Golden Chain 6104
6104 Mc 1,4-8
Pseudo-Jerome: According to the above-mentioned prophecy of Isaiah, the way of the Lord is prepared by John, through faith, baptism, and penitence; the paths are made straight by the rough marks of the hair-cloth garment, the girdle of skin, the feeding on locusts and wild honey, and the most lowly voice; whence it is said, "John was in the wilderness."
For John and Jesus seek what is lost in the wilderness; where the devil conquered, there he is conquered; where man fell, there he rises up.
But the name, John, means the grace of God, and the narrative begins with grace. For it goes on to say, "baptizing." For by baptism grace is given, seeing that by baptism sins are freely remitted.
But what is brought to perfection by the bridegroom is introduced by the friend of the bridegroom. Thus catechumens, (which word means persons instructed,) begin by the ministry of the priest, receive the chrism from the bishop (ed. note: "Chrismantur." Chrism in the Roman Church, was applied twice; at Baptism, and more solemnly to the forehead by the Bishop at Confirmation. In the Eastern Church, it was only given once, at Confirmation, and by the Bishop only. In the French Church, it was given once, usually at Baptism, by the Priest, but if for any reason omitted, by the Bishop at Confirmation, see Bingham, Antiq. b., xii, e. 2, 2).
And to shew this, it is subjoined, "And preaching the baptism of repentance, &c".
Bede: It is evident that John not only preached, but also gave to some the baptism of repentance; but he could not give baptism for the remission of sins (ed. note: vol 1 p 97, note A). For the remission of sins is only given to us by the baptism of Christ. It is therefore only said, "Preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;" for he "preached" a baptism which could remit sins, since he could not give it.
Wherefore as he was the forerunner of the Incarnate Word of the Father, by the word of his preaching, so by his baptism, which could not remit sins, he preceded that baptism, (p. 11) of penitence, by which sins are remitted.
Theophylact: The baptism of John had not remission of sins, but only brought men to penitence. He preached therefore the baptism of repentance, that is, he preached that to which the baptism of penitence led, namely, remission of sins, that they who in penitence received Christ, might receive Him to the remission of their sins.
Pseudo-Jerome: Now by John as by the bridegroom's friend, the bride is brought to Christ, as by a servant Rebecca was brought to Isaac (Gn 24,61); wherefore there follows, "And there went out to him all, &c." For "confession and beauty are in his presence," (Ps 96,6) that is, the presence of the bridegroom. And the bride leaping down from her camel signifies the Church, who humbles herself on seeing her husband Isaac, that is, Christ. But the interpretation of Jordan, where sins are washed away, in 'an alien descent.' For we heretofore aliens to God by pride, are by the sign of Baptism made lowly, and thus exalted on high [ed. note: see St. Cyril of Jerus., Cat. xx, 4-7].
Bede: An example of confessing their sins and of promising to lead a new life, is held out to those who desire to be baptized, by those words which follow, "confessing their sins."
Chrys. " Because indeed John preached repentance, he wore the marks of repentance in his garment and in his food.
Wherefore there follow, "And John was clothed in camel's hair."
Bede: It says, clothed in a garment of hair, not in woollen clothes; the former is the mark of an austere garb, the latter of effeminate luxury. But the girdle of skins, with which he was girt, like Elias, is a mark of mortification. And this meat, "locusts and wild honey," is suited to a dweller in the wilderness, so that his object in eating was not the deliciousness of meats, but the satisfying of the necessity of human flesh.
Pseudo-Jerome: The dress of John, his food, and employment, signifies the austere life of preachers, and that future nations are to be joined to the grace of God, which is John, both in their minds and in externals. For by camel's hair, is meant the rich among the nations; and by the girdle of skin, the poor, dead to the world; and by the wandering locusts, the wise men of this world; who, leaving the dry stalks to the Jews, draw off with their legs the mystic grain, and in the warmth of their (p. 12) faith leap up towards heaven; and the faithful, being inspired by the wild honey, are full-fed from the untilled wood.
Theophylact: Or else; The garment of "camel's hair" was significative of grief, for John pointed out, that he who repented should mourn. For sackcloth signifies grief; but the girdle of skins shews the dead state of the Jewish people. The food also of John not only denotes abstinence, but also shews forth the intellectual food, which the people then were eating, without understanding any thing lofty, but continually raising themselves on high, and again sinking to the earth.
