Summa - Supplement 1520
We must next consider the cause of our resurrection. Under this head there are three points of inquiry:
(1) Whether Christ's resurrection is the cause of our resurrection?
(2) Whether the sound of the trumpet is?
(3) Whether the angels are?
Objection 1: It would seem that the resurrection of Christ is not the cause of our resurrection. For, given the cause, the effect follows. Yet given the resurrection of Christ the resurrection of the other dead did not follow at once. Therefore His resurrection is not the cause of ours.
Objection 2: Further, an effect cannot be unless the cause precede. But the resurrection of the dead would be even if Christ had not risen again: for God could have delivered man in some other way. Therefore Christ's resurrection is not the cause of ours.
Objection 3: Further, the same thing produces the one effect throughout the one same species. Now the resurrection will be common to all men. Since then Christ's resurrection is not its own cause, it is not the cause of the resurrection of others.
Objection 4: Further, an effect retains some likeness to its cause. But the resurrection, at least of some, namely the wicked, bears no likeness to the resurrection of Christ. Therefore Christ's resurrection will not be the cause of theirs.
On the contrary, "In every genus that which is first is the cause of those that come after it" (Metaph. ii, 1). Now Christ, by reason of His bodily resurrection, is called "the first-fruits of them that sleep" (1Co 15,20), and "the first-begotten of the dead" (Ap 1,5). Therefore His resurrection is the cause of the resurrection of others.
Further, Christ's resurrection has more in common with our bodily resurrection than with our spiritual resurrection which is by justification. But Christ's resurrection is the cause of our justification, as appears from Rm 4,25, where it is said that He "rose again for our justification." Therefore Christ's resurrection is the cause of our bodily resurrection.
I answer that, Christ by reason of His nature is called the mediator of God and men: wherefore the Divine gifts are bestowed on men by means of Christ's humanity. Now just as we cannot be delivered from spiritual death save by the gift of grace bestowed by God, so neither can we be delivered from bodily death except by resurrection wrought by the Divine power. And therefore as Christ, in respect of His human nature, received the firstfruits of grace from above, and His grace is the cause of our grace, because "of His fulness we all have received . . . grace for grace" (Jn 1,16), so in Christ has our resurrection begun, and His resurrection is the cause of ours. Thus Christ as God is, as it were, the equivocal cause of our resurrection, but as God and man rising again, He is the proximate and, so to say, the univocal cause of our resurrection. Now a univocal efficient cause produces its effect in likeness to its own form, so that not only is it an efficient, but also an exemplar cause in relation to that effect. This happens in two ways. For sometimes this very form, whereby the agent is likened to its effect, is the direct principle of the action by which the effect is produced, as heat in the fire that heats: and sometimes it is not the form in respect of which this likeness is observed, that is primarily and directly the principle of that action, but the principles of that form. For instance, if a white man beget a white man, the whiteness of the begetter is not the principle of active generation, and yet the whiteness of the begetter is said to be the cause of the whiteness of the begotten, because the principles of whiteness in the begetter are the generative principles causing whiteness in the begotten. In this way the resurrection of Christ is the cause of our resurrection, because the same thing that wrought the resurrection of Christ, which is the univocal efficient cause of our resurrection, is the active cause of our resurrection, namely the power of Christ's Godhead which is common to Him and the Father. Hence it is written (Rm 8,11): "He that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies." And this very resurrection of Christ by virtue of His indwelling Godhead is the quasi-instrumental cause of our resurrection: since the Divine operations were wrought by means of Christ's flesh, as though it were a kind of organ; thus the Damascene instances as an example (De Fide Orth. iii, 15) the touch of His body whereby He healed the leper (Mt 8,3).
Reply to Objection 1: A sufficient cause produces at once its effect to which it is immediately directed, but not the effect to which it is directed by means of something else, no matter how sufficient it may be: thus heat, however intense it be, does not cause heat at once in the first instant, but it begins at once to set up a movement towards heat, because heat is its effect by means of movement. Now Christ's resurrection is said to be the cause of ours, in that it works our resurrection, not immediately, but by means of its principle, namely the Divine power which will work our resurrection in likeness to the resurrection of Christ. Now God's power works by means of His will which is nearest to the effect; hence it is not necessary that our resurrection should follow straightway after He has wrought the resurrection of Christ, but that it should happen at the time which God's will has decreed.
