Golden Chain 7032
7032 Mc 10,32-34
(p. 208) Bede: The disciples remembered the discourse in which the Lord had foretold that He was about to suffer many things from the chief priests and scribes, and therefore in going up to Jerusalem, they were amazed. And this is what is meant, when it is said, "And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went before them."
Theophylact: To shew that He runs to meet His Passion, and that He does not refuse death, for the sake of our salvation; and they were amazed, and as they followed, they were afraid.
Bede: Either lest they themselves should perish with Him, or at all events lest He, whose life and ministry was their joy, should fall under the hand of His enemies. But the Lord, foreseeing that the minds of His disciples would be troubled by His Passion, foretells to them both the pain of His Passion, and the glory of His Resurrection.
Wherefore there follows: "And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto Him."
Theophylact: He did this to confirm the hearts of the disciples, that from hearing these things beforehand, they might the better bear them afterwards, and might not be alarmed at their suddenness, and also in order to shew them that He suffered voluntarily; for he who foreknows a danger, and flies not, though flight is in his power, evidently of his own will gives himself up to suffering. But He takes His disciples apart, because it was fitting that He should reveal the mystery of His Passion to those who were more closely connected with Him.
Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc. sed v. Chrys. Hom. 65: And He enumerates each thing that was to happen to Him; lest if He should pass any thing over, they should be troubled afterwards at suddenly seeing it.
Wherefore He adds, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man."
Gloss.: That is, He to whom suffering belongs; for the Godhead cannot suffer. "Shall be delivered," that is, by Judas, "unto the Chief (p. 209) Priests, and unto the Scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death"; judging Him to be guilty of death; "and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles," that is, to Pilate the Gentile; and his soldiers "shall mock Him, and shall spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and put Him to death."
Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 65: But that when they were saddened on account of His Passion and death, they should then also look for His Resurrection, He adds, "And the third day He shall rise again"; for since He had not hid from them the sorrows and insults which happened, it was fitting that they should believe Him on other points.
7035 Mc 10,35-40
Chrys.: The disciples hearing Christ oftentimes speaking of His kingdom, thought that this kingdom was to be before His death, and therefore now that His death was foretold to them, they came to Him, that they might immediately be made worthy of the honours of the kingdom.
Wherefore it is said, "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came unto (p. 210) Him, saying, Master, we would that Thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire."
For ashamed of the human weakness which they felt, they came to Christ, taking Him apart from the disciples; but our Saviour, not from ignorance of what they wanted to ask, but from a wish of making them answer Him, puts this question to them; "And He said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?"
Theophylact: Now the abovementioned disciples thought that He was going up to Jerusalem, to reign there, and then to suffer what He had foretold. And with these thoughts, they desired to sit on the right hand and the left hand.
Wherefore there follows: "They said unto Him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on Thy right hand, the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory."
Augustine, de Con. Evan., ii, 64: Matthew has expressed that this was said not by themselves, but by their mother, since she brought their wishes to the Lord; wherefore Mark briefly implies rather that they themselves, rather than their mother, had used the words.
Chrys.: Or we may fitly say that both took place; for seeing themselves honoured above the rest, they thought that they could easily obtain the foregoing petition; and that they might the more easily succeed in their request, they took their mother with them, that they might pray unto Christ together with her.
Augustine: Then the Lord both according to Mark, and to Matthew, answered them rather than their mother.
For it goes on: "But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask."
Theophylact: It will not be as ye think, that I am to reign as a temporal king in Jerusalem, but all these things, that is, these which belong to My kingdom, are beyond your understanding; for to site on My right hand is so great a thing that it surpasses the Angelic orders.
Bede: Or else, they know not what they ask, who seek from the Lord a seat of glory, which they do not yet merit.
Chrys.: Or else He says, "Ye know not what ye ask"; as if He said, Ye speak of honours, but I am discoursing of wrestlings and toil; for this is not a time of rewards, but of blood, of battles, and dangers.
Wherefore He adds, "Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized withal?"
He draws them on by way of question, that by communication with Himself, their eagerness might increase.
Theophylact: But (p. 211) by the cup and baptism, He means the cross; the cup, that is, as being a potion by Him sweetly received, but baptism as the cause of the cleansing of our sins. And they answer Him, without understanding what He had said; wherefore it goes on: "And they said unto Him, We can;" for they thought that He spoke of a visible cup, and of the baptism of which the Jews made use, that is, the washings before their meals.
