The Risen Body

His experience living with the L'Arche community in Toronto once led Fr. Henri Nouwen to offer a reflection on why it is so very important that we understand the resurrection of Jesus--as well as our own resurrection--as the "resurrection of the body":

One reason is that the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the basis for the Christian attitude toward the human body. If the body is only a prison room from which we must be freed, then care for the hungry, the sick, the dying, prisoners, and refugees can no longer be seen as care for the body that is called to share in the glory of God.The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the most profound basis for the sacredness of all human flesh and the most compelling argument for reverencing all forms of life. For Jean Vanier at LArche, the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the most precious of Christian truths. I can see why. Daily physical contact with severely handicapped people has put him in touch with the mystery of the human body. Their often very distorted bodies are not simply temporary dwelling places of an eternal spirit, but the sacred ground of the resurrected life. Washing, dressing, feeding and supporting handicapped people is a holy vocation when we know that their bodies, like ours, are destined to share in the resurrection of Jesus.

This quote is taken from Seeds of Hope: A Henri Nouwen Reader, edited by Robert Durback. I highly recommend it.

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