Golden Chain 6630
6630 Mc 6,30-34
(p. 119) Gloss.: The Evangelist, after relating the death of John, gives an account of those things which Christ did with His disciples after the death of John, saying, "And the Apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told Him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught."
Pseudo-Jerome: For they return to the fountain-head whence the streams flow; those who are sent by God, always offer up thanks for those things which they have received.
Theophylact: Let us also learn, when we are sent on any mission, not to go far away, and not to overstep the bounds of the office committed, but to go often to him, who sends us, and report all that we have done and taught; for we must not only teach but act.
Bede: Not only do the Apostles tell the Lord what they themselves had done and taught, but also His own and John's disciples together tell Him what John had suffered, during the time that they were occupied in teaching, as Matthew relates.
It goes on: "And He said to them, Come ye yourselves apart, &c."
Augustine, de Con. Evan., 2, 45: This is said to have taken place, after the passion of John, therefore what is first related took place last, for it was by these events that Herod was moved to say, "This is John the Baptist, whom I beheaded."
Theophylact: Again, He goes into a desert place from His humility. But Christ makes His disciples rest, that men who are set over others may learn, that they who labour in any work or in the word deserve rest, and ought not to labour continually.
Bede: How arose the necessity for giving rest to His disciples, He shews, when He adds, "For there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat;" we may then see how great was the happiness of that time, both from the toil of the teachers, and from the diligence of the learners.
It goes on: "And embarking in a ship, they departed into a desert place privately."
The disciples did not enter into the ship alone, but taking up the Lord with them, they went to a desert place, as Matthew shews. (Mt 14) Here He tries the faith of the multitude, and by seeking a desert place He would see whether they care to follow Him. And they follow Him, and not on horseback, nor in carriages, but laboriously coming on foot, they shew how great is their anxiety for their salvation.
There follows: "And the people saw them departing, and many knew Him, and ran afoot (p. 120) thither out of all cities, and outwent them."
In saying that they outwent them on foot, it is proved that the disciples with the Lord did not reach the other bank of the sea, or of the Jordan, but they went to the nearest places of the same country, where the people of those parts could come to them on foot.
Theophylact: So do thou not wait for Christ till He Himself call you, but outrun Him, and come before Him.
There follows: "And Jesus when He came out saw many people, and was moved with compassion towards them, because they were as sheep having no shepherd."
The Pharisees being ravening wolves did not feed the sheep, but devoured them; for which reason they gather themselves to Christ, the true Shepherd, who gave them spiritual food, that is, the word of God.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He began to teach them many things."
For seeing that those who followed Him on account of His miracles were tired from the length of the way, He pitied them, and wished to satisfy their wish by teaching them.
Bede, in Marc., 2, 26: Matthew says that He healed their sick, for the real way of pitying the poor is to open to them the way of truth by teaching them, and to take away their bodily pains.
Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, however, the Lord took apart those whom He chose, that though living amongst evil men, they might not apply their minds to evil things, as Lot in Sodom, Job in the land of Uz, and Obadiah in the house of Ahab.
Bede, in Marc., 2, 25: Leaving also Judaea, the holy preachers, in the desert of the Church, overwhelmed by the burden of their tribulations amongst the Jews, obtained rest by the imparting of the grace of faith to the Gentiles.
Pseudo-Jerome: Little indeed is the rest of the saints here on earth, long is their labour, but afterwards, they are bidden to rest from their labours. But as in the ark of Noah, the animals that were within were sent forth, and they that were without rushed in, so is it in the Church, Judas went, the thief came to Christ. But as long as men go back from the faith, the Church can have no refuge from grief; for Rachel weeping for her children would not be comforted. Moreover, this world is not the banquet, in which the new wine is drank, when the new song will be sung by men made anew, when this mortal shall have put on immortality.
Bede, in Marc., 2, 26: But when Christ (p. 121) goes to the deserts of the Gentiles, many bands of the faithful leaving the walls of their cities, that is their old manner of living, follow Him.
