Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" And he replied to them, "What sort of things?" They said to him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see." And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Because death is now no longer the end of everything, joy and hope came into the world. Now that death “no longer has dominion” (Rom 6,9) over Jesus, it has no more power over us, either, who belong to Jesus. (655, 658)
The true revolution that radically changes life was accomplished by Jesus Christ with his cross and resurrection.
But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him.“ When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.“
Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, 'I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’" Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and what he told her.
There are no proofs for the Resurrection of Jesus in the scientific sense. There are, however, very strong individual and collective testimonies by a large number of contemporaries of those events in Jerusalem. (639–644, 647, 656–657)
The oldest written testimony to the Resurrection is a letter that St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians around twenty years after Christ’s death: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15,3–6). Paul is recording here a living tradition that was present in the original Christian community two or three years after Jesus’ death and Resurrection, when he himself became a Christian—on the basis of his own staggering encounter with the risen Lord. The disciples took the fact of the empty tomb (Lk 24,2–3) as the first indication of the reality of the Resurrection. Women, of all people, discovered it—according to the law of that time they were not able to testify. Although we read about the apostle John that he “saw and believed” (Jn 20,8b) already at the empty tomb, full assurance that Jesus was alive came about only after a series of appearances. The many encounters with the risen Lord ended with Christ’s Ascension into heaven. Nevertheless, there were afterward and there are even today encounters with the living Lord: Jesus Christ lives.
The first eyewitnesses of the resurrection were Mary, Mary and Salome. For Jews, the testimony of a woman was meaningless. Only the men were considered credible. Had the evangelists fabricated these experiences, they would certainly not have attributed the earliest reports of Jesus' empty tomb to this 'untrustworthy' social group. But the gospel is not based on fabrication, but on the revelation of God in history, for which there are eyewitnesses. Jesus' death and resurrection are not fairy tales; they are historical events experienced and witnessed by the early Christians.
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.“
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’ And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.“ The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
Yes, but in a mysterious way; God guides everything along paths that only he knows, leading it to its perfection. At no point in time does something that he has created fall out of his hands. (302–305)
God influences both the great events of history and also the little events of our personal life, without reducing our freedom or making us mere marionettes in his eternal plans. In God “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17,28). God is in everything we meet in all the changes in our life, even in the painful events and the seemingly meaningless coincidences. God wants to write straight even with the crooked lines of our life. What he takes away from us and what he gives us, the ways in which he strengthens us and the ways in which he tests us—all these are arrangements and signs of his will.
When I read that the women were "full of fear and great joy," I think: the greater the gifts that God gives us, the greater the fear that they could be a deception, that we could lose them again, that we could not do them justice. Jesus says: Do not be afraid! Let me give you the greatest gift of all!
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