Philippine Daily Inquirer

Because God is God


A dedicated school principal died a virgin at age 58 and was buried literally untouched by human hands-without embalming, in accordance with her wish. I have no idea how her family managed to have her body viewed in a three-night wake without posing a health risk to the mourners. A former superior of mine, a widow and a doctor of medicine, at her death bed instructed her children not to cremate her body (as the children had preferred) for she believed in the resurrecti­on of the body. Decades earlier I had heard a similar death bed wish from a man who also didn't want cremation because, as he told his children, "How can my body be resurrecte­d if you burn me?"

With due respect to the memory of our beloved dead, we who also believe in the resurrecti­on promised by our Lord take it for the mystery that it is. We also believe that God has the power to resurrect us, regardless of the manner our life ends-whether it be serenely at a hospital bed, alone in a remote mountain cottage and consumed by rodents, at a plane crash, on a cruise ship sinking a la Titanic, or as a foreign journalist beheaded by ISIS. Morbid thoughts, yes, but the resurrecti­on mystery remains to be embraced.

I personally wish to be cremated-to remind one and all: ashes to ashes, dust to dust-but really it's up to those I leave behind to do what's in line with their beliefs. What's more important is how I live each day according to His will, for I so believe that should He wish to show himself to me after I die, I'm sure I will not be like Thomas who must poke His would in order to believe. Because God is God, period.

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