For such is the nature of locusts, leaping on high and again falling. In the same way the people ate honey, which had come from bees, that is, from the prophets; it was not however domestic, but wild, for the Jews had the Scriptures, which are as honey, but did not rightly understand them.
Gregory, Moral., xxxi, 25: Or, by the kind itself of his food he pointed out the Lord, of whom he was the forerunner; for in that our Lord took to Himself the sweetness of the barren Gentiles, he ate wild honey. In that He in His own person partly converted the Jews, He received locusts for His food, which suddenly leaping up, at once fall to the ground. For the Jews leaped up when they promised to fulfil the precepts of the Lord; but they fell to the ground when, by their evil works, they affirmed that they had not heard them. They made therefore a leap upwards in words, and fell down by their actions.
Bede: The dress and food of John may also express of what kind was his inward walk. For he used a dress more austere than was usual, because he did not encourage the life of sinners by flattery, but chid them by the vigour of his rough rebuke; he had a girdle of skin round his loins, for he was one, "who crucified his flesh with the affections and lusts." (Ga 5,24) He used to eat locusts and wild honey, because his preaching had some sweetness for the multitude, whilst the people debated whether he was the Christ himself or not; but this soon came to an end, when his hearers understood that he was not the Christ, but the forerunner and prophet of Christ. For in honey there is sweetness, in locusts swiftness of flight.
Whence there follows, "And he preached, saying, there cometh one mightier (p. 13) than I after me." (Mc 1,7)
Gloss.: He said this to do away with the opinion of the crowd, who thought that he was the Christ; but he announces that Christ is "mightier than he," he was to remit sins, which he himself could not do.
Pseudo-Jerome: Who again is mightier than the grace, by which sins are washed away, which John signifies? He who seven times and seventy times seven remits sins (Mt 18,22). Grace indeed comes first, but remits sins once only by baptism, but mercy reaches to the wretched from Adam up to Christ through seventy-seven generations, and up to one hundred and forty-four thousand.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: But lest he should be thought to say this by way of comparing himself to Christ, he subjoins, "Of whom I am not worthy, &c."
It is not however the same thing to loose the shoe-latchet, which Mark here says, and to carry his shoes, which Matthew says. And indeed the Evangelists following the order of the narrative, and not able to err in any thing, say that John spoke each of these sayings in a different sense. But commentators on this passage have expounded each in a different way.
For he means by the latchet, the tie of the shoe. He says this therefore to extol the excellence of the power of Christ, and the greatness of His divinity; as if he said, Not even in the station of his servant am I worthy to be reckoned.
For it is a great thing to contemplate, as it were stooping down, those things which belong to the body of Christ, and to see from below the image of things above, and to untie each of those mysteries, about the Incarnation of Christ, which cannot be unravelled.
Pseudo-Jerome: The shoe is in the extremity of the body; for in the end the Incarnate Saviour is coming for justice, whence it is said by the prophet, "Over Edom will I cast out my shoe." (Ps 60,9)
Gregory: Shoes also are made from the skins of dead animals. The Lord, therefore, coming incarnate, appeared as it were with shoes on His feet, for He assumed in His divinity the dead skins of our corruption. Or else; it was a custom among the ancients, that if a man refused to take as his wife the woman whom he ought to take, he who offered himself as her husband by right of kindred took off that man's shoe.
Rightly then does he proclaim himself unworthy to loose his shoe-latchet, as if he said openly, I cannot (p. 14) make bare the feet of the Redeemer, for I usurp not the name of the Bridegroom, a thing which is above my deserts.
Theophylact: Some persons also understand it thus; all who came to John, and were baptized, through penitence were loosed from the bands of their sins by believing in Christ. John then in this way loosed the shoe-latchet of all the others, that is, the bands of sin. But Christ's shoe-latchet he was not able to unloose, because he found no sin in Him.
Bede: Thus then John proclaims the Lord not yet as God, or the Son of God, but only as a man mightier than himself. For his ignorant hearers were not yet capable of receiving the hidden things of so great a Sacrament, that the eternal Son of God, having taken upon Him the nature of man, had been lately born into the world of a virgin; but gradually by the acknowledgment of His glorified lowliness, they were to be introduced to the belief of His Divine Eternity. To these words, however, he subjoins, as if covertly declaring that he was the true God, "I baptize you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." For who can doubt that none other but God can give the grace of the Holy Ghost.
Jerome: For what is the difference between water and the Holy Ghost, who was borne over the face of the waters? Water is the ministry of man; but the Spirit is ministered by God.
