CCC 500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus.1 The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus”, are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary”.2 They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.3
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.4 Thus the women were the first messengers of Christ’s Resurrection for the apostles themselves.5 They were the next to whom Jesus appears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of his brothers,6 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!”7
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.8 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.9 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.10
CCC 652 Christ’s Resurrection is the fulfillment of the promises both of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself during his earthly life.11 The phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures”12 indicates that Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.
CCC 654 The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justification that reinstates us in God’s grace, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”13 Justification consists in both victory over the death caused by sin and a new participation in grace.14 It brings about filial adoption so that men become Christ’s brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection: “Go and tell my brethren.”15 We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, because that adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fully revealed in his Resurrection.
CCC 2174 Jesus rose from the dead “on the first day of the week.”16 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,17 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.18
1 Cf. Mk 3:31-35; 6:3; I Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19.
2 Mt 13:55; 28:1; cf. Mt 27:56.
3 Cf. Gen 13:8; 14:16; 29:15; etc.
4 Mk 16:1; Lk 24:1; Jn 19:31,42.
5 Cf Lk 24:9-10; Mt 28:9-10; Jn 20:11-18.
6 Cf I Cor 15:5; Lk 22:31-32.
7 Lk 24:34, 36.
8 Cf. Lk 24:30,39-40, 41-43; Jn 20:20, 27; 21:9,13-15.
9 Cf. Mt 28:9, 16-17; Lk 24:15, 36; Jn 20:14, 17, 19, 26; 21:4.
10 Cf. Mk 16:12; Jn 20:14-16; 21:4, 7.
11 Cf. Mt 28:6; Mk 16:7; Lk 24:6-7, 26-27, 44-48.
12 Cf. I Cor 15:3-4; cf. the Nicene Creed.
14 Cf. Eph 2:4-5; I Pt 1:3.
15 Mt 28:10; Jn 20:17.
16 Cf. Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1.
17 Cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1.
18 St. Justin, I Apol. 67: PG 6, 429 and 432.