6635 Mc 6,35-44
Theophylact: The Lord, placing before them, first, what is most profitable, that is, the food of the word of God, afterwards also gave the multitude food for their bodies; in beginning to relate which, the Evangelist say, "And when the (p. 122) day was now far spent, His disciples came unto Him, and said, This is a desert place.
Bede: The time being far spent, points out that it was evening. Wherefore Luke says, "But the day had begun to decline."
Theophylact: See now, how those who are disciples of Christ grow in love to man, for they pity the multitudes, and come to Christ to intercede for them. But the Lord tried them, to see whether they would know that His power was great enough to feed them.
Wherefore it goes on: "He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat."
Bede: By these words He calls on His Apostles, to break bread for the people, that they might be able to testify that they had no bread, and thus the greatness of the miracle might become more known.
Theophylact: But the disciples thought that He did not know what was necessary for the feeding of so large a multitude, for their answer shews that they were troubled.
For it goes on, "And they said unto Him, Let us go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat."
Augustine, de Con. Evan., 2, 46: This in the Gospel of John is the answer to Philip, but Mark gives it as the answer of the disciples, wishing it to be understood that Philip made this answer as a mouthpiece of the others; although he might put the plural number for the singular, as is usual.
It goes on: "And He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see."
The other Evangelists pass over this being done by the Lord.
It goes on: "And when they knew, they say, "Five, and two fishes."
This, which was suggested by Andrew, as we learn from John, the other Evangelists, using the plural for the singular, have put into the mouth of the disciples.
It goes on, "And He commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass, and they sat down in ranks by hundreds and by fifties."
But we need not be perplexed, though Luke says that they were ordered to sit down by fifties, and Mark by hundreds and fifties, for one has mentioned a part, the other the whole. Mark, who mentions the hundreds, fills up what the other has left out.
Theophylact: We are given to understand that they lay down in parties, separate from one another, for what is translated by companies, is repeated twice over in the Greek, as though it were by companies and companies.
It goes on, "And when He had taken the five loaves and the (p. 123) two fishes, He looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them: and the two fishes divided He among them all."
Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc., see Hom. in Matt., 49: Now it was with fitness that He looked up to heaven, for the Jews, when receiving manna in the desert, presumed to say of God, "Can he give bread?" (Ps 78,20) To prevent this, therefore, before He performed the miracle, He referred to His Father when He was about to do.
Theophylact: He also looks up to heaven, that He may teach us to seek our food from God, and not from the devil, as they do who unjustly feed on other men's labours. By this also He intimated to the crowd, that He could not be opposed to God, since He called upon God. And He gives the bread to His disciples to set before the multitude, that by handling the bread, they might see that it was an undoubted miracle.
It goes on: "And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments."
Twelve baskets of fragments remained over and above, that each of the Apostles, carrying a basket on his shoulder, might recognise the unspeakable wonder of the miracle. For it was a proof of overflowing power not only to feed so many men, but also to leave such a superabundance of fragments. Even though Moses gave manna, yet what was given to each was measured by his necessity, and what was over and above was overrun with worms. Elias also fed the woman, but gave her just what was enough for her; but Jesus, being the Lord, makes His gifts with superabundant profusion.
Bede: Again, in a mystical sense, the Saviour refreshes the hungry crowds at the day's decline, because, either now that the end of the world approaches, or now that the Son of justice has set in death for us, we are saved from wasting away in spiritual hunger. He calls the Apostles to Him at the breaking of bread, intimating that daily by them our hungry souls are fed, that is, by their letters and examples. By the five loaves are figured the Five Books of Moses, by the two fishes, the Psalms and Prophets.
Theophylact: Or the two fishes are the discourses of fishermen, that is, their Epistles and Gospel.
