Q. Something I heard recently at Mass bothered me. The priest, reading from the Scriptures, said: “God raised Jesus from the dead.” While this statement doesn’t exactly dispute Jesus’s divinity, it certainly doesn’t affirm it – and it could easily be construed as a denial of Christ’s divine nature. Could you comment? 

A. You heard the priest correctly. He may have been quoting from Luke in the Acts of the Apostles (2:23-24): “This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it.”

Neither this quote – nor any scriptural passage – negates the divinity of Jesus. The belief of the Church is that the resurrection of Jesus involved all three persons of the Trinity.

Galatians 1:1 speaks of “God the Father who raised him (Jesus) from the dead”; Romans 8:11 attributes the resurrection to the Holy Spirit; and in the Gospel of John (2:19), Jesus – speaking of his body – says: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” So, the act of raising Jesus from the dead was not accomplished by only one person of the Trinity but was the work of all three.

Q. I recently learned that my ex-wife is going to remarry. My children and I have many questions as to how this affects us. If my wife and I divorced and the marriage was never annulled by the Church, how will this affect our chances for paradise, and what scandal is brought about by this type of behavior? Also, will my ex-wife be considered in good standing by the Catholic Church, and can she receive holy Communion? (I certainly understand the legal and civil consequences of all this, but it is the sacramental effects that concern me and my children.) 

A. Your wife’s decision to remarry will have no effect on your children’s chances for heaven – or on yours. We are morally responsible only for our own behavior, and neither you nor your children will have prompted your ex-wife’s decision to remarry.

As you correctly understand, the Catholic Church’s view is that marriage is a lifelong commitment and covenant. Since your marriage was never annulled by the Church, your former spouse is not eligible in the Church’s eyes to remarry.

If she does so, her new marriage will not be recognized by the Catholic Church; therefore, she will not be in good standing in the Church and will no longer be eligible to receive holy Communion at a Catholic Mass.

Finally, I should point out that you and your children do have a continuing obligation to your former wife and your children’s mother – and that is to continue to pray for her, that God will bless her with his grace and draw her more closely to himself.

Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at [email protected] and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.