Golden Chain 7412
7412 Mc 14,12-16
(p. 281) Chrysostom: Whilst Judas was plotting how to betray Him, the rest of the disciples were taking care of the preparation of the Passover: where it is said, "And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover, His disciples said unto Him, 'Where wilt thou that we go and prepare where thou mayest eat the Passover?' "
Bede: He means by the first day of the Passover the fourteenth day of the first month, when they throw aside leaven, and were wont to sacrifice, that is, to kill the lamb at even. The Apostle explaining this says, "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." (1Co 5,7).
For although He was crucified on the next day, that is, on the fifteenth moon, yet on the night when the lamb was offered up, He committed to His disciples the Mysteries of His Body and Blood, which they were to celebrate, and was seized upon and bound by the Jews; thus He consecrated the beginning of His Sacrifice, that is, of His Passion.
Pseudo-Jerome: But the unleavened bread which was eaten with bitterness, that is with bitter herbs, is our redemption, and the bitterness is the Passion of Our Lord.
Theophylact: From the words of the disciples, "Where wilt thou that we go?", it seems evident that Christ had no dwelling-place, and that the disciples had no houses of their own; for if so, they would have taken Him thither.
Pseudo-Jerome: For they say, "Where wilt thou that we go?", to shew us that we should direct our steps according to the Will of God. But the Lord points out with whom He would eat the Passover, and after His custom He sends two disciples, which we have explained above; wherefore it goes on, "And He sendeth forth two of His disciples, and He saith unto them, 'Go ye into the city.' "
Theophylact: He sent two of His disciples, that is, Peter and John, as Luke says, to a man unknown to (p. 282) Him, implying by this that He might, if He had pleased, have avoided His Passion. For what could not He work in other men, who influenced the mind of a person unknown to Him, so that he received them? He also gives them a sign how they were to know the house, when He adds, "And there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water."
Augustine, de Con. Evan, ii, 80: Mark says a pitcher, Luke a two-handed vessel; one points out the kind of vessel, the other the mode of carrying it; both however mean the same truth.
Bede: And it is a proof of the presence of His divinity, that in speaking with His disciples, He knows what is to take place elsewhere; wherefore it follows, "And His disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as He had said unto them; and they made ready the Passover."
Chrysostom: Not our Passover, but in the meanwhile that of the Jews; but He did not only appoint ours, but Himself became our Passover. Why too did He eat it? Because He was "made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law," (Ga 4,4) and Himself gave rest to the Law. And lest any one should say that He did away with it, because He could not fulfil its hard and difficult obedience, He first Himself fulfilled it, and then set it to rest.
Pseudo-Jerome: And in a mystical sense the city is The Church, surrounded by the wall of faith, the man who meets them is the primitive people, the pitcher of water is the law of the letter.
Bede: Or else, the water is the laver of grace, the pitcher points out the weakness of those who were to shew that grace to the world.
Theophylact: He who is baptized carries the pitcher of water, and he who bears baptism upon him comes to his rest, if he lives according to his reason; and he obtains rest, as being in the house.
Wherefore it is added, "Follow Him."
Pseudo-Jerome: That is, him who leads to the lofty place, where is the refreshment prepared by Christ. The lord of the house is the Apostle, Peter, to who the Lord has entrusted His house, that there may be one faith under one Shepherd. (ref Jn 21,15) The large upper-room is the wide-spread Church, in which the Name of the Lord is spoken of, prepared by a variety of powers and tongues.
Bede: Or else, the large upper-room is spiritually the Law, which comes forth from the narrowness of the letter, and in a lofty place, that is, in the lofty chamber of the soul, receives (p.283) the Saviour. But it is designedly that the names both of the bearer of the water, and of the lord of the house, are omitted, to imply that power is given to all who wish to celebrate the true Passover, that is, to be embued with the Sacraments of Christ, and to receive Him in the dwelling-place of their mind.
Theophylact: Or else, the lord of the house is the intellect, which points out the large upper room, that is, the loftiness of intelligences, and which, though it be high, yet has nothing of vain glory, or of pride, but is prepared and made level by humility. But there, that is, in such a mind Christ's Passover is prepared by Peter and John, that is by action and contemplation.
