Had He appeared only a single time, perhaps once in front of the whole lot of the Apostles and the other disciples, there might have been a tendency later for them to think, “Did it really happen? Did He really come back from the dead, or did we imagine it, convince ourselves of it?”
So no, He appeared to His followers after His Resurrection, again and again, time after time, first over here, then over there, repeating and reinforcing and reiterating that the source of their joy was real and tangible and true.
The chief sources which directly attest the fact of Christ’s Resurrection are the four Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul.
St. Matthew’s Gospel records that He appeared to the holy women, and again on a mountain in Galilee.
St. Mark’ Gospel records that He was seen by Mary Magdalene, by the two disciples at Emmaus, and the Eleven before His Ascension into Heaven.
St. Luke’s Gospel records that He walked with His disciples to Emmaus, appeared to Peter and to the assembled disciples in Jerusalem.
St. John’s Gospel records that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the ten Apostles on the first Easter Sunday, to the Eleven a week later, and to the seven disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
St. Paul records (I Corinthians 15:3-8) that He was seen by Cephas, by the Eleven, by more than 500 brethren, by James, by all the Apostles, and lastly by Paul himself.
- Excerpted from The Angelus, March-April 2016 issue