When we die, our body and soul are separated for a time; the body is buried and returns to dust; the soul goes immediately to God to be judged, and is rewarded or punished depending on the good or bad we have done. Our Faith teaches us that our soul continues to live (because it is immortal) and goes to heaven, purgatory or hell, without the body. However, our Faith also tells us that on the Last Day our body will rise from the dead and be joined once more to our soul for all eternity.
No truth of the Catholic Faith is presented more clearly in Holy Scripture than the fact that we will live after death. “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth, And I shall be clothed again with my skin and in my flesh I shall see my God. This my hope is laid up in my bosom.” (Job xix, 25.) Daniel the Prophet speaks in a similar way: “Those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach, to see it always.” (xii, 2.)
The New Testament constantly refers to the resurrection of the body. In the Gospel of St. John, for example, we read: “Jesus said to Martha: ‘Thy brother shall rise again’. Martha said to Him: ‘I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day’. Jesus said to her: ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live’.” (John xi, 23.) During His public life, Jesus raised at least three persons from death to life. These three are recorded. There may have been many more.
Our Lord also predicted His own Resurrection from the dead, not once but many times (e.g., Matt. xx, 19). And it happened exactly as He had predicted (Luke xxiv, 39; John xx, 20). And, since He also predicted our resurrection, it follows that this prediction will likewise be fulfilled to the letter.
We don’t know exactly how all this will be accomplished. But, it will be.