Bede: Now we are baptized by the Lord in the Holy Ghost, not only when in the day of our baptism, we are washed in the fount of life, to the remission of our sins, but also daily by the grace of the same Spirit we are inflamed, to do those things which please God.
6109 Mc 1,9-11
Pseudo-Jerome: Mark the Evangelist, like a hart, longing (p. 15) after the fountains of water, leaps forward over places, smooth and steep; and, as a bee laden with honey, he sips the tops of the flowers.
Wherefore he hath shewn us in his narrative Jesus coming from Nazareth, saying, "And it came to pass in those days, &c."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Forasmuch as He was ordaining a new baptism, He came to the baptism of John, which, in respect of His own baptism, was incomplete, but different from the Jewish baptism, as being between both. He did this that He might shew, by the nature of His baptism, that He was not baptized for the remission of sins, nor as wanting the reception of the Holy Ghost: for the baptism of John was destitute of both these.
But He was baptized that He might be made known to all, that they might believe on Him and "fulfil all righteousness," which is "keeping of the commandments:" for it has been commanded to men that they should submit to the Prophet's baptism.
Bede, in Marc., i, 4: He was baptized, that by being baptized Himself He might shew His approval of John's baptism [ed. note: vol i, pl 109, note h], and that, by sanctifying the waters of Jordan through the descent of the dove, He might shew the coming of the Holy Ghost in the laver of believers.
Whence there follows, "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit like a dove descending, and resting upon him."
But the heavens are opened, not by the unclosing of the elements, but to the eyes of the spirit, to which Ezekiel in the beginning of his book relates that they were opened; or that His seeing the heavens opened after baptism was done for our sakes, to whom the door of the kingdom of heaven is opened by the laver of regeneration.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else, that from heaven sanctification might be given to men, and earthly things be joined to heavenly. But the Holy Spirit is said to have descended upon Him, not as if He then first came to Him, for He never had left Him; but that He might shew forth the Christ, Who was preached by John, and point Him out to all, as it were by the finger of faith.
Bede: This event also, in which the Holy Ghost was seen to come down upon baptism, was a sign of spiritual grace to be given to us in baptism.
Pseudo-Jerome: But this is the anointing of Christ according to (p. 16) the flesh, namely, the Holy Ghost, of which anointing it is said, "God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Ps 45,7)
Bede: Well indeed in the shape of a dove did the Holy Ghost come down, for it is an animal of great simplicity, and far removed from the malice of gall, that in a figure He might shew us that He looks out for simple hearts, and deigns not to dwell in the minds of the wicked.
Pseudo-Jerome: Again, the Holy Ghost came down in the shape of a dove, because in the Canticles it is sung of the Church: "My bride, my love, my beloved, my dove."
"Bride" in the Patriarchs, "love" in the Prophets, "near of kin" in Joseph and Mary, "beloved" in John the Baptist, "dove" in Christ and His Apostles: to whom it is said, "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." (Mt 10,16)
Bede: Now the Dove sat on the head of Jesus, lest any one should think that the voice of the Father was addressed to John and not to Christ. And well did he add, "abiding on Him;" for this is peculiar to Christ, that the Holy Ghost once filling Him should never leave Him.
For sometimes to His faithful disciples the grace of the Spirit is conferred for signs of virtue, and for the working of miracles, sometimes it is taken away; though for the working of piety and righteousness, for the preservation of love to God and to one's neighbour, the grace of the Spirit is never absent.
But the voice of the Father shewed that He Himself, who came to John to be baptized with the other, was the very Son of God, willing to baptize with the Holy Spirit, whence there follows, "And there came a voice from heaven, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." Not that this informed the Son Himself of a thing of which He was ignorant, but it shews to us what we ought to believe.
Augustine, de Con. Ev., ii, 14: Wherefore Matthew relates that the voice said, "This is my beloved Son;" for he wished to shew that the words, "This is My Son," were in fact said, that thus the persons who heard it might know that He, and not another, was the Son of God.
But if you ask which of these two sounded forth in that voice, take which you will, only remember, that the Evangelists, though not relating the same form of speaking, relate the same meaning. And that God delighted Himself in His Son, we are reminded in these words, "In (p. 17) thee I am well pleased."
Bede: The same voice has taught us, that we also, by the water of cleansing, and by the Spirit of sanctification, may be made the sons of God. The mystery of the Trinity also is shewn forth in the baptism; the Son is baptized, the Spirit comes down in the shape of a dove, the voice of the Father bearing witness to the Son is heard.