Reply to Objection 2: God's power is not tied to any particular second causes, but that He can produce their effects either immediately or by means of other causes: thus He might work the generation of lower bodies even though there were no movement of the heaven: and yet according to the order which He has established in things, the movement of the heaven is the cause of the generation of the lower bodies. In like manner according to the order appointed to human things by Divine providence, Christ's resurrection is the cause of ours: and yet He could have appointed another order, and then our resurrection would have had another cause ordained by God.
Reply to Objection 3: This argument holds when all the things of one species have the same order to the first cause of the effect to be produced in the whole of that species. But it is not so in the case in point, because Christ's humanity is nearer to His Godhead, Whose power is the first cause of the resurrection, than is the humanity of others. Hence Christ's Godhead caused His resurrection immediately, but it causes the resurrection of others by means of Christ-man rising again.
Reply to Objection 4: The resurrection of all men will bear some resemblance to Christ's resurrection, as regards that which pertains to the life of nature, in respect of which all were conformed to Christ. Hence all will rise again to immortal life; but in the saints who were conformed to Christ by grace, there will be conformity as to things pertaining to glory.
Objection 1: It would seem that the sound of the trumpet will not be the cause of our resurrection. For the Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv): "Thou must believe that the resurrection will take place by God's will, power, and nod." Therefore since these are a sufficient cause of our resurrection, we ought not to assign the sound of the trumpet as a cause thereof.
Objection 2: Further, it is useless to make sounds to one who cannot hear. But the dead will not have hearing. Therefore it is unfitting to make a sound to arouse them.
Objection 3: Further, if any sound is the cause of the resurrection, this will only be by a power given by God to the sound: wherefore a gloss on Ps 67,34, "He will give to His voice the voice of power," says: "to arouse our bodies." Now from the moment that a power is given to a thing, though it be given miraculously, the act that ensues is natural, as instanced in the man born blind who, after being restored to sight, saw naturally. Therefore if a sound be the cause of resurrection, the resurrection would be natural: which is false.
On the contrary, It is written (1Th 4,15): "The Lord Himself will come down from heaven . . . with the trumpet of God; and the dead who are in Christ shall rise."
Further, it is written (Jn 5,28) that they "who are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God . . . and (Jn 5,25) they that hear shall live." Now this voice is called the trumpet, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 43). Therefore, etc.
I answer that, Cause and effect must needs in some way be united together, since mover and moved, maker and made, are simultaneous (Phys. vii, 2). Now Christ rising again is the univocal cause of our resurrection: wherefore at the resurrection of bodies, it behooves Christ to work the resurrection at the giving of some common bodily sign. According to some this sign will be literally Christ's voice commanding the resurrection, even as He commanded the sea and the storm ceased (Mt 8,26). Others say that this sign will be nothing else than the manifest appearance of the Son of God in the world, according to the words of Mt 24,27: "As lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." These rely on the authority of Gregory [*Moral. xxxi, as quoted by St. Albert the Great, Sentent. iv, D, 42, Article ] who says that "the sound of the trumpet is nothing else but the Son appearing to the world as judge." According to this, the visible presence of the Son of God is called His voice, because as soon as He appears all nature will obey His command in restoring human bodies: hence He is described as coming "with commandment" (1Th 4,15). In this way His appearing, in so far as it has the force of a command, is called His voice: which voice, whatever it be, is sometimes called a cry [*Mt 25:6], as of a crier summoning to judgment; sometimes the sound of a trumpet [*1Co 15,52; 1 Thess. 4:15], either on account of its distinctness, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 43), or as being in keeping with the use of the trumpet in the Old Testament: for by the trumpet they were summoned to the council, stirred to the battle, and called to the feast; and those who rise again will be summoned to the council of judgment, to the battle in which "the world shall fight . . . against the unwise" (Sg 5,21), and to the feast of everlasting solemnity.
Reply to Objection 1: In those words the Damascene touches on three things respecting the material cause of the resurrection: to wit, the Divine will which commands, the power which executes, and the ease of execution, when he adds "bidding," in resemblance to our own affairs: since it is very easy for us to do what is done at once at our word. But the ease is much more evident, if before we say a word, our servants execute our will at once at the first sign of our will, which sign is called a nod: and this nod is a kind of cause of that execution, in so far as others are led thereby to accomplish our will. And the Divine nod, at which the resurrection will take place, is nothing but the sign given by God, which all nature will obey by concurring in the resurrection of the dead. This sign is the same as the sound of the trumpet, as explained above.
