Golden Chain 5757
5757 Mt 27,57-61
(p. 968) Gloss., non occ.: When the Evangelist had finished the order of the Lord's Passion and death, he treats of His burial.
Remig.: Arimathea is the same as Ramatha, the city of Helcana and Samuel, and is situated in the Chananitic country near Diospolis. This Joseph was a man of great dignity in respect of worldly station, but has the praise of much higher merit in God's sight, seeing he is described as righteous. Indeed he that should have the burial of the Lord's body ought to have been such, that he might be deserving of that office by righteous merit.
Jerome: He is described as rich, not out of any ambition on the part of the writer to represent so noble and rich a man as Jesus' disciple, but to shew how he was able to obtain the body of Jesus from Pilate. For poor and unknown individuals would not have dared to approach Pilate, the representative of Roman power, and ask the body of a crucified malefactor.
In another Gospel this Joseph is called a counsellor; and it is supposed that the first Psalm has reference to him, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly." (Ps 1,1)
Chrys.: Consider this man's courage; he risked his life, and took upon him many enmities in order to render this service; and not only dares to ask for Christ's body, but also to bury it.
Jerome: By this simple burial of the Lord is condemned the ostentation of the rich, who cannot dispense with lavish expense even in their tombs. But we may also consider in a spiritual sense, that the Lord's body was wrapped not in gold, jewels, or silk, but in clean linen; and that he who wrapped it, is he who embraces Jesus with a pure heart.
Remig.: Or, otherwise; The linen is grown out of the ground, and is bleached to whiteness with great labour, and thus this signifies that His body which was taken of the earth, that is of a Virgin, through the toil of passion came to the whiteness of immortality.
Raban.: From this also has prevailed in the Church the custom of celebrating the sacrifice of the altar not in silk, or in coloured robes, but in linen grown from the earth, as we read, was ordered by the Holy Pope Silvester.
Pseudo-Aug., Serm. App., 248, 4: The Saviour was laid in a tomb belonging to another man, because He died for the salvation of others. For why should He who in Himself had no death, have been laid in His own tomb? Or He whose place (p. 969) was reserved for Him in heaven, have had a monument upon earth? He who remained but three days space in the tomb, not as dead, but as resting on His bed? A tomb is the necessary abode of death; Christ then, who is our life, could not have an abode of death; He that ever liveth had no need of the dwelling of the departed.
Jerome: He is laid in a new tomb, lest after His resurrection it should be pretended that it was some other who had risen when they saw the other bodies there remaining. The new tomb may also signify the virgin womb of Mary. And He was laid in a tomb hewn out of the rock, lest had it been one raised of many stones, it might have been said that He was stolen away by undermining the foundations of the pile.
Pseudo-Aug., Aug in Serm., non occ.: Had the tomb been in the earth, it might have been said they undermined the place, and so carried Him off. Had a small stone been laid thereon, they might have said, They carried Him off while we slept.
Jerome: That a great stone was rolled there, shews that the tomb could not have been reopened without the united strength of many.
Hilary: Mystically, Joseph affords a figure of the Apostles. He wraps the body in a clean linen cloth, in which same linen sheet were let down to Peter out of heaven all manner of living creatures; whence we understand, that under the representation of this linen cloth the Church is buried together with Christ. The Lord's body moreover is laid in a chamber hewn out of rock, empty and new; that is, by the teaching of the Apostles, Christ is conveyed into the hard breast of the Gentiles hewn out by the toil of teaching, rude and new, hitherto unpenetrated by any fear of God. And for that besides Him ought nothing to enter our breasts, a stone is rolled to the mouth, that as before Him we had received no author of divine knowledge, so after Him we should admit none.
Origen: This is no casual mention of the circumstances that the body was wrapped in clean linen, and laid in a new tomb, and a great stone rolled to the month, but that every thing touching the body of Jesus is clean, and new, and very great.