7417 Mc 14,17-21
Bede: The Lord Who had foretold His Passion, prophesied also of the traitor, in order to give him room for repentance, that understanding that his thoughts were known, he might repent. Wherefore it is said, "And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me."
Chrysostom: Where it is evident that He did not proclaim him openly to all, lest He should make him the more shameless; at the same time He did not altogether keep it silent, lest thinking that he was not discovered, he should boldly hasten to betray Him.
Theophylact: But how could they eat reclining, when the law ordered that standing and upright they should (p. 284) eat the Passover? It is probable that they had first fulfilled the legal Passover, and had reclined, when He began to give them His own Passover.
Pseudo-Jerome: The evening of the day points out the evening of the world; for the last, who are the first to receive the penny of eternal life, come about the eleventh hour. All the disciples then are touched by the Lord; so that there is amongst them the harmony of the harp, all the well attuned strings answer with accordant tone; for it goes on: "And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto Him one by one, Is it I?"
One of them however, unstrung, and steeped in the love of money, said, "Is it I, Lord?", as Matthew testifies.
Theophylact: But the other disciples began to be saddened on account of the word of the Lord; for although they were free from this passion, yet they trust Him Who knows all hearts, rather than themselves.
It goes on: "And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish."
Bede: That is, Judas, who when the others were sad and held back their hands, puts forth his hand with his Master into the dish. And because He had before said, One of you shall betray me, and yet the traitor perseveres in his evil, He accuses him more openly, without however pointing out his name.
Pseudo-Jerome: Again, He says, "One out of the twelve", as it were, separate from them, for the wolf carries away from the flock the sheep which he has taken, and the sheep which quits the fold lies open to the bite of the wolf. But Judas does not withdraw his foot from his traitorous design though once and again pointed at, wherefore his punishment is foretold, that the death denounced upon him might correct him, whom shame could not overcome; wherefore it goes on: "The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of Him."
Theophylact: The word here used, "goeth", shews that the death of Christ was not forced, but voluntary.
Pseudo-Jerome: But because many do good, in the way that Judas did, without its profiting them, there follows: "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born."
Bede: Woe, too, to that man, today and forever, who comes to the Lord's table with an evil intent. For he, after the example of Judas, betrays the Lord, not indeed to Jewish sinners, but to his (p. 285) own sinning members.
It goes on: "Good were it for that man if he had never been born."
Pseudo-Jerome: That is, hidden in his mother's inmost womb, for it is better for a man not to exist than to exist for torments.
Theophylact: For as respects the end for which he was designed, it would have been better for him to have been born, if he had not been the betrayer, for God created him for good works; but after he had fallen into such dreadful wickedness, it would have been better for him never to have been born.
7422 Mc 14,22-25
Bede: When the rites of the old Passover were finished, He passed to the new, in order, that is, to substitute the Sacrament of His own Body and Blood, for the flesh and blood of the lamb. Wherefore there follows: "And as they did eat, Jesus took bread"; that is, in order to shew that He, Himself, is that person to whom the Lord swore, "Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedec." (Ps 110,4)
There follows: "And blessed, and brake it."
Theophylact: That is, giving thanks, He brake it, which we also do, with the addition of some prayers.
Bede: He Himself also breaks the bread, which He gives to His disciples, to shew that the breaking of His Body was to take place, not against His Will, nor without His intervention; He also blessed it, because He with the Father and the Holy Spirit filled His human nature, which He took upon Him in order to suffer, with the grace of Divine power. He blessed bread and brake it, because He deigned to subject to death His manhood, which He had taken upon (p. 286) Him in such a way as to shew that there was within it the power of Divine immortality, and to teach them that therefore He would the more quickly raise it from the dead.
There follows: "And gave to them, and said, 'Take, eat: This is My Body.' "
Theophylact: That, namely, which I now give and which ye take. But the bread is not a mere figure of the Body of Christ, but is changed into the very Body of Christ. For the Lord said, "The bread which I give you is My Flesh." But the Flesh of Christ is veiled from our eyes on account of our weakness, for bread and wine are things to which we are accustomed, if however we saw flesh and blood we could not bear to take them. For this reason the Lord bending Himself to our weakness keeps the forms of bread and wine, but changes the bread and wine into the reality of His Body and Blood.