Reply to Objection 2: As the forms of the Sacrament have the power to sanctify, not through being heard, but through being spoken: so this sound, whatever it be, will have an instrumental efficacy of resuscitation, not through being perceived, but through being uttered. Even so a sound by the pulsation of the air arouses the sleeper, by loosing the organ of perception, and not because it is known: since judgment about the sound that reaches the ears is subsequent to the awakening and is not its cause.
Reply to Objection 3: This argument would avail, if the power given to that sound were a complete being in nature: because then that which would proceed therefrom would have for principle a power already rendered natural. But this power is not of that kind but such as we have ascribed above to the forms of the Sacraments (Sent. iv, D, 1; I 62,1,4).
Objection 1: It would seem that the angels will do nothing at all towards the resurrection. For raising the dead shows a greater power than does begetting men. Now when men are begotten, the soul is not infused into the body by means of the angels. Therefore neither will the resurrection, which is reunion of soul and body, be wrought by the ministry of the angels.
Objection 2: Further, if this is to be ascribed to the instrumentality of any angels at all, it would seem especially referable to the virtues, to whom it belongs to work miracles. Yet it is referred, not to them, but to the archangels, according to the text (Sent. iv, D, 43). Therefore the resurrection will not be wrought by the ministry of the angels.
On the contrary, It is stated (1Th 4,15) that "the Lord . . . shall come down from heaven . . . with the voice of an archangel . . . and the dead shall rise again." Therefore the resurrection of the dead will be accomplished by the angelic ministry.
I answer that, According to Augustine (De Trin. iii, 4) "just as the grosser and inferior bodies are ruled in a certain order by the more subtle and more powerful bodies, so are all bodies ruled by God by the rational spirit of life": and Gregory speaks in the same sense (Dial. iv, 6). Consequently in all God's bodily works, He employs the ministry of the angels. Now in the resurrection there is something pertaining to the transmutation of the bodies, to wit the gathering together of the mortal remains and the disposal thereof for the restoration of the human body; wherefore in this respect God will employ the ministry of the angels in the resurrection. But the soul, even as it is immediately created by God, so will it be reunited to the body immediately by God without any operation of the angels: and in like manner He Himself will glorify the body without the ministry of the angels, just as He immediately glorifies man's soul. This ministry of the angels is called their voice, according to one explanation given in the text (Sent. iv, D, 43).
Hence the Reply to the First Objection is evident from what has been said.
Reply to Objection 2: This ministry will be exercised chiefly by one Archangel, namely Michael, who is the prince of the Church as he was of the Synagogue (Da 10,13 Da 10,21). Yet he will act under the influence of the Virtues and the other higher orders: so that what he shall do, the higher orders will, in a way, do also. In like manner the lower angels will co-operate with him as to the resurrection of each individual to whose guardianship they were appointed: so that this voice can be ascribed either to one or to many angels.
We must now consider the time and manner of the resurrection. Under this head there are four points of inquiry:
(1) Whether the time of the resurrection should be delayed until the end of the world?
(2) Whether that time is hidden?
(3) Whether the resurrection will occur at night-time?
(4) Whether it will happen suddenly?
Objection 1: It would seem that the time of the resurrection ought not to be delayed till the end of the world, so that all may rise together. For there is more conformity between head and members than between one member and another, as there is more between cause and effect than between one effect and another. Now Christ, Who is our Head, did not delay His resurrection until the end of the world, so as to rise again together with all men. Therefore there is no need for the resurrection of the early saints to be deferred until the end of the world, so that they may rise again together with the others.
Objection 2: Further, the resurrection of the Head is the cause of the resurrection of the members. But the resurrection of certain members that desire nobility from their being closely connected with the Head was not delayed till the end of the world, but followed immediately after Christ's resurrection, as is piously believed concerning the Blessed Virgin and John the Evangelist [*Ep. de Assump. B.V., cap. ii, among St. Jerome's works]. Therefore the resurrection of others will be so much nearer Christ's resurrection, according as they have been more conformed to Him by grace and merit.
