Messages from Deacon Matthew

November 3, 2019
The Living Dead

“THE LIVING DEAD”I was forced to use this paradoxical phrase when I met a Protestant man whose charity was stunning to me but who wanted to make me “a believer”. When he noticed that I was a Catholic, he asked me why we “pray to the saints”. Note: Praying to the saints is an analogical statement for asking the intercession of the saints. It is not used in the same sense as praying to God. When I reminded my Protestant friend that the scripture asks us to pray for one another, he said, “but that does not include the dead.” I almost tore my garment like the high priest in Matthew 26:65 because no blasphemy from an ignorant Christian could be compared to this. He did not know that he was destroying the very foundation of Christian faith (cf. 1 Cor 15:17) which he himself professes. To call the saints dead is to reject the hope of resurrection!

Think of it this way: when human beings die, they neither turn to angels nor to any other beings. They still remain human beings even in heaven. Now, since we still await the day of the resurrection when all those who have died shall rise (cf. I Corinthians 15: 51-52) what do you think is the condition of countless holy men and women who have died considering that flesh and blood, according to St Paul, cannot inherit the kingdom of God (cf. I Corinthians 15:50)? Would they have gone to remain in the world of the dead which Christ had already emptied before his resurrection? No! They are in heaven! If they are in heaven as human beings and human beings ought to have a body to truly be what they are, what body do they have now if the resurrection of the body will occur in the second coming of Christ? The truth is that they share the same body with Christ who ascended into heaven with his human body. Can you see why the saints are the triumphant Church which is the body of Christ? Can you now understand what Jesus meant when he said in John 11:25 “I am the resurrection and life, whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die....” The saints are the “living dead”. They share in the life of Christ in heaven and so can pray for us the same way any other member of the Church can.

Deacon Matthew Nwafor

Infant of Prague Catholic Church

214 Marine Blvd.

Jacksonville, NC 28540


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Last Updated  11/17/19