Chrysostom: Even now also that Christ is close to us; He Who prepared that table, Himself also consecrates it. For it is not man who makes the offerings to be the Body and Blood of Christ, but Christ Who was crucified for us. The words are spoken by the mouth of the Priest, and are consecrated by the power and the grace of God. By this word which He spoke, "This is My Body", the offerings are consecrated; and as that word which says, "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth," (Gn 1,28) was sent forth but once, yet has its effect throughout all time, when nature does the work of generation; so also that voice was spoken once, yet gives confirmation to the Sacrifice through all the tables of The Church even to this day, even to His advent.
Pseudo-Jerome: But in a mystical sense, the Lord transfigures into bread His Body, which is the present Church, which is received in faith, is blessed in its number, is broken in its sufferings, is given in its examples, is taken in its doctrines; and He forms His Blood in the chalice of water and wine mingled together, that by one we may be purged from our sins, by the other redeemed from their punishment (formans sanguinem suum ap. I'seudo-Hier). For by the blood of the lamb our houses are preserved from the smiting of the Angel, and our enemies perish in the waters of the Red Sea, which are the Sacraments of the Church of Christ.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them." For we are saved by the grace of the Lord, not by our own (p. 287) deserts.
Gregory, Mor. ii, 37: When His Passion was approaching, He is said to have taken bread and given thanks. He therefore gave thanks, Who took upon Him the stripes of other men's wickedness; He Who did nothing worthy of smiting, humbly gives a blessing in His Passion, to shew us, what each should do when beaten for his own sins, since He Himself bore calmly the stripes due to the sin of others; furthermore to shew us, what we who are the subjects of the Father should do under correction, when He Who is His equal gave thanks under the lash.
Bede: The wine of the Lord's cup is mixed with water, because we should remain in Christ and Christ in us. For on the testimony of John, the waters are the people, (Ap 17,15) and it is not lawful for any one to offer either wine alone, or water alone, lest such an oblation should mean that the head may be severed from the members, and either that Christ could suffer without love for our redemption, and that we can be saved or be offered to the Father without His Passion.
It goes on: "And they all drank of it."
Pseudo-Jerome: Happy intoxication, saving fulness, which the more we drink gives the greater sobriety of mind!
Theophylact: Some say that Judas did not partake in these Mysteries, but that he went out before the Lord gave the Sacrament. Some again say that He gave him also of that Sacrament.
Chrysostom: For Christ offered His Blood to him who betrayed Him, that he might have remission of his sins, if he had chosen to cease to be wicked.
Pseudo-Jerome: Judas therefore drinks and is not satisfied, nor can he quench the thirst of the everlasting fire, because he unworthily partakes of the Mysteries of Christ. There are some in The Church whom the Sacrifice does not cleanse, but their foolish thought draws them on to sin, for they have plunged themselves in the stinking slough of cruelty.
Chrysostom: Let there not be therefore a Judas at the table of the Lord; this Sacrifice is spiritual food, for as bodily food, working on a belly filled with humours which are opposed to it, is hurtful, so this spiritual food if taken by one polluted with wickedness, rather brings him to perdition, not by its own nature, but through the fault of the recipient. Let therefore our mind be pure in all things, and our thought pure, for that Sacrifice is pure.
There follows: (p. 288) "And He said unto them, 'This is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many.' "
Bede: This refers to the different circumstances of the Old Testament, which was consecrated by the blood of calves and of goats; and the lawgiver said in sprinking it, "This is the blood of the Testament which God has injoined unto you." (He 9,19-20, ref. Ex 24,8)
It goes on: "Which is shed for many."
Pseudo-Jerome: For it does not cleanse all.
It goes on: "Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
Theophylact: As if He had said, I will not drink wine until the Resurrection; for He calls His Resurrection "the kingdom", as He then reigned over death. But after His Resurrection He ate and drank with His disciples, shewing that it was He Himself who had suffered. But He drank it "new", that is, in a new and strange manner, for He had not a body subject to suffering, and requiring food, but immortal and incorruptible.