Objection 3: Further, the state of the New Testament is more perfect, and bears a closer resemblance to Christ, than the state of the Old Testament. Yet some of the fathers of the Old Testament rose again when Christ rose, according to Mt 27,52: "Many of the bodies of the saints, that had slept, arose." Therefore it would seem that the resurrection of the Old Testament saints should not be delayed till the end of the world, so that all may rise together.
Objection 4: Further, there will be no numbering of years after the end of the world. Yet after the resurrection of the dead, the years are still reckoned until the resurrection of others, as appears from Apoc. 20:4,5. For it is stated there that "I saw . . . the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God," and further on: "And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." And "the rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were finished." Therefore the resurrection of all is not delayed until the end of the world, that all may rise together.
On the contrary, It is written (Jb 14,12): "Man when he is fallen asleep shall not rise again till the heavens be broken, he shall not wake, nor rise out of his sleep," and it is a question of the sleep of death. Therefore the resurrection of men will be delayed until the end of the world when the heavens shall be broken.
Further, it is written (He 11,39): "All these being approved by the testimony of faith received not the promise," i.e. full beatitude of soul and body, since "God has provided something better for us, lest they should be consummated," i.e. perfected, "without us---in order that," as a gloss observes, "through all rejoicing each one might rejoice the more." But the resurrection will not precede the glorification of bodies, because "He will reform the body of our lowness made like to the body of His glory" (Ph 3,21), and the children of the resurrection will be "as the angels . . . in heaven" (Mt 22,30). Therefore the resurrection will be delayed till the end of the world, when all shall rise together.
I answer that, As Augustine states (De Trin. iii, 4) "Divine providence decreed that the grosser and lower bodies should be ruled in a certain order by the more subtle and powerful bodies": wherefore the entire matter of the lower bodies is subject to variation according to the movement of the heavenly bodies. Hence it would be contrary to the order established in things by Divine providence if the matter of lower bodies were brought to the state of incorruption, so long as there remains movement in the higher bodies. And since, according to the teaching of faith, the resurrection will bring men to immortal life conformably to Christ Who "rising again from the dead dieth now no more" (Rm 6,9), the resurrection of human bodies will be delayed until the end of the world when the heavenly movement will cease. For this reason, too, certain philosophers, who held that the movement of the heavens will never cease, maintained that human souls will return to mortal bodies such as we have now---whether, as Empedocles, they stated that the soul would return to the same body at the end of the great year, or that it would return to another body; thus Pythagoras asserted that "any soul will enter any body," as stated in De Anima i, 3.
Reply to Objection 1: Although the head is more conformed to the members by conformity of proportion (which is requisite in order that it have influence over the members) than one member is to another, yet the head has a certain causality over the members which the members have not; and in this the members differ from the head and agree with one another. Hence Christ's resurrection is an exemplar of ours, and through our faith therein there arises in us the hope of our own resurrection. But the resurrection of one of Christ's members is not the cause of the resurrection of other members, and consequently Christ's resurrection had to precede the resurrection of others who have all to rise again at the consummation of the world.
Reply to Objection 2: Although among the members some rank higher than others and are more conformed to the Head, they do not attain to the character of headship so as to be the cause of others. Consequently greater conformity to Christ does not give them a right to rise again before others as though they were exemplar and the others exemplate, as we have said in reference to Christ's resurrection: and if it has been granted to others that their resurrection should not be delayed until the general resurrection, this has been by special privilege of grace, and not as due on account of conformity to Christ.
Reply to Objection 3: Jerome, in a sermon on the Assumption [*Ep. x ad Paul. et Eustoch., now recognized as spurious], seems to be doubtful of this resurrection of the saints with Christ, namely as to whether, having been witnesses to the resurrection, they died again, so that theirs was a resuscitation (as in the case of Lazarus who died again) rather than a resurrection such as will be at the end of the world---or really rose again to immortal life, to live for ever in the body, and to ascend bodily into heaven with Christ, as a gloss says on Mt 27,52. The latter seems more probable, because, as Jerome says, in order that they might bear true witness to Christ's true resurrection, it was fitting that they should truly rise again. Nor was their resurrection hastened for their sake, but for the sake of bearing witness to Christ's resurrection: and that by bearing witness thereto they might lay the foundation of the faith of the New Testament: wherefore it was more fitting that it should be borne by the fathers of the Old Testament, than by those who died after the foundation of the New. It must, however, be observed that, although the Gospel mentions their resurrection before Christ's, we must take this statement as made in anticipation, as is often the case with writers of history. For none rose again with a true resurrection before Christ, since He is the "first-fruits of them that sleep" (1Co 15,20), although some were resuscitated before Christ's resurrection, as in the case of Lazarus.
