CCC 108 Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living”.1 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures.”2
CCC 112 1. Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.3
The phrase “heart of Christ” can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.4
CCC 572 The Church remains faithful to the interpretation of “all the Scriptures” that Jesus gave both before and after his Passover: “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”5 Jesus’ sufferings took their historical, concrete form from the fact that he was “rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes”, who handed “him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified”.6
CCC 601 The Scriptures had foretold this divine plan of salvation through the putting to death of “the righteous one, my Servant” as a mystery of universal redemption, that is, as the ransom that would free men from the slavery of sin.7 Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.”8 In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant.9 Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant.10 After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.11
CCC 627 Christ’s death was a real death in that it put an end to his earthly human existence. But because of the union which the person of the Son retained with his body, his was not a mortal corpse like others, for “it was not possible for death to hold him” 12 13 and therefore “divine power preserved Christ’s body from corruption.” Both of these statements can be said of Christ: “He was cut off out of the land of the living”,14 and “My flesh will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let your Holy One see corruption.”15 Jesus’ resurrection “on the third day” was the sign of this, also because bodily decay was held to begin on the fourth day after death.16
CCC 641 Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus, which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday, were the first to encounter the Risen One.17 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves.18 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,19 and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that the community exclaims: “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”20
CCC 644 Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, so impossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. “In their joy they were still disbelieving and still wondering.”21 Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St. Matthew relates that during the risen Lord’s last appearance in Galilee “some doubted.”22 Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles’ faith (or credulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under the action of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.
CCC 645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contact with his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and above all to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had been tortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his Passion.23 Yet at the same time this authentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space and time but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christ’s humanity can no longer be confined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Father’s divine realm.24 For this reason too the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of a gardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith.25
CCC 652 Christ’s Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life.26 The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures”27 indicates that Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.
CCC 702 From the beginning until “the fullness of time,”28 the joint mission of the Father’s Word and Spirit remains hidden, but it is at work. God’s Spirit prepares for the time of the Messiah. Neither is fully revealed but both are already promised, to be watched for and welcomed at their manifestation. So, for this reason, when the Church reads the Old Testament, she searches there for what the Spirit, “who has spoken through the prophets,” wants to tell us about Christ.29
By “prophets” the faith of the Church here understands all whom the Holy Spirit inspired in the composition of the sacred books, both of the Old and the New Testaments. Jewish tradition distinguishes first the Law (the five first books or Pentateuch), then the Prophets (our historical and prophetic books) and finally the Writings (especially the wisdom literature, in particular the Psalms).30
CCC 999 How? Christ is raised with his own body: “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself”;31 but he did not return to an earthly life. So, in him, “all of them will rise again with their own bodies which they now bear,” but Christ “will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body,” into a “spiritual body”:32
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish man! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body which is to be, but a bare kernel. .. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. .. The dead will be raised imperishable. .. For this perishable nature must put on the imperishable, and this mortal nature must put on immortality.33
CCC 1094 It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal catechesis of the Lord is built,34 and then, that of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church. This catechesis unveils what lay hidden under the letter of the Old Testament: the mystery of Christ. It is called “typological” because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of the “figures” (types) which announce him in the deeds, words, and symbols of the first covenant. By this re-reading in the Spirit of Truth, starting from Christ, the figures are unveiled.35 Thus the flood and Noah’s ark prefigured salvation by Baptism,36 as did the cloud and the crossing of the Red Sea. Water from the rock was the figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ, and manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist, “the true bread from heaven.”37
CCC 1329 The Lord’s Supper, because of its connection with the supper which the Lord took with his disciples on the eve of his Passion and because it anticipates the wedding feast of the Lamb in the heavenly Jerusalem.38
The Breaking of Bread, because Jesus used this rite, part of a Jewish meat when as master of the table he blessed and distributed the bread,39 above all at the Last Supper.40 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,41 and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;42 by doing so they signified that all who eat the one broken bread, Christ, enter into communion with him and form but one body in him.43
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.44
CCC 1347 Is this not the same movement as the Paschal meal of the risen Jesus with his disciples? Walking with them he explained the Scriptures to them; sitting with them at table “he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.”45
CCC 2625 In the first place these are prayers that the faithful hear and read in the Scriptures, but also that they make their own – especially those of the Psalms, in view of their fulfillment in Christ.46 The Holy Spirit, who thus keeps the memory of Christ alive in his Church at prayer, also leads her toward the fullness of truth and inspires new formulations expressing the unfathomable mystery of Christ at work in his Church’s life, sacraments, and mission. These formulations are developed in the great liturgical and spiritual traditions. The forms of prayer revealed in the apostolic and canonical Scriptures remain normative for Christian prayer.
CCC 2763 All the Scriptures – the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms – are fulfilled in Christ.47 The Gospel is this “Good News.” Its first proclamation is summarized by St. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount;48 the prayer to our Father is at the center of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated:
The Lord’s Prayer is the most perfect of prayers. .. In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.49
1 St. Bernard, S. missus est hom. 4, 11: PL 183, 86.
2 Cf. Lk 24:45.
3 Cf. Lk 24:25-27, 44-46.
4 St. Thomas Aquinas, Expos. in Ps. 21, 11; cf. Ps 22:14.
5 Lk 24:26-27,44-45.
6 Mk 8:31; Mt 20:19.
7 Is 53:11; cf. 53:12; Jn 8 34-36; Acts 3:14.
8 1 Cor 15:3; cf. also Acts 3:18; 7:52; 13:29; 26:22-23.
9 Cf. Is 53:7-8 and Acts 8:32-35.
10 Cf. Mt 20:28.
11 Cf. Lk 24:25-27, 44-45.
12 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 51, 3.
13 Acts 2:24.
14 Is 53:8.
15 Acts 2:26-27; cf. Ps 16:9-10.
16 Cf. I Cor 15:4; Lk 24:46; Mt 12:40; Jon 2:1; Hos 6:2; cf. Jn 11:39.
17 Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31,42.
18 Cf Lk 24:9-10; Mt 28:9-10; Jn 20:11-18.
19 Cf I Cor 15:5; Lk 22:31-32.
20 Lk 24:34, 36.
21 Lk 24:38-41.
22 Cf Jn 20:24-27; Mt 28:17.
23 Cf. Lk 24:30,39-40, 41-43; Jn 20:20, 27; 21:9,13-15.
24 Cf. Mt 28:9, 16-17; Lk 24:15, 36; Jn 20:14, 17, 19, 26; 21:4.
25 Cf. Mk 16:12; Jn 20:14-16; 21:4, 7.
26 Cf. Mt 28:6; Mk 16:7; Lk 24:6-7, 26-27, 44-48.
27 Cf. I Cor 15:3-4; cf. the Nicene Creed.
28 Gal 4:4.
29 Cf. 2 Cor 3:14; Jn 5:39, 46.
30 Cf. Lk 24:44.
31 Lk 24:39.
32 Lateran Council IV (1215): DS 801; Phil 3:21; 2 Cor 15:44.
33 1 Cor 15:35-37,42,52,53.
34 Cf. DV 14-16; Lk 24:13-49.
35 Cf. 2 Cor 3:14-16.
36 Cf. 1 Pet 3:21.
37 Jn 6:32; cf. 1 Cor 10:1-6.
38 Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.
39 Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19.
40 Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24.
41 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
42 Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 11.
43 Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17.
44 Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34.
45 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
46 Cf. Lk 24:27, 44.
47 Cf. Lk 24:44.
48 Cf. Mt 5-7.
49 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II, 83, 9.