We may also understand it in this way. The vine is the Lord Himself. By the offspring (genimen) of the vine is meant mysteries, and the secret understanding, which He Himself begets (gererat), Who teaches man knowledge. But in the kingdom of God, that is, in the world to come, He will drink with His disciples mysteries and knowledge, teaching us new things, and revealing what He now hides.
Bede: Or else, Isaiah testifies that the synagogue is called the vine or the vineyard of the Lord, saying, "The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel." (Is 5,7) The Lord therefore when about to go to His Passion, says, "I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine," as if He had said openly, I will no longer delight in the carnal rites of the synagogue, in which also these rites of the Paschal Lamb have held the chief place. For the time of My Resurrection shall come, that day shall come, when in the kingdom of Heaven, that is, raised on high with the glory of immortal life, I will be filled with a new joy, together with you, for the salvation of the same people born again of the fountain of spiritual grace.
Pseudo-Jerome: But we must consider that here the Lord changes the sacrifice without changing the time; so that we never celebrate the Caena Domini before the fourteenth moon. He who celebrates the Resurrection on (p. 289) the fourteenth moon, will celebrate the Caena Domini on the eleventh moon, which was never done in either Old or New Testament.
7426 Mc 14,26-31
Theophylact: As they returned thanks, before they drank, so they return thanks after drinking; wherefore it is said, "And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives," to teach us to return thanks both before and after our food.
Pseudo-Jerome: For by a hymn he means the praise of the Lord, as is said in the Psalms (Ps 22, 26, 29), "The poor shall eat and be satisfied; they that seek after the Lord shall praise Him." And again, "All such as be fat upon earth have eaten and worshipped."
Theophylact: He also shews by this that He was glad to die for us, because when about to be betrayed, He deigned to praise God. He also teaches us when we fall into troubles for the sake of the salvation of many, not to be sad, but to give thanks to God, Who through our distress works the salvation of many.
Bede: That hymn in the Gospel of John may also be meant, which the Lord sang, returning thanks to the Father, in which also He (p. 290) prayed, raising His eyes to Heaven, for Himself and His disciples, and those who were to believe, through their word.
Theophylact: Again, He went out into a mountain, that they might come to Him in a lonely place, and take Him without tumult. For if they had come to Him, whilst He was abiding in the city, the multitude of the people would have been in an uproar, and then His enemies, who took occasion against Him, should seem to have slain Him justly, because He stirred up the people.
Bede: Beautifully also does the Lord lead out His disciples, when they had tasted His Sacraments, into the mount of Olives, to shew typically that we ought through the reception of the Sacraments to rise up to higher gifts of virtue, and graces of the Holy Ghost, that we may be anointed in heart.
Pseudo-Jerome: Jesus also is held captive on the mount of Olives, whence He ascended to Heaven, that we may know, that we ascend into Heaven from that place in which we watch and pray; there we are bound and do not tend back again to earth.
Bede: But the Lord foretells to His disciples what is about to happen to them, that when they have gone through it, they may not despair of salvation, but work out their repentance, and be freed.
Wherefore there follows: "And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of Me this night."
Pseudo-Jerome: All indeed fall, but all do not remain fallen. For shall not he who sleeps also rise up again? (Ps 40,9) It is a carnal thing to fall, but devilish to remain lying when fallen.
Theophylact: The Lord allowed them to fall that they might not trust in themselves, and lest He should seem to have prophesied, what He had said, as an open accusation of them, He brings forward the witness of Zechariah the Prophet; wherefore it goes on: "For it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." (Za 13,7)
Bede: This is written in different words in Zecharias, and in the person of the Prophet it is said to the Lord, "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered."
Pseudo-Jerome: For the Prophet prays for the Passion of the Lord, and the Father answers, I will smite the shepherd according to the prayers of those below. The Son is sent and smitten by the Father, that is, He is made Incarnate and suffers.
Theophylact: But the Father say, "I will smite the shepherd," because He permitted him to be smitten. He calls the (p. 291) disciples sheep, as being innocent and without guile. At last He consoles them, by saying, "But after that I am risen I will go before you into Galilee."
Pseudo-Jerome: In which the true Resurrection is promised, that their hope may not be extinguished. There follows: "But Peter said unto Him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I." Lo a bird unfledged strives to raise itself on high; but the body weighs down the soul, so that the fear of the Lord is overcome by the fear of human death.