Reply to Objection 4: On account of these words, as Augustine relates (De Civ. Dei xx, 7), certain heretics asserted that there will be a first resurrection of the dead that they may reign with Christ on earth for a thousand years; whence they were called "chiliasts" or "millenarians." Hence Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xx, 7) that these words are to be understood otherwise, namely of the spiritual resurrection, whereby men shall rise again from their sins to the gift of grace: while the second resurrection is of bodies. The reign of Christ denotes the Church wherein not only martyrs but also the other elect reign, the part denoting the whole; or they reign with Christ in glory as regards all, special mention being made of the martyrs, because they especially reign after death who fought for the truth, even unto death. The number of a thousand years denotes not a fixed number, but the whole of the present time wherein the saints now reign with Christ, because the number 1,000 designates universality more than the number 100, since 100 is the square of 10, whereas 1,000 is a cube resulting from the multiplication of ten by its square, for 10 X 10 = 100, and 100 X 10 = 1,000. Again in Ps 104,8, "The word which He commanded to a thousand," i.e. all, "generations."
Objection 1: It would seem that this time is not hidden. Because when we know exactly the beginning of a thing, we can know its end exactly, since "all things are measured by a certain period" (De Generat. ii). Now the beginning of the world is known exactly. Therefore its end can also be known exactly. But this will be the time of the resurrection and judgment. Therefore that time is not hidden.
Objection 2: Further, it is stated (Ap 12,6) that "the woman who represents the Church had a place prepared by God, that there she might feed [Vulg.: 'they should feed her'] a thousand two hundred sixty days." Again (Da 12,11), a certain fixed number of days is mentioned, which apparently signify years, according to Ez 4,6: "A day for a year, yea a day for a year I have appointed to thee." Therefore the time of the end of the world and of the resurrection can be known exactly from Holy Writ.
Objection 3: Further, the state of the New Testament was foreshadowed in the Old Testament. Now we know exactly the time wherein the state of the Old Testament endured. Therefore we can also know exactly the time wherein the state of the New Testament will endure. But the state of the New Testament will last to the end of the world, wherefore it is said (Mt 28,20): "Behold I am with you . . . to the consummation of the world." Therefore the time of the end of the world and of the resurrection can be known exactly.
On the contrary, That which is unknown to the angels will be much more unknown to men: because those things to which men attain by natural reason are much more clearly and certainly known to the angels by their natural knowledge. Moreover revelations are not made to men save by means of the angels as Dionysius asserts (Coel. Hier. iv). Now the angels have no exact knowledge of that time, as appears from Mt 24,36: "Of that day and hour no one knoweth, no not the angels of heaven." Therefore that time is hidden from men.
Further, the apostles were more cognizant of God's secrets than others who followed them, because they had "the first-fruits of the spirit" (Rm 8,23)---" before others in point of time and more abundantly," as a gloss observes. And yet when they questioned our Lord about this very matter, He answered them (Ac 1,7): "It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His own power." Much more, therefore, is it hidden from others.
I answer that, As Augustine says (Qq. lxxxiii, qu. 58) "as to the last age of the human race, which begins from our Lord's coming and lasts until the end of the world, it is uncertain of how many generations it will consist: even so old age, which is man's last age, has no fixed time according to the measure of the other ages, since sometimes alone it lasts as long a time as all the others." The reason of this is because the exact length of future time cannot be known except either by revelation or by natural reason: and the time until the resurrection cannot be reckoned by natural reason, because the resurrection and the end of the heavenly movement will be simultaneous as stated above (Article ). And all things that are foreseen by natural reason to happen at a fixed time are reckoned by movement: and it is impossible from the movement of the heaven to reckon its end, for since it is circular, it is for this very reason able by its nature to endure for ever: and consequently the time between this and the resurrection cannot be reckoned by natural reason. Again it cannot be known by revelation, so that all may be on the watch and ready to meet Christ: and for this reason when the apostles asked Him about this, Christ answered (Ac 1,7): "It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father hath put in His own power," whereby, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xviii, 53): "He scatters the fingers of all calculators and bids them be still." For what He refused to tell the apostles, He will not reveal to others: wherefore all those who have been misled to reckon the aforesaid time have so far proved to be untruthful; for some, as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xviii, 53), stated that from our Lord's Ascension to His last coming 400 years would elapse, others 500, others 1,000. The falseness of these calculators is evident, as will likewise be the falseness of those who even now cease not to calculate.