Chrys.: And they answered thus quickly, because they expected that what they had asked would be listened to; it goes on: "And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of, and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized;" that is, ye shall be worthy of martyrdom, and suffer even as I.
Bede: A question is raised, however, how James and John drank the cup of martyrdom, or how they were baptized with the baptism of the Lord, when the Scripture relates, that only James the Apostle was beheaded by Herod whilst John finished his life by a natural death. But if we read ecclesiastical histories, in which it is related, that he also on account of the witness which he bore was cast into a cauldron of burning oil, and was immediately sent away to the island of Patmos, we shall then see that the spirit of martyrdom was in him, and that John drank the cup of confession, which the Three Children also drank in the furnace of fire, though the persecutor did not spill their blood.
It goes on: "But to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared."
Chrys.: Where two questions are raised, one is, whether a seat on His right hand is prepared for any one; the other, whether the Lord of all has it not in His power to give it to those for whom it is prepared. To the first then we say, that no one sits on His right hand or on His left, for that throne is inaccessible to a creature.
How then did He say, "To sit on My right hand or on My left is not mine to give you," as though it belonged to some who were to sit there? He however answers the thoughts of those who asked Him, condescending to their meaning; for they did not know that lofty throne and seat, which is on the right hand of the Father, but sought one thing alone, that is, to possess the chief place, and to be set over others. And since they had heard it said of the Apostles, that they were to sit on twelve (p. 212) thrones, they begged for a place higher than all the rest, not knowing what was said. To the second question we must say, that such a gift does not transcend the power of the Son of God, but what is said by Matthew, "it is prepared by My Father," (Mt 20,23) is the same as if it were said, "by Me," wherefore also Mark did not say here, by My Father.
What therefore Christ says here is this, Ye shall die, He says, for Me, but this is not enough to enable you to obtain the highest place, for if another person comes possessing besides martyrdom all other virtues, he will possess much more than you; for the chief place is prepared for those, who by works are enabled to become the first. Thus then the Lord instructed them not to trouble themselves vainly and absurdly for high places; at the same time He would not have them made sad.
Bede: Or else, it is not mine to give to you, that is, to proud persons, for such as yet they were. It is prepared for other persons, and be ye other, that is, lowly, and it is prepared for you.
7041 Mc 10,41-45
Theophylact: The other Apostles are indignant at seeing James and John seeking for honour; wherefore it is said, "And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John." For being influenced by human feelings, they were moved with envy; and their first (p. 213) displeasure arose from their seeing that they were not taken up by the Lord; before that time they were not displeased, because they saw that they themselves were honoured before other men. At this time the Apostles were thus imperfect, but afterwards they yielded the chief place one to another.
Christ however cures them; first indeed by drawing them to Himself in order to comfort them; and this is meant, when it is said, "But Jesus called them to Him"; then by shewing them that to usurp honour, and to desire the chief place, belongs to Gentiles.
Wherefore there follows: "And saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship; and their great ones exercise authority over them."
The great ones of the Gentiles thrust themselves into the chief place tyrannically and as lords.
It goes on: "But so shall it not be among you."
Bede: In which He teaches, that he is the greater, who is the less, and that he becomes the lord, who is servant of all: vain, therefore, was it both for the one party to seek for immoderate things, and the other to be annoyed at their desiring greater things, since we are to arrive at the height of virtue not by power but by humility.
Then He proposes an example, that if they lightly regarded His words, His deeds might make them ashamed, saying, "For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Theophylact: Which is a greater thing than to minister. For what can be greater or more wonderful than that a man should die for him to whom he ministers? Nevertheless, this serving and condescension of humility was His glory, and that of all; for before He was made man, He was known only to the Angels; but now that He has become man and has been crucified, He not only has glory Himself, but also has taken up others to a participation in His glory, and ruled by faith over the whole world.
Bede: He did not say, however, that He gave His life a ransom for all, but for many, that is, for those who would believe on Him.
7046 Mc 10,46-52
(p. 214) Jerome: The name of the city agrees with the approaching Passion of our Lord; for it is said, "And they came to Jericho." Jericho means moon or anathema; but the failing of the flesh of Christ is the preparation of the heavenly Jerusalem.
It goes on: "And as He went out of Jericho with His disciples, and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the wayside begging."
