Mystery of the flesh

Daily Reading for May 5

We are taught by the slight lack of faith shown by the blessed Thomas that the mystery of the resurrection is effected on our earthly bodies and in Christ as the firstfruits of the human race. He was no phantom or ghost, fashioned in human shape, simulating the features of humanity, nor yet, as others have foolishly surmised, a spiritual body that is compounded of a subtle and ethereal substance different from the flesh. For some attach this meaning to the expression “spiritual body.” Since all our expectation and the significance of our irrefutable faith, after the confession of the holy and consubstantial Trinity, centers in the mystery concerning the flesh, the blessed Evangelist has very pertinently put this saying of Thomas side by side with the summary of what preceded. For observe that Thomas does not simply desire to see the Lord but looks for the marks of the nails, that is, the wounds on his body. For he affirmed that then, indeed, he would believe and agree with the rest that Christ had indeed risen again, and risen in the flesh.

From Commentary on the Gospel of John by Cyril of Alexandria, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament IVb, John 11-21, edited by Joel C. Elowsky (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007).

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