Remig.: When the Lord's body was buried, and the rest returned to their own places, the women alone, who had loved Him more attachedly adhered to Him, and with anxious care noted the place (p. 970) where the Lord's body was laid, that at fit time they might perform the service of their devotion to him.
Origen: The mother of the sons of Zebedee is not mentioned as having sat over against the sepulchre. And perhaps she was able to endure as far as the cross only, but these as stronger in love were not absent even from the things that were afterwards done.
Jerome: Or, when the rest left the Lord, the women continued in their attendance, looking for what Jesus had promised; and therefore they deserved to be the first to see the resurrection, because "he that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Mt 10,22)
Remig.: And to this day the holy women, that is, the lowly souls of the saints, do the like in this present world, and with pious assiduity wait while Christ's passion is being completed.
5762 (Mt 27,62-66)
Jerome: It was not enough for the Chief Priests to have crucified the Lord the Saviour, if they did not guard the sepulchre, and do their utmost to lay hands on Him as He rose from the dead.
Raban.: By the Parasceve is meant 'preparation;' and they gave this name to the sixth day of the week, on which they made ready the things needed for (p. 971) the Sabbath, as was commanded respecting the manna, "On the sixth day they gathered twice as much." (Ex 16,22) Because on the sixth day man was made, and on the seventh God rested; therefore on the sixth day Jesus died for man, and rested the Sabbath day in the tomb. The Chief Priests although in putting the Lord to death they had committed a heinous crime, yet were they not satisfied unless even after His death they carried on the venom of their malice once begun, traducing His character, and calling one, whom they knew to be guileless, "a deceiver." (Jn 11,49)
But as Caiaphas prophesied without knowing it, that "it is expedient that one man should die for the people," so now, Christ was a deceiver (marg. note: seductor), not from truth into error, but leading men from error to truth, from vices to virtue, from death to life.
Remig.: They say that He had declared, "After three days I will rise again," in consequence of that He said above, "As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly," &c. (Mt 12,40) But let us see in what way He can be said to have risen again after three days. Some would have the three hours of darkness understood as one night, and the light succeeding the darkness as a day, but these do not know the force of figurative language.
The sixth day of the week on which He suffered comprehended the foregoing night; then follows the night of the Sabbath with its own day, and the night of the Lord's day includes also its own day; and hence it is true that He rose again after three days.
Aug., Aug. in Serm., non occ.: He rose again after three days, to signify the consent of the whole Trinity in the passion of the Son; the three days' space is read figuratively, because the Trinity which in the beginning made man, the same in the end restores man by the passion of Christ.
Raban.: "Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day." For Christ's disciples were spiritually thieves; stealing from the unthankful Jews the writings of the New and Old Testament, they bestowed them to be used by the Church; and while they slept, that is, while the Jews were sunk in the lethargy of unbelief, they carried off the promised Saviour, and gave Him to be believed on by the Gentiles.
Hilary: Their fear lest the body should be stolen, the setting a watch on the tomb, and sealing it, are marks of folly and unbelief, that they should have sought (p. 972) to seal up the tomb of One at whose bidding they had seen a dead man raised from the tomb.
Raban.: When they say, "And the last error will be worse than the first," they utter a truth unwittingly, for their contempt of penitence was worse for the Jews than was their error of ignorance.
Chrys., Hom. lxxxix: Observe how against their will they concert to demonstrate the truth, for by their precautions irrefragable demonstration of the resurrection was attained. The sepulchre was watched, and so no fraud could have been practised; and if there was no collusion, it is certain that the Lord rose again.
Raban.: Pilate's answer to their request is as much as to say, Be it enough for you that ye have conspired the death of an innocent man, henceforth let your error remain with you.
Chrys.: Pilate will not suffer that the soldiers alone should seal. But as though he had learnt the truth concerning Christ, he was no longer willing to be partner in their acts, and says, Seal it as ye will yourselves, that ye may not be able to accuse others. For had the soldiers alone sealed, they might have said that the soldiers had suffered the disciples to steal the body, and so given the disciples a handle to forge a tale concerning the resurrection; but this could they not say now, when they themselves had sealed the sepulchre.