Bede: Matthew says, that there were two blind men sitting by the wayside, who cried to the Lord, and received their sight; but Luke relates that one blind man was enlightened by Him, with a like order of circumstances, as He was going into Jericho; where no one, at least no wise man, will suppose that the Evangelists wrote things contrary to one another, but that one wrote more fully, what another has left out.
We must therefore understand that one of them was the more important, which appears from this circumstance, that (p. 215) Mark has related his name and the name of his father.
Augustine, de Con. Evan., ii, 65: It is for this reason that Mark wished to relate his case alone, because his receiving his sight had gained for the miracle a fame, illustrious in proportion to the extent of the knowledge of his affliction. But although Luke relates a miracle done entirely in the same way, nevertheless we must understand that a similar miracle was wrought on another blind man, and a similar method of the same miracle.
It goes on: "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: The blind man calls the Lord, the Son of David, hearing the way in which the passing multitude praised Him, and feeling sure that the expectation of the prophets was fulfilled.
There follows: "And many charged him that he should hold his peace."
Origen, in Matt. tom. xvi, 13 (ed. note: these preceding words of Origen are necessary to make up the sense: "Next observe, that on the blind man's crying out, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me, it was they who went before that charged him that he should hold his peace." see Lc 18,39): As if he said, Those who were foremost in believing rebuked him when he cried, "Thou Son of David," that he might hold his peace, and cease to call Him by a contemptible name, when he ought to say, Son of God, have pity upon me. He however did not cease; wherefore it goes on: "But he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me;" and the Lord heard his cry; wherefore there follows: "And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called."
But observe, that the blind man, of whom Luke speaks, is inferior to this one; for neither did Jesus call him, nor order him to be called, but He commanded him to be brought to Him, as though unable to come by himself; but this blind man by the command of our Lord is called to Him.
Wherefore it goes on: "And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise, He calleth thee;" but he casting away his garment, comes to Him. It goes on: "And he casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus."
Perchance, the garment of the blind man means the veil of blindness and poverty, with which he was surrounded, which he cast away and came to Jesus; and the Lord questions him, as he is approaching.
Wherefore there follows: "And Jesus answered and said unto him, What will thou that I (p. 216) should do unto thee."
Bede: Could He who was able to restore sight be ignorant of what the blind man wanted? His reason then for asking is that prayer may be made to Him; He puts the question, to stir up the blind man's heart to pray.
Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 56: Or He asks, lest men should think that what He granted the man was not what he wanted. For it was His practice to make the good disposition of those who were to be cured known to all men, and then to apply the remedy, in order to stir up others to emulation, and to shew that he who was to be cured was worthy to obtain the grace.
It goes on: "The blind man said unto Him, Lord, that I may receive my sight."
Bede: For the blind man looks down upon every gift except light, because, whatever a blind man may possess, without light he cannot see what he possesses.
Pseudo-Jerome: But Jesus, considering his ready will, rewards him with the fulfilment of his desire.
Origen: Again, it is more worthy to say Rabboni, or, as it is in other places, Master, than to say Son of David; wherefore He given him health, not on his saying, Son of David, but when he said Rabboni.
Wherefore there follows: "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him in the way."
Theophylact: The mind of the blind man is grateful, for when he was made whole, he did not leave Jesus, but followed Him.
Bede: In a mystical sense, however, Jericho, which means the moon, points out the waning of our fleeting race. The Lord restored sight to the blind man, when drawing near to Jericho, because coming in the flesh and drawing near to His Passion, He brought many to the faith; for it was not in the first years of His Incarnation, but in the few years before He suffered, that He shewed the mystery of the Word to the world.
Pseudo-Jerome: But the blindness in part, brought upon the Jews (Rm 11,25), will in the end be enlightened when He sends unto them the Prophet Elias.
Bede: Now in that on approaching Jericho, He restored sight to one man, and on quitting it to two, He intimated, that before His Passion He preached only to one nation, the Jews, but after His Resurrection and Ascension, through His Apostles He opened the mysteries both of His Divinity and His Humanity to Jews and Gentiles. (p. 217) Mark indeed, in writing that one received his sight, refers to the saving of the Gentiles, that the figure might agree with the salvation of those, whom he instructed in the faith; but Matthew, who wrote his Gospel to the faithful among the Jews, because it was also to reach the knowledge of the Gentiles, fitly says that two received their sight, that He might teach us that the grace of faith belonged to each people.
