The fist episode of ABC's Resurrection wrapped up about 20 minutes ago, and I am already eagerly awaiting the next. Anyone who truly knows me will tell you that I love my Sci-Fi (not "putting on costumes and attending conventions" love it; but "I've seen every episode, and every movie, of everything worth seeing, and thought about it more than I will ever admit" love it). This new fictional series imagines what would happen if the deceased residents of a small town (Arcadia, MO) started returning, bodily returning, to their loved ones. The mystery of course is how they are returning. The first episode focused on an eight year old boy, Jacob Langston. Jacob, who had drowned 32 years before, woke up in rice paddy field in China, with no understanding of how he got there; and made his way home to the parents who had gradually learned to live with his death. Fascinating premise, well-written, well-acted; it's my kind of Sci-Fi. And even better, it's an easy segue to talking about the Faith.
What this series terms "resurrection," is actually either resuscitation or reincarnation. Resuscitation is when medical personnel revive someone who has died; while reincarnation is the belief that the soul, or consciousness, can be transferred from one body to another. (From ABC's previews, it looks like the consciousness of the dead has been transferred into bodies that are flawless reproductions of their original bodies.)
Of course, this is nothing like what we Christians mean when, every Sunday, we say in the Nicene Creed, "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead." Our Faith is that we will be resurrected in the same manner as Jesus. Jesus was not simply resuscitated; and the body in which He showed Himself to the Apostles was the same one in which He had been crucified. It was the same body, but "glorified," transformed, raised to a higher state of life. It does not belong to this fallen world, but is a first glimpse of the new world, the impassible world, to be inaugurated at Christ's return. That is what we Christians are talking about when we say, "I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come"! (For those who would like to go deepr, here is a good reflection on the nature of the resurrected body by Monsignor Charles Pope.)