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.1
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.2
CCC 439 Many Jews and even certain Gentiles who shared their hope recognized in Jesus the fundamental attributes of the messianic “Son of David”, promised by God to Israel.3 Jesus accepted his rightful title of Messiah, though with some reserve because it was understood by some of his contemporaries in too human a sense, as essentially political.4
CCC 552 Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve;5 Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Our Lord then declared to him: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”6 Christ, the “living Stone”,7 thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.8
CCC 555 For a moment Jesus discloses his divine glory, confirming Peter’s confession. He also reveals that he will have to go by the way of the cross at Jerusalem in order to “enter into his glory”.9 Moses and Elijah had seen God’s glory on the Mountain; the Law and the Prophets had announced the Messiah’s sufferings.10 Christ’s Passion is the will of the Father: the Son acts as God’s servant;11 the cloud indicates the presence of the Holy Spirit. “The whole Trinity appeared: the Father in the voice; the Son in the man; the Spirit in the shining cloud.”12
You were transfigured on the mountain, and your disciples, as much as they were capable of it, beheld your glory, O Christ our God, so that when they should see you crucified they would understand that your Passion was voluntary, and proclaim to the world that you truly are the splendor of the Father.13
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?”14 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”.15
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.16 Citing a confession of faith that he himself had “received”, St. Paul professes that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures.”17 In particular Jesus’ redemptive death fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of the suffering Servant.18 Indeed Jesus himself explained the meaning of his life and death in the light of God’s suffering Servant.19 After his Resurrection he gave this interpretation of the Scriptures to the disciples at Emmaus, and then to the apostles.20
CCC 640 “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”21 The first element we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it is not a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christ’s body from the tomb could be explained otherwise.22 Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all. Its discovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of the Resurrection. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with Peter.23 The disciple “whom Jesus loved” affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered “the linen cloths lying there”, “he saw and believed”.24 This suggests that he realized from the empty tomb’s condition that the absence of Jesus’ body could not have been of human doing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case with Lazarus.25
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.26 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves.27 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,28 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!”29
CCC 643 Given all these testimonies, Christ’s Resurrection cannot be interpreted as something outside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It is clear from the facts that the disciples’ faith was drastically put to the test by their master’s Passion and death on the cross, which he had foretold.30 The shock provoked by the Passion was so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of the Resurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospels present us with disciples demoralized (“looking sad”31) and frightened. For they had not believed the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an “idle tale”.32 When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, “he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.”33
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.34 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.35 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.36
CCC 659 “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”37 Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys.38 But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity.39 Jesus’ final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God’s right hand.40 Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul “as to one untimely born”, in a last apparition that established him as an apostle.41
CCC 710 The forgetting of the Law and the infidelity to the covenant end in death: it is the Exile, apparently the failure of the promises, which is in fact the mysterious fidelity of the Savior God and the beginning of a promised restoration, but according to the Spirit. The People of God had to suffer this purification.42 In God’s plan, the Exile already stands in the shadow of the Cross, and the Remnant of the poor that returns from the Exile is one of the most transparent prefigurations of the Church.
CCC 1094 It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal catechesis of the Lord is built,43 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.44 Thus the flood and Noah’s ark prefigured salvation by Baptism,45 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.”46
CCC 1166 “By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord’s Day or Sunday.”47 The day of Christ’s Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the “eighth day,” on which Christ after his “rest” on the great sabbath inaugurates the “day that the Lord has made,” the “day that knows no evening.”48 The Lord’s Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet:49
The Lord’s day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord’s day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the “day of the sun,” we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays.50
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.51
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,52 above all at the Last Supper.53 It is by this action that his disciples will recognize him after his Resurrection,54 and it is this expression that the first Christians will use to designate their Eucharistic assemblies;55 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.56
The Eucharistic assembly (synaxis), because the Eucharist is celebrated amid the assembly of the faithful, the visible expression of the Church.57
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.”58
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.59 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.
1 Cf. Lk 24:25-27, 44-46.
2 St. Thomas Aquinas, Expos. in Ps. 21, 11; cf. Ps 22:14.
3 Cf Mt 2:2; 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30; 21:9.15.
4 Cf. Jn 4:25-26; 6:15; 11:27; Mt 22:41-46; Lk 24:21.
5 Cf Mk 3:16; 9:2; Lk 24:34; I Cor 15:5.
6 Mt 16:18.
7 I Pt 2:4.
8 Cf. Lk 22:32.
9 Lk 24:26.
10 Cf. Lk 24:27.
11 Cf. Is 42:1.
12 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 45, 4, ad 2.
13 Byzantine Liturgy, Feast of the Transfiguration, Kontakion.
14 Lk 24:26-27,44-45.
15 Mk 8:31; Mt 20:19.
16 Is 53:11; cf. 53:12; Jn 8 34-36; Acts 3:14.
17 1 Cor 15:3; cf. also Acts 3:18; 7:52; 13:29; 26:22-23.
18 Cf. Is 53:7-8 and Acts 8:32-35.
19 Cf. Mt 20:28.
20 Cf. Lk 24:25-27, 44-45.
21 Lk 24:5-6.
22 Cf. Jn 20:13; Mt 28:11-15.
23 Cf. Lk 24:3, 12, 22-23.
24 Jn 20:2, 6, 8.
25 Cf. Jn 11:44; 20:5-7.
26 Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31,42.
27 Cf Lk 24:9-10; Mt 28:9-10; Jn 20:11-18.
28 Cf I Cor 15:5; Lk 22:31-32.
29 Lk 24:34, 36.
30 Cf. Lk 22:31-32.
31 1 Lk 24:17; cf. Jn 20:19.
32 Lk 24:11; cf. Mk 16:11, 13.
33 Mk 16:14.
34 Cf. Lk 24:30,39-40, 41-43; Jn 20:20, 27; 21:9,13-15.
35 Cf. Mt 28:9, 16-17; Lk 24:15, 36; Jn 20:14, 17, 19, 26; 21:4.
36 Cf. Mk 16:12; Jn 20:14-16; 21:4, 7.
37 Mk 16:19.
38 Cf Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19, 26.
39 Cf. Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4.
40 Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1.
41 1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1; Gal 1:16.
42 Cf. Lk 24:26.
43 Cf. DV 14-16; Lk 24:13-49.
44 Cf. 2 Cor 3:14-16.
45 Cf. 1 Pet 3:21.
46 Jn 6:32; cf. 1 Cor 10:1-6.
47 SC 106.
48 Byzantine liturgy.
49 Cf. Jn 21:12; Lk 24:30.
50 St. Jerome, Pasch.: CCL 78, 550.
51 Cf. 1 Cor 11:20; Rev 19:9.
52 Cf. Mt 14:19; 15:36; Mk 8:6, 19.
53 Cf. Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 11:24.
54 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
55 Cf. Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7, 11.
56 Cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17.
57 Cf. 1 Cor 11:17-34.
58 Cf. Lk 24:13-35.
59 Cf. Lk 24:27, 44.