Pseudo-Jerome: Morally also it may be interpreted; we also, drawn aside from the fleeting world by the smell and purity of flowers, run with the young maidens after the bridegroom, and are washed in the sacrament of baptism, from the two fountains of the love of God, and of our neighbour, by the grace of remission, and mounting up by hope gaze upon heavenly mysteries with the eyes of a clean heart.
Then we receive in a contrite and lowly spirit, with simplicity of heart, the Holy Spirit, who comes down to the meek, and abides in us, by the never-failing charity. And the voice of the Lord from heaven is directed to us the beloved of God; "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God;" (Mt 5,9) and then the Father, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, is well-pleased with us, when we are made one spirit with God.
6112 Mc 1,12-13
Chrys., Hom. in Matt., xiii: Because all that Christ did and suffered was for our teaching, He began after His baptism to dwell in the wilderness, and fought against the devil, that every baptized person might patiently sustain greater temptations after His baptism, nor be troubled, as if this which happened to Him was contrary to His expectation, but might bear up against all things, and come off conqueror.
For although God allows that we should be tempted for many other reasons, yet for this cause also He allows it, that we may know, that man when tempted is placed in a station of greater honour. For the Devil approaches not save where he has (p. 18) beheld one set in a place of greater honour; and therefore it is said, "And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness."
And the reason why He does not simply say that He went into the wilderness, but was driven, is that thou mayest understand that it was done according to the word of Divine Providence. By which also He shews that no man should thrust himself into temptation, but that those who from some other state are as it were driven into temptation, remain conquerors.
Bede, in Marc., 1, 5: And that no one might doubt, by what spirit he said that Christ was driven into the wilderness, Luke has on purpose premised, that "Jesus being full of the Spirit returned from Jordan, " and then has added, "and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness;" lest the evil spirit should be thought to have any power over Him, who, being full of the Holy Spirit, departed whither He was willing to go, and did what He was willing to do.
Chrys., in Matt., Hom., xiii: But the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness, because He designed to provoke the devil to tempt Him, and thus gave Him an opportunity not only by hunger, but also by the place. For then most of all does the devil thrust himself in, when he sees men remaining solitary.
Bede: But He retires into the desert that He may teach us that, leaving the allurements of the world, and the company of the wicked, we should in all things obey the Divine commands.
He is left alone and tempted by the devil, that He might teach us, "that all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution;" (2Tm 3,12) whence it follows, "And He was in the wilderness forty days and forty nights, and was tempted of Satan."
But He was tempted forty days and forty nights that He might shew us that as long as we live here and serve God, whether prosperity smile upon us, which is meant by the day, or adversity smite us, which agrees with the figure of night, at all times our adversary is at hand, who ceases not to trouble our way by temptations.
For "the forty days and forty nights" imply the whole time of this world, for the globe in which we are serving God is divided into four quarters.
Again, there are Ten Commandments, by observing which we fight against our enemy, but four times ten are forty. (p. 19)
There follows, "and He was with the wild beasts."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: But He says this to shew of what nature was the wilderness, for it was impassable by man and full of wild beasts.
It goes on; "and angels ministered unto Him." For after temptation, and a victory against the devil, He worked the salvation of man. And thus the Apostle says, "Angels are sent to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." (He 1,14)
We must also observe, that to those who conquer in temptation angels stand near and minister.
Bede: Consider also that Christ dwells among the wild beasts as man, but, as God, uses the ministry of Angels. Thus, when in the solitude of a holy life we bear with unpolluted mind the bestial manners of men, we merit to have the ministry of Angels, by whom, when freed from the body, we shall be transferred to everlasting happiness.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or then the beasts dwell with us in peace, as in the ark clean animals with the unclean, when the flesh lusts not against the spirit. After this, ministering Angels are sent to us, that they may give answers and comforts to hearts that watch.
6114 Mc 1,14-15
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: The Evangelist Mark follows Matthew in his order, and therefore after having said that Angels minister, he subjoins, "But after that John was put into prison, Jesus came, &c."
After the temptation and the ministry of Angels, He goes back into Galilee, teaching us not to resist the violence of evil men.
Theophylact: And to shew us that in persecutions we ought to retire, and not to await them; but when we fall into them, we must sustain them.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: He retired also that He might keep Himself for teaching and for healing, before He suffered, and after fulfilling all these things, might become obedient unto death.