Reply to Objection 1: When we know a thing's beginning and also its end it follows that its measure is known to us: wherefore if we know the beginning of a thing the duration of which is measured by the movement of the heaven, we are able to know its end, since the movement of heaven is known to us. But the measure of the duration of the heavenly movement is God's ordinance alone, which is unknown to us. Wherefore however much we may know its beginning, we are unable to know its end.
Reply to Objection 2: The thousand two hundred sixty days mentioned in the Apocalypse (12:6) denote all the time during which the Church endures, and not any definite number of years. The reason whereof is because the preaching of Christ on which the Church is built lasted three years and a half, which time contains almost an equal number of days as the aforesaid number. Again the number of days appointed by Daniel does not refer to a number of years to elapse before the end of the world or until the preaching of Antichrist, but to the time of Antichrist's preaching and the duration of his persecution.
Reply to Objection 3: Although the state of the New Testament in general is foreshadowed by the state of the Old Testament it does not follow that individuals correspond to individuals: especially since all the figures of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ. Hence Augustine (De Civ. Dei xviii, 52) answers certain persons who wished to liken the number of persecutions suffered by the Church to the number of the plagues of Egypt, in these words: "I do not think that the occurrences in Egypt were in their signification prophetic of these persecutions, although those who think so have shown nicety and ingenuity in adapting them severally the one to the other, not indeed by a prophetic spirit, but by the guess-work of the human mind, which sometimes reaches the truth and sometimes not." The same remarks would seem applicable to the statements of Abbot Joachim, who by means of such conjectures about the future foretold some things that were true, and in others was deceived.
Objection 1: It would seem that the resurrection will not be at night-time. For the resurrection will not be "till the heavens be broken" (Jb 14,12). Now when the heavenly movement ceases, which is signified by its breaking, there will be no time, neither night nor day. Therefore the resurrection will not be at night-time.
Objection 2: Further, the end of a thing ought to be most perfect. Now the end of time will be then: wherefore it is said (Ap 10,6) that "time shall be no longer." Therefore time ought to be then in its most perfect disposition and consequently it should be the daytime.
Objection 3: Further, the time should be such as to be adapted to what is done therein: wherefore (Jn 13,30) the night is mentioned as being the time when Judas went out from the fellowship of the light. Now, all things that are hidden at the present time will then be made most manifest, because when the Lord shall come He "will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts" (1Co 4,5). Therefore it ought to be during the day.
On the contrary, Christ's resurrection is the exemplar of ours. Now Christ's resurrection was at night, as Gregory says in a homily for Easter (xxi in Evang.). Therefore our resurrection will also be at night-time.
Further, the coming of our Lord is compared to the coming of a thief into the house (Lc 12,39-40). But the thief comes to the house at night-time. Therefore our Lord will also come in the night. Now, when He comes the resurrection will take place, as stated above (Question , Article ). Therefore the resurrection will be at night-time.
I answer that, The exact time and hour at which the resurrection will be cannot be known for certain, as stated in the text (Sent. iv, D, 43). Nevertheless some assert with sufficient probability that it will be towards the twilight, the moon being in the east and the sun in the west; because the sun and moon are believed to have been created in these positions, and thus their revolutions will be altogether completed by their return to the same point. Wherefore it is said that Christ arose at such an hour.
Reply to Objection 1: When the resurrection occurs, it will not be time but the end of time; because at the very instant that the heavens will cease to move the dead will rise again. Nevertheless the stars will be in the same position as they occupy now at any fixed hour: and accordingly it is said that the resurrection will be at this or that hour.
Reply to Objection 2: The most perfect disposition of time is said to be midday, on account of the light given by the sun. But then the city of God will need neither sun nor moon, because the glory of God will enlighten it (Ap 22,5). Wherefore in this respect it matters not whether the resurrection be in the day or in the night.
Reply to Objection 3: That time should be adapted to manifestation as regards the things that will happen then, and to secrecy as regards the fixing of the time. Hence either may happen fittingly, namely that the resurrection be in the day or in the night.
Summa - Supplement 1520