5801 (Mt 28,1-7)
(p. 973) Pseudo-Chrys., Hom. de Resur., iii: After the mockings and scourgings, after the mingled draughts of vinegar and gall, the pains of the cross, and the wounds, and finally after death itself and Hades, there rose again from the grave a renewed flesh, there returned from obstruction a hidden life, health chained up in death broke forth, with fresh beauty from its ruin.
Aug., de Cons. Ev., iii, 24: Concerning the hour when the women came to the sepulchre (p. 974) there arises a question not to be overlooked. Matthew here says, "On the evening of the Sabbath." What then means that of Mark, "Very early in the morning, the first day of the week?" (Mc 16,2)
Truly Matthew, by naming the first part of the night, to wit, the evening, denotes the whole night in the end of which they come to the sepulchre. But seeing the Sabbath hindered them from doing this before, he designates the whole night by the earliest portion of it in which it became lawful for them to do whatever, during some period of the night, they designed to do.
Thus, "On the evening of the sabbath," is just the same as if he had said, On the night of the sabbath, i.e. the night which follows the day of the sabbath, which is sufficiently proved by the words which follow, "As it began to dawn towards the first day of the week." This could not be if we understood only the first portion of the night, its beginning, to be conveyed by the word, "evening." For the evening or beginning of the night does not "begin to dawn towards the first day of the week," but only the night which is concluded by the dawn.
And this is the usual mode of speaking in Holy Scripture, to express the whole by a part. By "evening" therefore he implied the night, in the end of which they came to the sepulchre.
Bede, Beda in loc.: Otherwise; It may be understood that they began to come in the evening, but that it was the dawn of the first day of the week when they reached the sepulchre; that is, that they prepared the spices for anointing the Lord's body in the evening, but that they took them to the sepulchre in the morning. This has been so shortly described by Matthew, that it is not quite clear in his account, but the other Evangelists give the order more distinctly. The Lord was buried on the sixth day of the week, and the women returning from the sepulchre prepared spices and ointments as long as it was lawful to work; on the sabbath they rested, according to the commandment, as Luke plainly declares; and when the Sabbath was past and the evening was come, and the season of labour returned, with zealous devotion they proceeded to purchase such spices as they yet lacked, (this is implied in Mark's words, "when the sabbath was past," that they might go and anoint Jesus, for which purpose they come early in the morning to the sepulchre.
Jerome: Or, otherwise; This (p. 975) apparent discrepancy in the Evangelists as to the times of their visits is no mark of falsehood, as wicked men urge, but shews the sedulous duty and attention of the women, often going and coming, and not enduring to be long absent from the sepulchre of their Lord.
Remig.: It is to be known that Matthew designs to hint to us a mystical meaning, of how great worthiness this most holy night drew from the noble conquest of death, and the Resurrection of Our Lord. With this purpose he says, "On the evening of the Sabbath." For whereas according to the wonted succession of the hours of the day, evening does not dawn towards day, but on the contrary darkens towards night, these words shew that the Lord shed, by the light of His resurrection joy and brilliance over the whole of this night.
Bede, Beda Hom. Aest. i: For from the beginning of the creation of the world until now, the course of time has followed this arrangement, that the day should go before the night, because man, fallen by sin from the light of paradise, has sunk into the darkness and misery of this world. But now most fitly night goes before day, when, through faith in the resurrection, we are brought back from the darkness of sin and the shadow of death to the light of life, by the bounty of Christ.
Chrysologus, Serm. 75 (ed. note: The Sermons of S. Peter of Ravenna, surnamed Chrysologus are quoted in the Catena under the name, Severianus.): Because the sabbath is illuminated, not taken away, by Christ, Who said, "I am not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it." (Mt 5,17) It is illuminated that it may lighten into the Lord's day, and shine forth in the Church, when it had hitherto burnt dim, and been obscured by the Jews in the Synagogue.