Bede: Peter then promised in the ardour of his faith, and the Saviour as God knew what was to happen.
Wherefore it goes on: "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice."
Augustine, de Con. Even. iii, 2: Though all the Evangelists say that the Lord foretold that Peter was to deny before the cock crew, Mark alone has related it more minutely, wherefore some from inattention suppose that he does not agree with the others.
For the whole of Peter's denial is threefold; if it had begun altogether after the cock crew, the other three Evangelist would seem to have spoken falsely, in saying, that before the cock crew, he would deny Him thrice. Again, if he had finished the entire threefold denial before the cock began to crow, Mark would in the person of the Lord seem to have said needlessly, "Before the cock crow twice, thou shall deny Me thrice."
But because that threefold denial began before the first cock-crowing, the other three did not notice when Peter was to finish it, but how great it was to be, that is, threefold, and when it was to begin, that is, before the cock crew, although the whole was conceived in his mind, even before the first cock crew; but Mark has related more plainly the interval between his words themselves.
Theophylact: We are to understand that it happened thus; Peter denied once, then the cock crew for the second time.
Pseudo-Jerome: Who is the cock, the harbinger of day, but the Holy Ghost? by whose voice in prophecy, and in the Apostles, we are roused from our threefold denial, to most bitter tears after our fall, for we have thought evil of God, spoken evil of our neighbours, and done evil to ourselves.
Bede: The faith of the Apostle Peter, and his (p. 292) burning love for our Lord, is shewn in what follows.
For it goes on: "But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with Thee, I will not deny Thee in any wise."
Theophylact: The other disciples also shewed a fearless zeal. For there follows, "Likewise also said they all," but nevertheless they acted against the truth, which Christ had prophesied.
7432 Mc 14,32-42
Gloss: After that the Lord had foretold the offence of His disciples, the Evangelist gives an account of His prayer, in which He is supposed to have prayed for His disciples; and first describing the place of prayer, he says, "And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane."
Bede: The place Gethsemane, in which the Lord prayed, is shewn up to this day at the foot of the Mount of Olives. The meaning of Gethsemane is, the valley of the fat, or of fatness. Now when our Lord prays on a mountain, He teaches us that we should when we pray ask for lofty things; but by praying in the valley of fatness, He implies that in our prayer humility and the fatness of interior love must be kept. He also by the valley of humility and the fatness of charity underwent death for us.
Pseudo-Jerome: In the valley of fatness also, the fat bulls beset Him. There follows, "And He saith to His disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray;" they are separated from Him in prayer, who are separated in His Passion; for He prays, they sleep, overcome by the sloth of their heart.
Theophylact: It was also His custom always to pray by Himself, in order to give us an example, to seek for silence and solitude in our prayers. There follows: "And He taketh with Him Peter, and James and John." He takes only those who had been witnesses of His glory on Mount Tabor, that they who had seen His glory might also see His sufferings, and learn that He is really man, in that He is sorrowful.
Wherefore there follows: "And began to be sore amazed, and very heavy." For since He had taken on Himself the whole of human nature, He took also those natural things which belong to man, amazement, heaviness, and sorrow; for men are naturally unwilling to die.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death."
Bede: As being God, dwelling in the body, He shews the frailty of flesh, that the blasphemy of those who deny the Mystery of His Incarnation might find no place; for having taken up a body, He must needs also take up all that belongs to the body, hunger, thirst, pain, grief; for the Godhead cannot suffer the changes of those affections.
Theophylact: (p. 294) but some have understood this, as if He had said, I am sorrowful, not because I am to die, but because the Jews, My countrymen, are about to crucify Me, and by these means to be shut out from the kingdom of God.
Pseudo-Jerome: By this also we are taught to fear and to be sorrowful before the judgment of death, for not by ourselves, but by Him only, can we say, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me." (Jn 14,30)
There follows: "Tarry ye, here, and watch."
Bede: He does not mean natural sleep by the sleep which He forbids, for the time of approaching danger did not allow of it, but the sleep of unfaithfulness, and the torpor of the mind. But going forward a little, He falls on His face, and shews His lowliness of mind, by the posture of His body.
Wherefore there follows: "And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him."
