Victory after a fight

"In the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall arise again incorrupt"that is, whole"and we shall be changed." We are then told what kind of change there will be: "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, and when this corruptible has put on incorruption and this mortal has put on immortality, then will come to pass the word that has been written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? (1 Cor 15:51-55) For although the first fruits of the mind have begun in us now so that we desire Jerusalem, many things from the corruptible flesh now fight against us which will not fight us when death is swallowed up in victory. Peace will triumph, and the war will come to an end. And when peace triumphs, that city will triumph which is called Vision of Peace. Death will no longer fight us. But for now how many of deaths things we still have to fight! From death come the carnal delights that prompt us to many unlawful things. Even if we do not consent to them, we have to struggle not to consent to them. At first, the desires of the flesh lead us and we follow willingly; later they drag us though we resist them; then when we have received grace, they begin neither to lead nor to drag us but still fight against us; victory comes only after a fight. Even if they assault you, dont let them subdue you. Later, when death is swallowed up in victory, they will cease to fight. What is that text? "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death." (Augustine, EnPs 64[65] 4; PL 36, 775)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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