Therefore, as the Lord was departing with His disciples and a great multitude from Jericho, the blind man was sitting, begging by the way-side; that is, when the Lord ascended into heaven, and many of the faithful followed Him, yea when all the elect from the beginning of the world entered together with Him the gate of heaven (ed. note: This refers to the opinion that by the descent of our Lord into hell, the Patriarchs were freed from the limbus Patrum, where they had been confined, and were carried by Him into a place of happiness; see authorities quoted in Pearson on the Creed, Art. 5), presently the Gentile people began to have hope of its own illumination; for it now sits begging by the wayside, because it has not entered upon and reached the path of truth.
Pseudo-Jerome: The people of the Jews also, because it kept the Scriptures and did not fulfill them, begs and starves by the wayside; but he cries out, "Son of David, have mercy upon me," because the Jewish people are enlightened by the merits of the Prophets. Many rebuke him that he may hold his peace, that is, sins and devils restrain the cry of the poor; and he cried the more, because when the battle waxes great, hands are to be lifted up with crying to the Rock of help, that is, Jesus of Nazareth.
Bede: Again, the people of the Gentiles, having heard of the fame of the name of Christ, sought to be made a partaker of Him, but many spoke against Him, first the Jews, then also the Gentiles, lest the world which was to be enlightened should call upon Christ. The fury of those who attacked Him, however, could not deprive of salvation those who were fore-ordained to life. And He heard the blind man's cry as He was passing, but stood when He restored his sight, because by His Humanity He pitied him, who by the power of His Divinity has driven away the darkness from our mind; for in that Jesus was born and suffered for our sakes, He as it were passed by, because this action is temporal; but when God is said to stand, it means, that, (p. 218) Himself without change, He sets in order all changeable things. But the Lord calls the blind man, who cries to Him, when He sends the word of faith to the people of the Gentiles by preachers; and they call on the blind man to be of good cheer and to rise, and bid him come to the Lord, when by preaching to the simple, they bid them have hope of salvation, and rise from the sloth of vice, and gird themselves for a life of virtue.
Again, he throws away his garment and leaps, who, throwing aside the bonds of the world, with unencumbered pace hastens to the Giver of eternal light.
Pseudo-Jerome: Again, the Jewish people comes leaping, stripped of the old man, as a hart (red stag, male deer) leaping on the mountains, that is, laying aside sloth, it meditates on Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles on high, and raises itself to heights of holiness. How consistent also is the order of salvation. First we heard by the Prophets, then we cry aloud by faith, next we are called by Apostles, we rise up by penitence, we are stripped of our old garment by baptism, and of our choice we are questioned. Again, the blind man when asked requires, that he may see the will of the Lord.
Bede: Therefore let us also imitate him, let us not seek for riches, earthly goods, or honours from the Lord, but for that Light, which we alone with the Angels can see, the way to which is faith; wherefore also Christ answers to the blind man, "Thy faith hath saved thee." But he sees and follows who works what his understanding tells him is good; for he follow Jesus, who understands and executes what is good, who imitates Him, who had no wish to prosper in this world, and bore reproach and derision. And because we have fallen from inward joy, by delight in the things of the body, He shews us what bitter feelings the return thither will cost us.
Theophylact: Further, it says that he followed the Lord in the way, that is, in this life, because, after it, all are excluded who follow Him not here, by working His commandments.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or, this is the way of which He said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life Jn 14,6." This is the narrow way, which leads to the heights of Jerusalem, and Bethany, to the mount of Olives, which is the mount of light and consolation.
7101 Mc 11,1-10
(p. 220) Chrys.: Now that the Lord had given sufficient proof of His virtue, and the cross was at hand, even at the door, He did those things which were about to excite them against Him with a greater openness; therefore although He had so often gone up to Jerusalem, He never however had done so in such a conspicuous manner as now.
Theophlyact: That thus, if they were willing, they might recognize His glory, and by the prophecies, which were fulfilled concerning Him, know that He is very God; and that if they would not, they might receive a greater judgment, for not having believed so many wonderful miracles. Describing therefore this illustrious entrance, the Evangelist say, "And when they came nigh unto Jerusalem, and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of His disciples."
Bede, in Marc., 3, 41: Bethany is a little village or town by the side of mount Olivet, where Lazarus was raised from the dead. But in what way He sent His disciples and for what purpose is shewn in these words, "And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you."