Bede: (ed. note: The same application to the five senses is found in Origen in Mt 14, 17, and St. Ambrose in Lc 6,80, latter, probably, was the source from which Bede borrowed it, as in both it forms a portion of a comparison between this miracle and that of the four thousand being fed with seven loaves, in which the latter are said to be a type of the Christian, who has given up external things. Origen, Hom. 3 in Leviticus lays it down as a principle, that the number five is almost always taken for the five sense in Scripture.) There are five senses in the outward man (p. 124) which shews that by the five thousand men are meant those who, living in the world, know how to make a good use of external things.
Greg., Mor. 16, 55: The different ranks in which those who ate lie down, mark out the divers churches which make up the one Catholic. (ed. note: The number fifty is connected with rest from sin, or remission, with an allusion to the Jubilee and to Pentecost by Origen in Matt. Tom. xi. 3, and by St. Ambrose Ap. David 8. On number a hundred, as the recognized symbol of perfection, see Benedictine Note) But the Jubilee rest is contained in the mystery of the number fifty, and fifty must be doubled before it reaches up to a hundred. As then the first step is to rest from doing evil, that afterwards the soul may rest more fully from evil thoughts, some lie down in parties of fifty, others of a hundred.
Bede: Again, those men lie down on grass and are fed by the food of the Lord, who have trodden under foot their concupiscences by continence, and apply themselves diligently to hear and fulfil the words of God. (ed. note: see Aurea Catena in Matthew, p. 537) The Saviour, however, does not create a new sort of food; for when He came in the flesh He preached no other things than were predicted, but shewed how pregnant with mysteries of grace were the writings of the Law and the Prophets.
He looks up to heaven, that He may teach us that there we must look for grace. He breaks and distributes to the disciples that they may place the bread before the multitudes, because He has opened the mysteries of prophecy to holy doctors, who are to preach them to the whole world. What is left by the crowd is taken up by the disciples, because the more sacred mysteries, which cannot be received by the foolish, are not to be passed by with negligence, but to be inquired into by the perfect. For by the twelve baskets, the Apostles and the following Doctors are typified, externally indeed despised by men, but inwardly full of healthful food. For all know that carrying baskets is a part of the work of slaves.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or, in the gathering of the twelve baskets full of fragments, is signified the time, when they shall sit on thrones, judging all who are left of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the twelve tribes of Israel, when the remnant of Israel shall be saved.
6645 Mc 6,45-52
Gloss.: The Lord indeed by the miracle of the loaves shewed that He is the Creator of the world: but now by walking on the waves He proved that He had a body free from the weight of all sin, and by appeasing the winds and by calming the rage of the waves, He declared Himself to be the Master of the elements.
Wherefore it is said, "And straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while He sent away the people."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: He dismisses indeed the people with His blessing and with some cures. But He constrained His disciples, because they could not without pain separate themselves from Him, and that, not only on account of the very great affection which they had for Him, but also because they were at a loss how He would join them.
Bede, in Marc., 2, 27: But it (p. 126) is with reason that we wonder how Mark says, that after the miracle of the loaves the disciples crossed the sea of Bethsaida, when Luke relates that the miracle was done in the parts of Bethsaida (Lc 9,10), unless we understand that Luke means by the desert which is Bethsaida not the country immediately around the town, but the desert places belonging to it. But when Mark says that they should "go before unto Bethsaida," the town itself is meant.
It goes on: "And when He had sent them away, He departed into a mountain to pray."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: This we must understand of Christ, in that He is man; He does it also to teach us to be constant in prayer.
Theophylact: But when He had dismissed the crowd, He goes up to pray, for prayer requires rest and silence.
Bede, in Marc., 2, 28: Not every man, however, who prays goes up into a mountain, but he alone prays well, who seeks God in prayer. But he who prays for riches or worldly labour, or for the death of his enemy, sends up from the lowest depths his vile prayers to God.
John says, "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force and make Him a king, He departed against into a mountain Himself, alone." (Jn 6,15)
It goes on: "And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on the land."
Theophylact: Now the Lord permitted His disciples to be in danger, that they might learn patience; wherefore He did not immediately come to their aid, but allowed them to remain in danger all night, that He might teach them to wait patiently, and not to hope at once for help in tribulations.
