TOB Tuesday: Glorify God in your Body

ChelseaReligion, Theology of the Body, TOB TuesdayLeave a Comment

I came up with the subject for this week’s TOB (Theology of the Body) Tuesday after listening to the second reading at Mass this Sunday:

1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Brothers and sisters:
The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord,
and the Lord is for the body;
God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.
Avoid immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body,
but the immoral person sins against his own body.
Do you not know that your body
is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
For you have been purchased at a price.
Therefore glorify God in your body

Did you know that the body was so important? This is at the heart of JP II’s Theology of the Body.

There is a modern sort of dualism these days that suggests that human beings are essentially made up of two separate natures – we have a body and a soul and what we do with one doesn’t necessarily have to do with the other – mostly, what we do with our bodies isn’t nearly as important as our souls or who we are inside. (Case in point: a former priest friend of mine was having a conversation one day with a girl who described herself as an “exotic dancer.” When he asked her how she felt about men using her for their own selfish gratification, she said, “oh, they’re not using me, just my body.” In other words, her body and her stripping had nothing to do with who she was as a person.)

But man is an incarnate spirit with one human nature. In his Letter to Families, JP II explains that man

“is a person in the unity of his body and his spirit. The body can never be reduced to mere matter: it is a spiritualized body, just as man’s spirit is so closely united to the body that he can be described as an embodied spirit”

Death may separate the body and soul, but this is not the be all and end all of human life. Hot on the heels of Christ’s glorious second coming, all of the dead are destined for the resurrection of their bodies in which their souls will once again dwell for all eternity!

There is a reason they say “actions speak louder than words.” That is because it is precisely our bodies and what we do with them that reveal “who we are on the inside” and much more! The pope writes:

“The body, in fact, and only the body, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden from eternity in God, and thus to be a sign of it.” (TOB 19:4)

Here is how Christopher West demonstrates it during his talks (note: what’s cut off at the beginning of the clip is West telling the audience to “look at Paul’s body”)

The body matters. What we do with our bodies matters. This is especially true in light of the mystery of the Word made flesh. In Christ the “whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Through this fact, the Pope says, the human body “entered theology…through the main door” (TOB 23:4)

Read more:
What Makes the Body “Theological”?
The Resurrection of Our Bodies
What is the Theology of the Body & Why is it Changing so Many Lives?

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