CCC 333 From the Incarnation to the Ascension, the life of the Word incarnate is surrounded by the adoration and service of angels. When God “brings the firstborn into the world, he says: ‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’”1 Their song of praise at the birth of Christ has not ceased resounding in the Church’s praise: “Glory to God in the highest!”2 They protect Jesus in his infancy, serve him in the desert, strengthen him in his agony in the garden, when he could have been saved by them from the hands of his enemies as Israel had been.3 Again, it is the angels who “evangelize” by proclaiming the Good News of Christ’s Incarnation and Resurrection.4 They will be present at Christ’s return, which they will announce, to serve at his judgement.5
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.6 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves.7 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,8 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!”9
CCC 652 Christ’s Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life.10 The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures”11 indicates that Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.
CCC 2174 Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.”12 Because it is the “first day,” the day of Christ’s Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the “eighth day” following the sabbath,13 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ’s Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord’s Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:
We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.14
1 Heb 1:6.
2 Lk 2:14.
3 Cf. Mt 1:20; 2:13,19; 4:11; 26:53; Mk 1:13; Lk 22:43; 2 Macc 10:29-30; 11:8.
4 Cf. Lk 2:8-14; Mk 16:5-7.
5 Cf. Acts 1:10-11; Mt 13:41; 24:31; Lk 12:8-9. The angels in the life of the Church
6 Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31,42.
7 Cf Lk 24:9-10; Mt 28:9-10; Jn 20:11-18.
8 Cf I Cor 15:5; Lk 22:31-32.
9 Lk 24:34, 36.
10 Cf. Mt 28:6; Mk 16:7; Lk 24:6-7, 26-27, 44-48.
11 Cf. I Cor 15:3-4; cf. the Nicene Creed.
12 Cf. Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1.
13 Cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1.
14 St. Justin, I Apol. 67: PG 6, 429 and 432.