For there follows: "And He saw them toiling in rowing, for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night, He cometh unto them walking upon the sea."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Holy Scripture reckons four watches in the night, making each division three hours; wherefore by the fourth watch it means that which is after the ninth hour, that is, in the tenth or some following hour.
There follows: "And would have passed them."
Augustine, de Con. Evan., 2, 47: But how could they understand this, except from His going a different way, wishing to pass them as strangers; for they were so far from recognizing Him, as to take Him for a spirit.
For it goes on: "But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out."
Theophylact: See again how Christ, though He was about to put and end to (p. 127) their dangers, puts them in greater fear. But He immediately reassured them by His voice, for it continues, "And immediately He talked with them, and said unto them, It is I, be not afraid."
Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 50: As soon then as they knew Him by His voice, their fear left them.
Augustine: How then could He wish to pass them, whose fears He so reassures, if it were not that His wish to pass them would wring from them that cry, which called for His help?
Bede: (ed. note: This opinion with which Theodorus is charged was one held by the Phantasiasts, a sect of the Monophysites. The denial of the human body to our Lord, was a natural consequence of denying Him a human soul, for how could a human body inclose, so to speak, His Divinity? Theodoras was Bishop of Pharan, in Arabia, and was condemned as the author of the Monothelite heresy in the Lateran Council under Pope Martin I, AD 649. The passage from Dionysius is quoted in Actio 3 of the Council, and occurs de Div. Nom, c. 1) But Theodorus, who was Bishop of Phanara, wrote that the Lord had no bodily weight in His flesh, and walked on the sea without weight; but the Catholic faith declares that He had weight according to the flesh. For Dionysius says, We know not how without plunging in His feet, which had bodily weight and the gravity of matter, He could walk on the wet and unstable substance.
Theophylact: Then by entering into the ship, the Lord restrained the tempest. For it continues, "And He went up unto them into the ship, and the wind ceased." Great indeed is the miracle of our Lord's walking on the sea, but the tempest and the contrary wind were there as well, to make the miracle greater. For the Apostles, not understanding from the miracle of the five loaves the power of Christ, now more fully knew it from the miracle of the sea.
Wherefore it goes on, "And they were sore amazed in themselves." For they understood not concerning the loaves.
Bede: The disciples indeed, who were still carnal, were amazed at the greatness of His virtue, they could not yet however recognise in Him the truth of the Divine Majesty. Wherefore it goes on, "For their hearts were hardened."
But mystically, the toil of the disciples in rowing, and the contrary wind, mark out the labours of the Holy Church, who amidst the beating waves of the world, and the blasts of unclean spirits, strives to reach the repose of her celestial country. And well is it said that the ship was in the midst of the sea, and He alone on land, for sometimes the Church is afflicted by a pressure from the (p. 128) Gentiles so overwhelming, that her Redeemer seems to have entirely deserted her. But the Lord sees His own, toiling on the sea, for, lest they faint in tribulations, He strengthens them by the look of His love, and sometimes frees them by a visible assistance. Further, in the fourth watch He came to them as daylight approached, for when man lifts up his mind to the light of guidance from on high, the Lord will be with him, and the dangers of temptations will be laid asleep.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else, the first watch means the time up to the deluge; the second, up to Moses; the third, up to the coming of the Lord; in the fourth the Lord came and spoke to His disciples.
Bede: Often then does the love of heaven seem to have deserted the faithful in tribulation, so that it may be thought that Jesus wishes to pass by His disciples, as it were, toiling in the sea. And still do heretics suppose that the Lord was a phantom, and did not take upon Him real flesh from the Virgin.
Pseudo-Jerome: And He says to them, "Be of good cheer, it is I," because we shall see Him as He is. But the wind and the storm ceased when Jesus sat down, that is, reigned in the ship, which is the Catholic Church.
Bede: In whatsoever heart, also, He is present by the grace of His love, there soon all the strivings of vices, and of the adverse world, or of evil spirits, are kept under and put to rest.