Theophylact: Now consider how many things the Lord foretold to His disciples, that they should find a colt; wherefore it goes on, "And as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat, loose him, and bring him;" and that they should be impeded in taking it, wherefore there follows, "And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye, The Lord hath need of him;" and that on saying this, they should be allowed to take him; wherefore there follows, "And straightway he will send him hither;" and as the Lord had said, so it was fulfilled. Thus it goes on: "And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without, in a place where two ways meet; and they loose him."
Augustine, de Con. Evan, ii, 66: Matthew says, an ass and a colt, the rest however do not mention the ass. Where then both may be the case, there is no disagreement, though one Evangelist mentions one thing, and a second mentions another; how much less should a question be raised, when one mentions one, and another mentions that same one and another.
It goes on: "And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded, and they let them take it," that is, the colt.
Theophylact: But they would not have allowed this, if the (p. 221) Divine power had not been upon them, to compel them, especially, as they were country people and farmers, and yet allowed them to take away the colt.
It goes on: "And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and He sat upon him."
Pseudo-Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon.: Not indeed that He was compelled by necessity to ride on a colt from the mount of Olives to Jerusalem, for He had gone over Judaea and all Galilee on foot, but this action of His is typical.
It goes on: "And many spread their garments in the way;" that is, under the feet of the colt; "and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way."
Pseudo-Jerome: This, however, was rather done to honour Him, and as a Sacrament, than of necessity.
It goes on: "and they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Theophylact: For the multitude, until it was corrupted, knew what was its duty, for which reason each honoured Jesus according to his own strength. Wherefore they praised Him, and took up the hymns of the Levites, saying, Hosanna, which according to some is the same as "save me," but according to others means a hymn. I however suppose the former to be more probable, for there is in the 117th Psalm, "Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord," which in the Hebrew is, "Hosanna" (Ps 117,25).
Bede: But "Hosanna" is a Hebrew word, made out of two, one imperfect the other perfect. For "save", or "preserve", is in their language, "hosy"; but "anna" is a supplicatory interjection, as in Latin, "heu", is an exclamation of grief.
Pseudo-Jerome: They cry out Hosanna, that is, save us, that men might be saved by Him who was blessed, and was a conqueror and came in the name of the Lord, that is, of His Father, since the Father is so called because of the Son, and the Son, because of the Father.
Psuedo-Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon.: Thus then they give glory to God, saying, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." They also bless the kingdom of Christ, saying, "Blessed by the kingdom of our father, David, which cometh."
Theophylact: But they called the kingdom of Christ, that of David, both because Christ was descended from the seed of David, and because David means a man of a strong hand. For whose hand is stronger than the Lord's, by which so many and so great miracles were wrought.
Pseudo-Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon.: Wherefore also the prophets so often call (p. 222) Christ by the name of David, on account of the descent according to the flesh of Christ from David.
Bede: Now we read in the Gospel of John that He fled into a mountain, lest they should make Him their king. Now, however, when He comes to Jerusalem to suffer, He does not shun those who call Him king, that He might openly teach them that He was King over an empire not temporal and earthly, but everlasting in the heavens, and that the path to this kingdom was through contempt of death.
Observe, also, the agreement of the multitude with the saying of Gabriel, "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David;" (Lc 1,32) that is, that He Himself may call by word and deed to a heavenly kingdom the nation to which David once furnished the government of a temporal rule.
Pseudo-Chrys., Cat. in Marc. Oxon.: And further, they give glory to God, when they add, "Hosanna in the highest," that is, praise and glory be to the God of all, Who is in the highest.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or Hosanna, that is, save "in the highest" as well as in the lowest, that is, that the just be built on the ruin of Angels, and also that both those on the earth and those under the earth should be saved. In a mystical sense, also, the Lord approaches Jerusalem, which is 'the vision of peace,' in which happiness remains fixed and unmoved, being, as the Apostle says, the mother of all believers. (Ga 4,26)
Bede: Bethany again means the house of obedience, because by teaching many before His Passion, he made for Himself a house of obedience; and it is said to be placed on the mount of Olives, because He cherishes His Church with the unction of spiritual gifts, and with the light of piety and knowledge. But He sent His disciples to a hold (ed. note: castellum), which was over against them, that is, He appointed doctors to penetrate into the ignorant parts of the whole world, into, as it were, the walls of the hold placed against them.