Bede: John being put in prison, fitly does the Lord begin to preach: wherefore there follows, "Preaching the Gospel, &c." For when the Law ceases, the Gospel arises in its steps. [p. 20]
Pseudo-Jerome: When the shadow ceases, the truth comes on; first, John in prison, the Law in Judaea; then, Jesus in Galilee, Paul among the Gentiles preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. For to an earthly kingdom succeeds poverty, to the poverty of Christians is given an everlasting kingdom; but earthly honour is like the foam of water, or smoke, or sleep.
Bede: Let no one, however, suppose that the putting of John in prison took place immediately after the forty days' temptation and the fast of the Lord; for whosoever reads the Gospel of John will find, that the Lord taught many things before the putting of John in prison, and also did many miracles; for you have in his Gospel, "This beginning of miracles did Jesus;" (Jn 2,11) and afterwards, "for John was not yet cast into prison." (Jn 3,24)
Now it is said that when John read the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, he approved indeed the text of the history, and affirmed that they had spoken truth, but said that they had composed the history of only one year after John was cast into prison, in which year also he suffered. Passing over then the year of which the transactions had been published by the three others, he related the events of the former period, before John was cast into prison.
When therefore Mark had said that "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom," he subjoins, "saying, Since the time is fulfilled, &c."
Pseudo-Chrys., vict. Ant. Cat. in Marc.: Since then the time was fulfilled, "when the fulness of times was come, and God sent His son," it was fitting that the race of man should obtain the last dispensation of God. And therefore he says, "for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Origen, in Matt., tom. x, 14: But the kingdom of God is essentially the same as the kingdom of heaven, though they differ in idea. [ed. note: see Origen, de Orat. 25, 26 in Matt. t 12.14 (?)]
For by the kingdom of God is to be understood that in which God reigns; and this in truth is in the region of the living, where, seeing God face to face, they will abide in the good things now promised to them; whether by this region one chooses to understand Love, or some other confirmation (ed. note: By 'confirmation,' seems to be meant the perfecting of spiritual natures; see Thomas Aq., I 62,1. It answers to (greek word) as used by St. Basil; de Sp. S 16) of those who put on the likeness of things (p. 21) above, which are signified by the heavens. (ed. note: "Coeli" is commonly interpreted of the Angels, by the Fathers.)
For it is clear (ed. note: see Chrys., in Matt., Hom. 19 in c. 6,9) enough that the kingdom of God is confined neither by place nor by time.
Theophylact: Or else, the Lord means that the time of the Law is complete; as if He said, Up to this time the Law was at work; from this time the kingdom of God will work, that is, a conversation according to the Gospel, which is with reason likened to the kingdom of heaven. For when you see a man clothed in flesh living according to the Gospel, do you not say that he has the kingdom of heaven, which "is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost?" (Rm 14,17)
The next word is, "Repent."
Pseudo-Jerome: For he must repent, who would keep close to eternal good, that is, to the kingdom of God. For he who would have the kernel, breaks the shell; the sweetness of the apple makes up for the bitterness of its root; the hope of gain makes the dangers of the sea pleasant; the hope of health takes away from the painfulness of medicine.
They are able worthily to proclaim the preaching of Christ who have deserved to attain to the reward of forgiveness; and therefore after He has said, "Repent," He subjoins, "and believe the Gospel." For unless ye have believed, ye shall not understand.
Bede: "Repent," therefore, "and believe;" that is, renounce dead works; for of what use is believing without good works? The merit of good works does not, however, bring to faith, but faith begins, that good works may follow.
6116 Mc 1,16-20
(p. 22) Gloss.: The Evangelist, having mentioned the preaching of Christ to the multitude, goes on to the calling of the disciples, whom He made ministers of His preaching, whence it follows, "And passing along the sea of Galilee, &c."
Theophylact: As the Evangelist John relates, Peter and Andrew were disciples of the Forerunner, but seeing that John had borne witness to Jesus, they joined themselves to him; afterwards, grieving that John had been cast into prison, they returned to their trade.
Wherefore there follows, "casting nets into the sea, for they were fishers."
Look then upon them, living on their own labours, not on the fruits of iniquity; for such men were worthy to become the first disciples of Christ; whence it is subjoined, "And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after Me."
Now He calls them for the second time; for this is the second calling in respect of that, of which we read in John. But it is shewn to what they were called, when it is added, "I will make you become fishers of men."