6653 Mc 6,53-56
Gloss.: The Evangelist, having shewn the danger which (p. 129) the disciples had sustained in their passage, and their deliverance from it, now shews the place to which they sailed, saying, "And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore."
Theophylact: The Lord remained at the above-mentioned place for some time. Therefore the Evangelist subjoins, "And when they had come out of the ship, straightway they knew Him," That is, the inhabitants of the country.
Bede: But they knew Him by report, not by His features; or through the greatness of His miracles, even His person was known to some. See too how great was the faith of the men of the land of Gennesaret, so that they were not content with the healing of those who were present, but sent to other towns round about, that all might hasten to the Physician; wherefore there follows, "And ran through the whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard He was."
Theophylact: For they did not call Him to their houses that He might heal them, but rather the sick themselves were brought to Him.
Wherefore it also follows: "And whithersoever He entered into villages, or cities, or country, &c."
For the miracle which had been wrought on the woman with an issue of blood, had reached the ears of many, and caused in them that great faith, by which they were healed.
It goes on: "And as many as touched Him were made whole."
Again, in a mystical sense, do thou understand by the hem of His garment the slightest of His commandments, for whosoever shall transgress it "shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven," (Mt 5,19) or else His assumption of our flesh, by which we have come to the Word of God, and afterwards, shall have the enjoyment of His majesty.
Pseudo-Jerome: Furthermore that which is said, "And as many as touched Him were made whole," shall be fulfilled, when grief and mourning shall fly away (Is 35,10).
6701 Mc 7,1-13
Bede, in Marc., 2, 29: The people of the land of Gennesareth, who seemed to be unlearned men, not only come themselves, but also bring their sick to the Lord, that they may but succeed in touching the hem of His garment. But the Pharisees and Scribes, who ought to have been the teachers of the people, run together to the Lord, not to seek for healing, but to move captious questions.
Wherefore it is said, "Then there came together unto Him the Pharisees and certain of the Scribes, coming from Jerusalem; and when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with common, that is, with unwashen hands, they found fault."
Theophylact: For the disciples of the Lord, who were taught only the practice of virtue, used to eat in a simple way, without washing their hands; but the Pharisees, wishing to find an occasion of blame against them, took it up; they did not indeed blame them as transgressors of the law, but for transgressing the traditions of the elders.
Wherefore it goes on: "For the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders."
Bede: For taking the spiritual words of the Prophets in a carnal sense, they observed, by washing the body alone, commandments which concerned the chastening of the heart and deeds, saying, "Wash (p. 132) you, make you clean;" (Is 1,16) and again, "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." (Is 52,11)
It is therefore a superstitious human tradition, that men who are clean already, should wash oftener because they eat bread, and that they should not eat on leaving the market, without washing. But it is necessary for those who desire to partake of the bread which comes down from heaven, often to cleanse their evil deeds by alms, by tears, and the other fruits of righteousness. It is also necessary for a man to wash thoroughly away the pollutions which he has contracted from the cares of temporal business, by being afterwards intent on good thoughts and works.
In vain, however, do the Jews wash their hands, and cleanse themselves after the market, so long as they refuse to be washed in the font of the Saviour; in vain do they observe the washing of their vessels, who neglect to wash away the filthy sins of their bodies and of their hearts.
It goes on: "Then the Scribes and Pharisees asked Him, Why walk not thy disciples after the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with common hands?"
Jerome, Hier. in Matt., 15: Wonderful is the folly of the Pharisees and Scribes; they accuse the Son of God, because He keeps not the traditions and precepts of men. But "common" is here put for unclean; for the people of the Jews, boasting that they were the portion of God, called those meats common, which all made use of.
Pseudo-Jerome: He beats back the vain words of the Pharisees with His arguments, as men drive back dogs with weapons, by interpreting Moses and Isaiah, that we too by the word of Scripture may conquer the heretics, who oppose us.