It follows, "Came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary," &c. Late runs woman for pardon, who had run early to sin; in paradise she had taken up unbelief, from the sepulchre she hastes to take up faith; she now hastens to snatch life from death, who had before snatched death from life. And it is not, They come, but "came," (in the singular,) for in mystery and not by accident, the two came under one name. She came, but altered; a woman, changed in life, not in name; in virtue, not in sex. The women go before the Apostles, bearing to the Lord's sepulchre a type of the Churches; the (p. 976) two Marys, to wit.
For Mary is the name of Christ's mother; and one name is twice repeated for two women, because herein is figured the Church coming out of the two nations, the Gentiles and the Jews, and being yet one. Mary came to the sepulchre, as to the womb of the resurrection, that Christ might be the second time born out of the sepulchre of faith, who after the flesh had been born of her womb; and that as a virgin had borne Him into this life present, so a sealed sepulchre might bring Him forth into life eternal. It is proof of Deity to have left a womb virgin after birth, and no less to have come forth in the body from a closed sepulchre.
Jerome: "And, behold, there was a great earthquake." Our Lord, Son at once of God and man, according to His two-fold nature of Godhead and of flesh, gives a sign one while of His greatness, another while of His lowliness. Thus, though now it was man who was crucified, and man who was buried, yet the things that were done around shew the Son of God.
Hil.: The earthquake is the might of the resurrection, when the sting of death being blunted, and its darkness illuminated, there is stirred up a quaking of the powers beneath, as the Lord of the heavenly powers rises again.
Chrys.: Or the earthquake was to rouse and waken the women, who had come to anoint the body; and as all these things were done in the night-time, it was probable that some of them had fallen asleep.
Bede: The earthquake at the Resurrection, as also at the Crucifixion, signifies that worldly hearts must be first moved to penitence by a health-giving fear through belief in His Passion and Resurrection.
Chrysol., Serm. 77 et 74: If the earth thus quaked when the Lord rose again to the pardon of the Saints, how will it quake when He shall rise again to the punishment of the wicked? As the Prophet speaks, "The earth trembled when the Lord rose again to judgment." (Ps 76,8) And how will it endure the Lord's presence, when it was unable to endure the presence of His Angel? "And the Angel of the Lord descended from heaven." For when Christ arose, death was destroyed, commerce with heaven is restored to things on the earth; and woman, who had of old held communication to death with the Devil, now holds communication to life with the Angel.
Hil.: This is an instance of the mercy of God the Father, to supply the ministry of heavenly power to (p. 977) the Son on His resurrection from the grave; and he is therefore the proclaimer of this first resurrection, that it may be heralded by some attendant token of the Father's good pleasure.
Bede: Forasmuch as Christ is both God and man, therefore there lack not amidst the acts of His humanity the ministrations of Angels, due to Him as God. "And came and rolled back the stone;" not to open the door for the Lord to come forth, but to give evidence to men that He was already come forth. For He who as mortal had power to enter the world through the closed womb of a Virgin, He when become immortal, was able to depart out of the world by rising from a sealed sepulchre.
Remig.: The rolling back of the stone signifies the opening of Christ's sacraments, which were covered by the letter of the Law. For the Law having been written on stones, is here denoted by the stone.
Chrysol., Serm. 74: He said not 'rolled,' but "rolled back;" because the rolling to of the stone was a proof of death; the rolling it back asserted the resurrection. The order of things is changed; The Tomb devours death, and not the dead; the house of death becomes the mansion of life; a new law is imposed upon it, it receives a dead, and renders up a living, man.
It follows, "And sat thereon." He sat down, who was incapable of weariness; but sat as a teacher of the faith, a master of the Resurrection; upon the stone, that the firmness of his seat might assure the stedfastness of the believers; the Angel rested the foundations of the Faith upon that rock, on which Christ was to found His Church.
Or, by the stone of the sepulchre may be denoted death, under which we all lay; and by the Angel sitting thereon, is shewn that Christ hath by His might subdued death.
