Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church
(Ezekiel 37:1-14; Matthew 22:34-40)
At the end of the movie Titanic the sunken boat is gloriously resurfaced and reconstructed. Then the whole cast reappears to celebrate in the ship’s grand ballroom. We may consider the scene a poetic fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy in the first reading. New life is breathed into the remnants of a people and a place that were devastated out of hubris.
Christians should view the postlude of Titanic as well as today’s episode of Ezekiel as metaphors of the general resurrection of the dead. At the end of time our tombs will be vacated as our bodies come together again with the life principle (the soul) in eternity. Perhaps because it is too wonderful to contemplate, we often forget that our eternal destiny goes far beyond spiritual survival at death and thus blithely abandon the hope of bodily resurrection. Taking the doctrine to heart, we will want to care for our bodies as well as our souls.