Wherefore it goes on: "Well hath Esaia prophesied of you hypocrites; as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me." (Is 29,13)
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: For since they unjustly accused the disciples not of trangressing the law, but the commands of the elders, He sharply confounds them, calling them hypocrites, as looking with reverence upon what was not worthy of it. He adds, however, the words of Isaiah the prophet, as spoken to them; as though He would say, As those men, of whom it is said, "that they honour God with their lips, whilst their heart is far from Him," in vain pretend to observe the dictates of piety, whilst they honour the doctrines of men, so ye also neglect your soul, of which you (p. 133) should take care, and blame those who live justly.
Pseudo-Jerome: But Pharisaical tradition, as to tables and vessels, is to be cut off, and cast away. For they often make the commands of God yield to the traditions of men.
Wherefore it continues, "For laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold to the traditions of men, as the washing of pots and cups."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Moreover, to convict them of neglecting the reverence due to God, for the sake of the tradition of the elders, which was opposed to the Holy Scriptures, He subjoins, "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death."
Bede: The sense of the word honour in Scripture is not so much the saluting and paying court to men, as alms-giving, and bestowing gifts; "honour," says the Apostle, "widows who are widows indeed." (1Tm 5,3)
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Notwithstanding the existence of such a divine law, and the threats against such as break it, ye lightly transgress the commandment of God, observing the traditions of the Elders.
Wherefore there follows: "But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;" understand, he will be freed from the observation of the foregoing command.
Wherefore it continues, "And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother."
Theophylact: For the Pharisees, wishing to devour the offerings, instructed sons, when their parents asked for some of their property, to answer them, what thou hast asked of me is corban, that is, a gift, I have already offered it up to the Lord; thus the parents would not require it, as being offered up to the Lord, (and in that way profitable for their own salvation). (ed. note: the words in the parenthesis are not in Theophylact)
Thus they deceived the sons into neglecting their parents, whilst they themselves devoured the offerings; with this therefore the Lord reproaches them, as transgressing the law of God for the sake of gain. Wherefore it goes on, "Making the word of God of none effect through your traditions, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye;" transgressing, that is, the commands of God, that ye may observe the traditions of men.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else it may be said, that the Pharisees taught young persons, that if a man offered a gift in expiation of the injury done to his (p. 134) father or mother, he was free from sin, as having given to God the gifts which are owed to a parent; and in saying this, they did not allow parents to be honoured.
Bede: The passage may in a few words have this sense, Every gift which I have to make, will go to do you good; for ye compel children, it is meant, to say to their parents, that gift which I was going to offer to God, I expend on feeding you, and does you good, oh father and mother, speaking this ironically. Thus they would be afraid to accept what had been given into the hands of God, and might prefer a life of poverty to living on consecrated property.
Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, again, the disciples eating with unwashed hands signifies the future fellowship of the Gentiles with the Apostles. The cleaning and washing of the Pharisees is barren; but the fellowship of the Apostles, though without washing, has stretched out its branches as far as the sea.
6714 Mc 7,14-23
(p. 135) Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: The Jews regard and murmur about only the bodily purification of the law; our Lord wishes to bring in the contrary.
Wherefore it is said, "And when He had called all the people unto Him, He said unto them, Hearken unto Me every one, and understand: there is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him, but the things which come out of a man, those are they which defile a man;" that is, which make him unclean.
The things of Christ have relation to the inner man, but those which are of the law are visible and external, to which, as being bodily, the cross of Christ was shortly to put an end.
Theophylact: But the intention of the Lord in saying this was to teach men, that the observing of meats, which the law commands, should not be taken in a carnal sense, and from this He began to unfold to them the intent of the law.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Again He subjoins, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." For He had not clearly shewn them, what those things are which proceed out of a man, and defile a man; and on account of this saying, the Apostles thought that the foregoing discourse of the Lord implied some other deep thing.
Wherefore there follows: "And when He was entered into the house from the people, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable;" they called it parable, because it was not clear.
Theophylact: The Lord begins by chiding them, wherefore there follows, "Are ye so without understanding also?"