Bede: And rightly did the Angel appear standing, who proclaimed the Lord's coming into the world, to shew that the Lord should come to vanquish the prince of this world. But the Herald of the Resurrection is related to have been seated, to shew that now He had overcome him that had the power of death, He had mounted the throne of the everlasting kingdom. He sate upon the stone, now rolled back, wherewith the mouth of the sepulchre had been closed, to teach that He by His might had burst the bonds of the tomb.
Aug., de Cons. Ev., iii, 24: It may disquiet some, how it is that according to Matthew (p. 978) though the Angel sate upon the stone after it had been rolled back from the sepulchre, whereas Mark says that the women having gone into the sepulchre, saw a young man sitting on the right hand. Either we may suppose that they saw two, and that Matthew has not mentioned him whom they saw within, nor Mark him whom they saw without the sepulchre; but that they heard from each severally what the Angels said concerning Jesus.
Or the words, "entering into the sepulchre," (Mc 16,5) may mean entering into some enclosed place, which probably there might be in front of the rock out of which the sepulchre was hewn; and thus it might be the same Angel whom they saw sitting on the right hand, whom Matthew describes as sitting on the stone which he had rolled back.
Chrysol., Serm. 75: The splendour of his countenance is distinct from the shining of his raiment; his countenance is compared to lightning, his raiment to snow; for the lightning is in heaven, snow on the earth; as the Prophet saith, "Praise the Lord from the earth; fire and hail, snow and vapours." (Ps 148,7) Thus in the Angel's countenance is preserved the splendour of his heavenly nature; in his raiment is shewn the grace of human communion. For the appearance of the Angel that talked with them is so ordered, that eyes of flesh might endure the still splendour of his robes, and by reason of his shining countenance they might tremble before the messenger of their Maker.
Chrysol., Serm. 77: But what means this raiment where there is no need of a covering? The Angel figures our dress, our shape, our likeness in the Resurrection, when man is sufficiently clothed by the splendour of his own body.
Jerome: The Angel in white raiment signifies the glory of His triumph.
Greg., Hom. in Ev., xxi, 4: Or otherwise; "Lightning" inspires terror; "snow" is an emblem of equity; and as the Almighty God is terrible to sinners and mild to the righteous, so this Angel is rightly a witness of His resurrection, and is exhibited with a countenance as lightning, and with raiment as snow, that by His presence He might terrify the wicked, and comfort the good; and so it follows, "And for fear of him the keepers did shake."
Raban.: These who had not the faith of love were shaken with a panic fear; and they who would not believe the truth of the resurrection "become" themselves "as dead men."
Chrysol., Serm. 75: For they kept watch (p. 979) over Him with a purpose of cruelty, not with the solicitude of affection. And no man can stand who is forsaken by his own conscience, or troubled with a sense of guilt. Hence the Angel confounds the wicked, and comforts the good.
Jerome: The guards lay like dead men in a trance of terror, but the Angel speaks comfort not to them, but to the women, saying, "Fear not ye;" as much as to say, Let them fear with whom unbelief abides; but do ye who seek the crucified Jesus hear that He has risen again, and has accomplished what He promised.
Chrysol., Serm. 77: For their faith had been bowed by the cruel storm of His Passion, so that they sought Him yet as crucified and dead; "I know that ye seek Jesus which was crucified;" the weight of the trial had bent them to look for the Lord of heaven in the tomb, but, "He is not here."
Raban.: His fleshly presence, that is; for His spiritual presence is absent from no place. "He is risen, as he said."
Chrys.: As much as to say, If ye believe me not, remember His own words. And then follows further proof, when he adds, "Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
Jerome: That if my words fail to convince you, the empty tomb may.
Chrysol., Serm. 76: Thus the Angel first announces His name, declares His Cross, and confesses His Passion; but straightway proclaims Him risen and their Lord. An Angel after such sufferings, after the grave acknowledges Him Lord; how then shall man judge that the Godhead was diminished by the flesh, or that His Might failed in His Passion.
