Jesus Rises from the Dead.[a] 1 At daybreak on the first day of the week, the women came to the tomb with the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went inside, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 While they stood there wondering about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes appeared at their side. 5 They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look among the dead for one who is alive? 6 He is not here. He has been raised. Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee: 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified and rise again on the third day.” 8 Then they recalled his words.
9 When they returned from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11 However, this story of theirs seemed to be nonsense, and the apostles did not believe them. 12 Nonetheless, Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he looked inside and saw only the linen cloths. Then he returned home, wondering what had occurred.
13 Jesus Appears to Two Disciples at Emmaus.[b] Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had occurred. 15 While they were conversing and discussing these events, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them, 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing with each other as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces filled with sadness. 18 Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who is not aware of all the things that have taken place there in these days?” 19 When he asked, “What things?” they replied, “The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in word and deed before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death and had him crucified.
21 “We had been hoping that he would be the one who would redeem Israel. And what is more, this is the third day since all of this took place. 22 Some women from our group have now given us astounding news. They went to the tomb early this morning, 23 but they failed to find his body. When they returned, they told us that they had seen a vision of angels who reported that he was alive. 24 Some of our companions went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.”
25 Then he said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the Prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then, beginning with Moses and going through all the Prophets, he interpreted for them all the passages from the Scriptures that pertained to him.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, he acted as though he would be going further. 29 However, they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” And so he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They set out immediately and returned to Jerusalem, where they found gathered together the Eleven and their companions 34 who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised, and he has appeared to Simon!”[c] 35 Then the two described what had happened on their journey and how he had made himself known to them in the breaking of the bread.
36 Jesus Appears to the Disciples in Jerusalem.[d] While they were still conversing about this, Jesus himself stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 Startled and terrified, they thought that they were seeing a ghost.
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why are doubts arising in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself. Touch me and see. For a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41 In spite of their joy and amazement, they were still incredulous. So he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, “This is what I meant when I told you while I was still with you: Everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Thereupon, he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
46 And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that in his name repentance and forgiveness of sins are to be proclaimed to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses to all these things.
49 “And behold, I am sending upon you the gift promised by my Father. Therefore, stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 Jesus Ascends to Heaven.[e] Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he departed from them and was taken up to heaven. 52 They worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy, 53 and they were continually in the temple praising God.
- Luke 24:1 The man who was thought to have been buried forever receives the important title “the Living One,” a title that the Old Testament reserves to the Lord (see Jos 3:10; Jdg 8:19; Rev 1:18), and the hearts of the witnesses are opened to the Word of God. This is the first Christian Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the new day (v. 1). Luke does not mention the order given to the disciples to wait for Jesus in Galilee; in his view, the mystery finds its completion in Jerusalem, and it is from Jerusalem that the Christian mission will make its way throughout the entire world.
- Luke 24:13 Since Friday nothing has taken place; God has not intervened. These two followers of Jesus are overwhelmed by the catastrophe and wounded in their hopes. A stranger overtakes them and seems indifferent to what has taken place. Indeed, he even knows how to explain its meaning. But a shared meal suffices for them to recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
This is an astonishing lesson about the design of God and the meaning of the cross. The entire history of the people of God teaches us that suffering is a source of life and death is a passage to a resurrection. Christ, in whom the whole history of humanity is recapitulated, could follow no other road in order to open the entrance to the kingdom of his Father. This wonderful account of the disciples at Emmaus always teaches us the paths of faith and how everything is decided in the encounter with Christ, in the acceptance of his Word, in the acknowledgment of his presence. He no longer sojourns among us under earthly conditions: the essential thing is to live his Word and partake in his Eucharist.
- Luke 24:34 In this verse Luke has included one of the earliest testimonies to the appearance of the Risen Lord to Peter (see Lk 22:21-32; 1 Cor 15:5).
- Luke 24:36 It is truly the Lord who is present, the one whom they have known and seen die. He therefore has truly risen! But nothing is as it was before: his presence is not explained; it merely attests, by its reality, that salvation is given, that death and sin are vanquished. Now the disciples realize that the salvation announced in a mysterious fashion by the Old Testament is accomplished in Jesus. And the Risen Lord charges them to proclaim it everywhere, to teach people about it by their testimony and by the power of the Spirit of Pentecost. This passage contains, in summary form, an entire model for Christian preaching: the fulfillment of the Scriptures and of God’s plan, the proclamation of forgiveness and conversion, the call to faith and holiness. The Book of Acts will tell how the Church carried out this mission.
- Luke 24:50 Recognized and worshiped as Lord by his disciples, Jesus is taken away from our world. The Gospel of Luke ends with this vision, which the Acts of the Apostles situates forty days later (Acts 1:2-3, 9-11). Regardless of the date and the unfolding, the event surpasses history and time; after his resurrection, Jesus is established in his dignity of the Son of God. Henceforth, we live on earth in the time of praise and bearing witness.