Bede: For that man is a faulty hearer who considers what is obscure to be a clear speech, or what is clear to be obscurely spoken.
Theophylact: Then the Lord shews them what was hidden, saying, "Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot make him common?"
Bede: (p. 136) For the Jews, boasting themselves to be the portion of God, call common those meals which all men use, as shellfish, hares, and animals of that sort. Not even however what is offered to idols is unclean, in as far as it is food and God's creature; it is the invocation of devils which makes it unclean; and He adds the cause of it, saying, "Because it entereth not into his heart."
The principal seat of the soul according to Plato is the brain, but according to Christ, it is in the heart.
Gloss (ed. note: It is probable that most, if not all the Glosses which cannot be found, are from St. Thomas himself, and this one is especially like his language, as may be seen by referring to Summa, 2, 2, Q148, Art 1, and 1, Q119, Art 1, in both of which places also he quotes the passages in St. Matthew parallel to this part of St. Mc). It says therefore into his heart, that is, into his mind, which is the principal part of his soul, on which his whole life depends; wherefore it is necessary, that according to the state of his heart a man should be called clean or unclean, and thus whatsoever does not reach the soul, cannot bring pollution to the man.
Meats therefore, since they do not reach the soul, cannot in their own nature defile a man; but an inordinate use of meats, which proceeds from a want of order in the mind, makes men unclean.
But that meats cannot reach the mind, He shews by that which He adds, saying, "But into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats." This however He says, without referring to what remains from the food in the body, for that which is necessary for the nourishment and growth of the body remains. But that which is superfluous goes out, and thus as it were purges the nourishment, which remains.
Augustine: For some things are joined to others in such a way as both to change and be changed, just as food, losing its former appearance, is both itself turned into our body, and we too are changed, and our strength is refreshed by it.
(ed. note: The last words of this comment are not in St. Augustine, but in Bede, who took them originally from St. Jerome's Commentary on Matthew, from whence most of Bede's remarks on this passage are taken word for word. As the sentence marked Bede is not found in him, it probably belongs to the Gloss, and his name has been transferred from the former sentence.)
Further, a most subtle liquid, after the food has been prepared and digested in our veins, and other arteries, by some hidden channels, called from a Greek word, pores, passes through us, and goes into the draught.
Bede: Thus then it is not meat that makes men unclean, but wickedness, which works in us (p. 137) the passions which come from within.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He said, That which cometh out of a man, that defileth a man."
Gloss.: The meaning of which He points out, when He subjoins, "for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts."
And thus it appears that evil thoughts belong to the mind, which is here called the heart, and according to which a man is called good or bad, clean or unclean.
Bede: From this passage are condemned those men who suppose that thoughts are put into them by the devil, and do not arise from their own evil will. The devil may excite and help on evil thoughts, he cannot be their author.
Gloss.: From evil thoughts, however, evil actions proceed to greater lengths, concerning which it is added, adulteries, that is, acts which consist in the violation of another man's bed; fornications, which are unlawful connexions between persons, not bound by marriage; murders, by which hurt is inflicted on the person of one's neighbour; thefts, by which his goods are taken from him; covetousness, by which things are unjustly kept; wickedness, which consists in calumniating others; deceit, in overreaching them; lasciviousness, to which belongs any corruption of mind or body.
Theophylact: An evil eye, that is, hatred and flattery, for he who hates turns an evil and envious eye on him whom he hates, and a flatterer, looking askance at his neighbour's goods, leads him into evil; blasphemies, that is, faults committed against God; pride, that is, contempt of God, when a man ascribes the good, which he does, not to God, but to his own virtue; foolishness, that is, an injury against one's neighbour.
Gloss. (ed. note: see Summa 2, 2, Q46, 1, and 1, 2, Q1, 1): Or, foolishness consists in wrong thoughts concerning God; for it is opposed to wisdom, which is the knowledge of divine things. It goes on: "All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." For whatsoever is in the power of a man, is imputed to him as a fault, because all such things proceed from the interior will, by which man is master of his own actions.
Golden Chain 6630