by HFH Reuvers


The Gospel relates the resurrection in broad lines as follows:

On the third day after Jesus' death, Mary Magdalene and some other women went to the grave to embalm the corpse. But the grave was empty. There was a man standing next the grave who said: "Why do you seek the Living one among the dead?"
That very day, some disciples of Jesus were on their way to Emmaus. Their master joined them and asked what they were talking about. They didn't recognize him, and said: "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" Now they told him about the crucifixion and the empty grave. Jesus said: "Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. The disciples insisted: "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent!" Then he broke the bread, and gave it to them. Only now they saw it was Jesus himself.
Later on, Jesus appeared some more times to the apostles. Among them was the unbelieving Thomas, to whom Jesus showed his wounds so Thomas could touch and feel them. And he appeared to Peter, who had to confirm up to three times that he loved Jesus.

On this last occasion, Jesus said to Peter: "Tend my sheep". However, it wasn't the first time he asked Peter to tend his herd. For example, he had said on another occasion: "Your name is Peter, that is 'rock', and on this rock I will build my Church". And he added: "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven".
Therefore, the Church considers Peter and his successors, the popes, the substitutes of Christ on the earth. The popes and the other bishops ordain the priests, who break the bread and serve it out as Jesus did in Emmaus.
When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, he gave the apostles the following missionary order: "Go and make disciples of all nations. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of time."