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June 25th, 2013
Are we reincarnated after death?

Reincarnation is a concept embraced by Hinduism and Buddhism in which a person is born into a new body over and over again until the goal of liberation from the cycle of rebirth is reached. It goes hand in hand with a cyclical notion of time, in which the world constantly passes through cycles of creation, destruction and recreation. As ideas from these two Eastern traditions have become popularized in recent years, this notion has entered the Western imagination.

But for Christians, time is linear, moving in one direction towards the culmination of history in God. Jesus rose from the dead to make possible our new life with God; each of us is invited to share in the new life offered to us by Christ. We affirm this belief when we pray in the Nicene Creed: “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” The Church teaches that each human being has a unique and immortal soul. In death the soul is separated from the body; in the resurrection the soul is reunited with its glorified body. This is not simply being born into a new body in the same world we knew before. Rather, it is a sharing in God’s life. Jesus himself described it only in metaphor as the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven, etc. We do not become someone new again and again — instead we become who we truly are for the first time and forevermore. Life with God in the fullness of time is beyond our ability even to imagine. To learn more about what Catholics believe about the resurrection of the body, click here.

from Neela Kale and the Busted Halo Question Box

Photo credit: Peter Zentjens


Today’s homework assignment: Take time today to think about resurrection in your own life. What sort of old everyday things do you carry around that you need to let go of in order to live life anew? Do you hold on to old opinions or grudges that hurt others; old patterns of living that breed only bad; or an old relationship that no longer gives life? Tell us about the resurrection moments in your life in the comments section below.

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