HOMILY OF ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, ON LUKE, Chapter 24
It is wonderful how a corporeal nature could pass through an impenetrable body and be invisible in its entrance, yet visibly beheld; easily touched, but not easily defined. Hence, the disciples were troubled, thinking that they saw a spirit.
And therefore, the Lord, in order to give us a tangible proof of his resurrection, says: “Feel me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
It was not, then, with a spiritual nature, but with a glorious and risen body that he passed through what was solid and naturally impenetrable. For, what can be touched must be a body; what can be handled must be a body.
AND WE SHALL RISE AGAIN IN THE BODY
And we shall rise again in the body. For what is sown as a natural body rises as a spiritual body. But that body will be subtler, while the present one is denser, seeing that it still bears the density due to its earthly imperfection. For how should that be other than a body in which still remained the marks of the wounds, the traces of the scars, those wounds that the Lord permitted to be touched. In so doing, he not only strengthened our faith, but quickened our love, seeing that he willed to carry into heaven the wounds which he had received for us.
He would not part with them that he might show to God, the Father, the price of our freedom. Such is he whom the Father has set at his right hand, welcoming the trophy of our salvation; and such, too, are those martyrs whom he has shown us, bearing their scars as a crown.
BOTH ACCOUNTS ARE IN AGREEMENT
And since our discourse has now reached this point, let us consider how it is that, according to John, the apostles believed and were glad; according to Luke, they were, as it was, upbraided for their unbelief; according to John, they received the Holy Spirit; according to Luke, they were told to stay in the city, till they should be endued with power from on high.
It seems to me that the former [John], being an apostle, touches upon great and deep matters, while the latter [Luke] gives the human sequence of events.
Luke writes with historical fulness, John abridges. But, we cannot doubt him who gives testimony of those things which he himself witnessed, and his testimony is true.
On the other hand, we must certainly banish all suspicion of carelessness or untruthfulness in regard to one who was counted worthy to be an Evangelist. And, therefore, we hold both accounts to be true, and not to differ with regard to facts or persons. For, even if Luke says at first that they did not believe, he shows later that they did so; and if we consider what he says first, there is a contradiction; but if we examine what follows, we certainly find both accounts to be in agreement.
– St Ambrose, Book 10, Commentary on Luke, Ch. 24; An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964