Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-27

Our Future

Popular Translation

20 Christ has been raised from the dead. What happened to him shows what will happen to everyone who has died. 21-22 After all, when Adam sinned, the result was death for everyone. But, when Jesus rose from the dead, everyone was offered new life. 23 So, this is how the end of the world will happen. First, Christ rose from the dead. Second, the followers of Christ will rise and will be with him. Then, the finale will come when he will take everyone's power away and hands over his Kingdom to God the Father. 25 Christ needs to rule until the time he completely subdues his enemies. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death itself! 27 "God will put everything under his feet." When the bible writer said "putting everything under his feet," he clearly meant that the One who placed everything under his own feet was an exception.

Literal Translation

20 But now, CHRIST has been risen from the dead, the beginning (point) of those having fallen asleep (in death). 21 For, since death (is) through a man, also the raising of the dead (is) through a MAN. 22 For indeed, everyone died in Adam, so also everyone will come alive in CHRIST. 23 (This will happen,) however, each in its own order: CHRIST, the beginning (point), then those of CHRIST, in HIS presence, then the finale, 24 when HE can give the Kingdom over to God and Father, when HE can do away with all rule and authority and power. 25 For, it is necessary for HIM to rule as KING until which (time) HE can place all enemies under HIS feet. 26 The last enemy destroyed is death. 27 For "he subjected all under his feet." But, when he should say that "all have been subjected," (it is) clear that (HE is) beyond all having been subjected to HIM.

What is our future? In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul defended the notion of the resurrection and clearly laid out his vision for the future. Death represented the past. Resurrection represented the future. Notice the irony of the process. As Christ was raised from the dead, so shall his followers experience the same new life. With the resurrection comes the defeat of all cosmic powers that support death ("when HE can do away with all rule and authority and power"). The end times cumulate with the utter destruction of evil ("For, it is necessary for HIM to rule as KING until which (time) HE can place all enemies under HIS feet. ") and its result, death. Resurrection kills death itself!

This brief summary previews the victory of ultimate good over evil. It is appropriate that the Assumption of Mary represents this process. With the resurrection of Christ, the process of victory has begun. Belief in the Assumption of Mary is a belief that this process has not been impeded. Just as Paul implicitly described the salvation of the Church, in the Assumption of Mary, we believe the Church has been saved. For if only one follower has received the fulfillment of the promises, then the rest of us, the Church, have hope.

One wag answered the charge that Catholics do not believe in the Rapture, the notion that the Church will be taken away into heaven before the Tribulation. The wag said that Catholics do believe in the Rapture. It is called the Assumption of Mary. While the Church does not teach it will escape persecution, it does teach that we will join Christ someday and be as he is now. Belief in the Assumption of Mary reflects that hope. How does belief in the Assumption of Mary strengthen your faith in the resurrection and the destruction of evil?