Augustine, de Con. iii, iv: He said not, if He could do it, but if it could be done; for whatever He wills is possible. We must therefore understand, "if it be possible," as if it were; if He is willing. And lest any one should suppose that He lessened His Father's power, He shews in what sense the words are to be understood; for there follows, "And He said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee."
By which He sufficiently shows that the words, "if it be possible," must be understood not of any impossibility, but of the Will of His Father. As to what Mark relates that He said not only Father, but "Abba, Father", Abba is the Hebrew for Father. And perhaps the Lord said both words, on account of some Sacrament contained in them; wishing to shew that He had taken upon Himself that sorrow in the person of His body, The Church, to which He was made the chief cornerstone, and which came to Him, partly from the Hebrews, who are represented by the word, "Abba", partly from the Gentiles, to whom "Father" belongs.
Bede: But He prays, that the cup may pass away, to shew that He is very man, wherefore He adds: "Take away this cup from Me." But remembering why He was sent, He accomplishes the dispensation for which He was sent, and cries out, "But not what I Will, but what Thou Wilt." As if He had said, If death can die, without My dying according to the flesh, let this cup pass away; but since this cannot be otherwise, "not what I Will, but what (p. 295) Thou Wilt."
Many still are sad at the prospect of death, but let them keep their heart right, and avoid death as much as they can; but if they cannot, then let them say what the Lord said of us.
Pseudo-Jerome: By which also He ceases not up to the end to teach us to obey our fathers, and to prefer their will to ours. There follows: "And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping." For as they are asleep in mind, so also in body.
Theophylact: But after His prayer, the Lord coming, and seeing His disciples sleeping, rebukes Peter alone. Wherefore it goes on: "And saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch with me one hour?
As if He had said, If thou couldest not watch one hour with me, how wilt thou be able to despise death, thou who promisest to die with Me?
It goes on: "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation," that is, the temptation of denying Me.
Bede: He does not say, Pray that ye may not be tempted, because it is impossible for the human mind not to be tempted, but that ye enter not into temptation, that is, that temptation may not vanquish you.
Pseudo-Jerome: But he is said to enter into temptation, who neglects to pray.
There follows: "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Theophylact: As if He had said, Your spirit indeed is ready not to deny me, and for this reason ye promise; but your flesh is weak, in that unless God give power to your flesh through prayer, ye shall enter into temptation.
Bede: He here represses the rash, who think that they can compass whatever they are confident about. But in proportion as we are confident from the ardour of our mind, so let us fear from the weakness of our flesh.
For this place makes against those, who say that there was but one operation in the Lord and one Will. For He shews two wills, one human, which from the weakness of the flesh shrinks from suffering; one divine, which is most ready.
It goes on: "And again He went away and prayed, and spake the same words."
Theophylact: That by His second prayer He might shew Himself to be very man. It goes on: "And when He returned, He found them asleep again;" He however did not rebuke them severely. "For their eyes were heavy, (that is, with sleep,) neither wist they what to answers Him." By this learn the weakness of men, and (p. 296) let us not, whom even sleep can overcome, promise things which are impossible to us. Therefore He goes away the third time to pray the prayer mentioned above.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest." He is not vehement against them, though after His rebuke they had done worse, but He tells them ironically, "Sleep on now, and take your rest," because He knew that the betrayer was now close at hand. And that He spoke ironically is evident, by what is added; "It is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners." He speaks this, as deriding their sleep, as if He had said; Now indeed is a time for sleep, when the traitor is approaching.
Then He says; "Arise, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth Me is at hand."
Augustine: Or else; In that it is said, that after He had spoken these words, "Sleep on now, and take your rest," He added, "It is enough," and then, "the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed," we must understand that after saying, "Sleep on now, and take your rest," our Lord remained silent for a short time, to give space for that to happen, which He had permitted; and then that He added, "the hour is come;" and therefore He puts in between, "it is enough," that is, your rest has been long enough.
Pseudo-Jerome: The threefold sleep of the disciples points out the three dead, whom our Lord raised up; the first, in a house; the second, at the tomb; the third, from the tomb. And the threefold watch of the Lord teaches us in our prayers, to beg for the pardon of past, future and present sins.
Golden Chain 7412