Pseudo-Jerome: The disciples of Christ are called two by two, and sent two by two, since charity implies more than one, as it is written, "Woe to him that is alone." (Qo 4,10) Two persons lead the Israelites out of Egypt: two bring down the bunch of grapes from the Holy Land, that men in authority might ever join together activity and knowledge, and bring forward two commandments from the Two Tables, and be washed from two fountains, and carry the ark of the Lord on two poles, and know the Lord between the two Cherubim, (p 223) and sing to Him with both mind and spirit.
Theophylact: The colt, however, was not necessary to Him, but He sent for it to shew that He would transfer Himself to the Gentiles.
Bede: For the colt of the ass, wanton and unshackled, denotes the people of the nations, on whom no man had yet sat, because no wise doctor had, by teaching them the things of salvation, put upon them the bridle of correction, to oblige them to restrain their tongues from evil, or to compel them into the narrow path of life.
Pseudo-Jerome: But "they found the colt tied by the door without," because the Gentile people were bound by the chain of their sins before the door of faith, that is, without the Church.
Ambrose, in Luc. 9, 6: Or else, they found it bound before the door, because whosoever is not in Christ is without, in the way; but he who is in Christ, is not without. He has added "in the way," or "in a place where two ways meet," where there is no certain possession for any man, not stall, nor food, nor stable; miserable is his service, whose rights are unfixed; for he who has not the one Master, has many. Strangers bind him that they may possess him, Christ looses him in order to keep him, for He knows that gifts are stronger ties than bonds.
Bede: Or else, fitly did the colt stand in a place where two ways meet, because the Gentile people did not hold on in any certain road of life and faith, but followed in its error many doubtful paths of various sects.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or, in a place where two roads meet, that is, in the freedom of will, hesitating between life and death.
Theophylact: Or else, in a place where two roads meet, that is, in this life, but it was loosed by the disciples, through faith and baptism.
Pseudo-Jerome: "But some said, What do ye?" as if they would say, Who can remit sins?
Theophylact: Or else, those who prevent them are the devils, who were weaker than the Apostles.
Bede: Or else, the master of error, who resisted the teachers, when they came to save the Gentiles; but after that the power of the faith of the Lord appeared to believers, the faithful people were freed from the cavils of the adversaries, and were brought to the Lord, whom they bore in their hearts. But by the garments of the Apostles, which they put upon it, we may understand the teaching of virtues, or the interpretation of the Scriptures, or the various doctrines of the Church, by which they clothe the hearts of men, once naked and (p. 224) cold and fit them to become the seats of Christ.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, they put upon it their garments, that is, they bring to them the first robe of immortality by the Sacrament of Baptism. "And Jesus sat upon it," that is, began to reign in them, so that sin should not reign in their wanton flesh, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Again, "many spread their garments in the way," under the feet of the foal of the ass. What are feet, but those who carry, and the least esteemed, whom the Apostle has set to judge? (1Co 6,4) And these too, though they are not the back on which the Lord sat, yet are instructed by John with the soldiers.
Bede: Or else, many strew their garments in the way, because the holy martyrs put off from themselves the garment of their own flesh, and prepare a way for the more simple servants of God with their own blood. Many also strew their garments in the way, because they tame their bodies with abstinence, that they may prepare a way for God to the mount, or may give good examples to those who follow them.
And they cut down branches from the trees, who in the teaching of the truth cull the sentences of the Fathers from their words, and by their lowly preaching scatter them in the path of God, when He comes into the soul of the hearer.
Theophylact: Let us also strew the way of our life with branches which we cut from the trees, that is, imitate the saints, for these are holy trees, from which, he who imitates their virtues cuts down branches.
Pseudo-Jerome: "For the righteous shall flourish as a palm tree," straitened in their roots, but spreading out wide with flowers and fruits; for they are a good odour unto Christ, and strew the way of the commandments of God with their good report. Those who went before are the prophets, and those who followed are the Apostles.
Bede: And because all the elect, whether those who were able to become such in Judaea, or those who now are such in the Church, believed and now believe on the Mediator between God and man, both those who go before and those who follow cried out Hosanna.
Theophylact: But both those of our deeds which go before and those which follow after must be done to the glory of God; for some in their past life make a good beginning, but their following life does not correspond with their former, neither does it end to the glory of God.
Golden Chain 7032