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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE FIFTH ARTICLE (CONTINUED): "The third day He arose again from the
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THE FIFTH ARTICLE (CONTINUED): "The third day He arose again from the

dead."

 

We must necessarily know two things: the glory of God and the punishment of

hell. For being attracted by His glory and made fearful by punishments, we

take warning and withdraw ourselves from sin. But for us to appreciate

these facts is very difficult. Thus, it is said of God's glory: "But the

things that are in heaven, who shall search out?"1 For those who are

worldly minded this is indeed difficult, because "he that is of the earth,

of the earth he is, and of the earth he speaketh;"2 but it is easier for

the spiritually minded, because, "he that cometh from above is above all,"

as is said in the same place. Accordingly, God descended from heaven and

became incarnate to teach us heavenly things. Once it was difficult to know

about the punishments of hell: "no man hath been known to have returned

from hell,"3 as it is said in the person of the wicked. But this cannot be

said now, for just as Christ descended from heaven to teach us heavenly

things, so also He came back from the region of hell to teach us about it.

It is, therefore, necessary that we believe not only that Christ was made

man, and died, but also that He arose again from the dead. Therefore, it is

said in the Creed: "The third day He arose again from the dead."

 

We find that many arose from the dead, such as Lazarus,4 the son of the

widow,5 and the daughter of the Ruler of the synagogue.6 But the

resurrection of Christ differed from the resurrection of these and of all

others in four points.

 




1. Wis., ix. 16.

 



2. John, iii. 31.

 



3. Wisd., ii. 1.

 



4. John, xi 1-44

 



5. Luke, vii. 11-16.

 



6. Mark, v. 35-43.

 






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