Remig.: For by the net of holy preaching they drew fish, that is, men, from the depths of the sea, that is, of infidelity, to the light of faith. Wonderful indeed is this fishing! for fishes when they are caught, soon after die; when men are caught by the word of preaching, they rather are made alive.
Bede, in Marc., 1, 6: Now fishers and unlettered men are sent to preach, that the faith of believers might be thought to lie in the power of God, not in eloquence or in learning. It goes on to say, "and immediately they left their nets, and followed Him."
Theophylact: For we must not allow any time to lapse, but at once follow the Lord. After these again, He catches James and John, because they also, though poor, supported the old age of their father.
Wherefore there follows, "And when He had gone a little farther thence, He saw James, the son of Zebedee, &c."
But they left their father, because he would have hindered them in following Christ. Do thou, also, when thou art hindered by thy parents, leave them, and come to God. It is shewn by this that Zebedee was not a believer; but the mother of the Apostles believed, for she followed Christ, when Zebedee was dead. (p. 23)
Bede: It may be asked, how he could call two fishers from each of the boats, (first, Peter and Andrew, then having gone a little further, the two others, sons of Zebedee,) when Luke says that James and John were called to help Peter and Andrew, and that it was to Peter only that Christ said, "Fear not, from this time thou shalt catch men;" (Lc 5,10) he also says, that "at the same time, when they had brought their ships to land, they followed Him."
We must therefore understand that the transaction which Luke intimates happened first, and afterwards that they, as their custom was, had returned to their fishing. So that what Mark here relates happened afterwards; for in this case they followed the Lord, without drawing their boats ashore, (which they would have done had they meant to return,) and followed Him, as one calling them, and ordering them to follow.
Pseudo-Jerome: Further, we are mystically carried away to heaven, like Elias, by this chariot, drawn by these fishers, as by four horses. On these four corner-stones the first Church is built; in these, as in the four Hebrew letters, we acknowledge the tetragrammation, the name of the Lord, we who are commanded, after their example, to "hear" the voice of the Lord, and "to forget" the "people" of wickedness, and "the house of our fathers' " (Ps 45,10) conversation, which is folly before God, and the spider's net, in the meshes of which we, like gnats, were all but fallen, and were confined by things vain as the air, which hangs on nothing; loathing also the ship of our former walk.
For Adam, our forefather according to the flesh, is clothed with the skins of dead beasts; but now, having put off the old man, with his deeds, following the new man we are clothed with those skins of Solomon, with which the bride rejoices that she has been made beautiful (Ct 1,4).
Again, Simon, means obedient; Andrew, manly; James, supplanter (ed. note: Cf. vol i, 139, 140, 364); John, grace; by which four names, we are knit together into God's host (ed. note: Al. 'in imaginem'); by obedience, that we may listen; by manliness, that we do battle; by overthrowing, that we may persevere; by grace, that we may be preserved. Which four virtues are called cardinal; for by prudence, we obey; by justice, we bear ourselves manfully; by temperance, we tread the serpent underfoot; by fortitude, we earn the grace of (p. 24) God.
Theophylact: We must know also, that action is first called, then contemplation; for Peter is the type of the active life, for he was more ardent than the others, just as the active life is the more bustling; but John is the type of the contemplative life, for he speaks more fully of divine things.
6121 Mc 1,21-22
Pseudo-Jerome: Mark, arranging the sayings of the Gospel as they were in his own mind, not in themselves, quits the order of the history, and follows the order of the mysteries.
Wherefore he relates the first miracle on the sabbath day, saying, "And they go into Capernaum."
Theophylact: Quitting Nazareth. Now on the sabbath day, when the Scribes were gathered together, He entered into a synagogue, and taught.
Wherefore there follows, "And straightway on the sabbath day, having entered into the synagogue, He taught them."
For this end the Law commanded them to give themselves up to rest on the sabbath day, that they might meet together to attend to sacred reading. Again, Christ taught them by rebuke, not by flattery as did the Pharisees; wherefore it says, "And they were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having power, and not as the Scribes."
He taught them also in power, transforming men to good, and He threatened punishment to those who did not believe on Him.
Bede: The Scribes themselves taught the people what was written in Moses and the Prophets; but Jesus as the God and Lord of Moses, himself, by the freedom of His own will, either added those things which appeared wanting in the Law, or altered things as He preached to the people; as we read in Matthew, "It was said to them of old time, but I say unto you." (Mt 5,27)
Golden Chain 6104