their final place in the whole can be determined only when the total organism is complete, when the passio and actio of history have come to their end. And so the gathering together of the whole will be an act that leaves no person unaffected. Only at that juncture can the definitive general judgment take place, judging each one in terms of the whole and giving him or her that just place which they can receive only in conjunction with all the rest.

Robert P. Imbelli, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is the author of Rekindling the Christic Imagination.

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