He says, "Which was crucified," and points out the place where the Lord was laid, that they should not think that it was another, and not the same, who had risen from the dead. And if the Lord reappears in the same flesh, and gives evidence of His resurrection, why should man suppose that he himself shall reappear in other flesh? Or why should a slave disdain his own flesh, seeing the Lord did not change ours?
Raban.: And this glad tiding is given not to you alone for the secret comfort of your own hearts, but ye must extend it to all who love Him; "Go quickly, and tell his disciples."
Chrysol., Serm. 77: As much as to say, Woman, now thou art healed, return to the man, and persuade him to faith, whom thou didst once persuade to treachery. Carry to man the proof of the Resurrection, to whom thou didst (p. 980) once carry counsel of destruction.
Chrys.: "And, behold, he shall go before you," that is, to save you from danger, lest fear should prevail over faith.
Jerome: Mystically; "He shall go before you into Galilee," that is, into the wallowing style (marg. note: volutabrum) of the Gentiles, where before was wandering and stumbling, and the foot had no firm and steady resting-place.
Bede: The Lord is rightly seen by His disciples in Galilee, forasmuch as He had already passed from death to life, from corruption to incorruption; for such is the interpretation of Galilee, 'Transmigration.' Happy women! who merited to announce to the world the triumph of the Resurrection! More happy souls, who in the day of judgment, when the reprobate are smitten with terror, shall have merited to enter the joy of the blessed resurrection!
5808 (Mt 28,8-10)
Hilary: The women having been comforted by the Angel, are straightway met by the Lord, that when they should proclaim His resurrection to the disciples, they should speak rather from Christ's own mouth than from an Angel's.
Aug., de Cons. Ev., iii, 23: "They departed forth of the tomb," that is, from that spot of the garden which was before the tomb hewn in the rock.
Jerome: A twofold feeling possessed the minds of the women, fear and joy; fear, at the greatness of the miracle; joy, in their desire of Him that was risen; but both added speed to their women's steps, as it follows, "And did run to bring his disciples word." They went to the Apostles, that through them might be spread abroad the seed of the faith. They who thus desired, and who thus ran, merited to have their (p. 981) rising Lord come to meet them; whence it follows, "And, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail."
Raban.: Hereby He shewed that He will meet with His help all those who begin the ways of virtue, and enable them to attain to everlasting salvation.
Jerome: The women ought first to hear this "Hail," that the curse of the woman "Eve" may be removed in these women.
Chrysol., Serm. 76: That in these women is contained a full figure of the Church is shewn hereby, that Christ convinces His disciples when in doubt concerning the Resurrection, and confirms them when in fear; and when He meets them He does not terrify them by His power, but prevents them with the ardour of love. And Christ in His Church salutes Himself, for He has taken it into His own Body.
Aug.: We conclude that they had speech of Angels twice at the sepulchre; when they saw one Angel, of whom Matthew and Mark speak; and again when they saw two Angels, as Luke and John relate. And twice in like manner of the Lord; once at that time when Mary supposed Him to be "the gardener," (Jn 20,15) and now again when He met them in the way to confirm them by repetition, and to restore them from their faintness.
Chrysol.: Then Mary was not suffered to touch Him; now she has permission not only to touch, but to hold Him altogether; "they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him."
Raban.: It was told above how He rose when the sepulchre was closed, to shew that that body which had been shut up therein dead, was now become immortal. He now offers His feet to be held by the women, to shew that He had real flesh, which can be touched by mortal creatures.
Chrysol.: They hold Christ's feet, who in the Church present the type of Evangelic preaching, and merit this privilege by their running to Him; and by faith so detain their Saviour's footsteps, that they may come to the honour of His perfect Godhead. She is deservedly bid to "touch me not," who mourns her Lord upon earth, and so seeks Him dead in the tomb, as not to know that He reigns in heaven with the Father. This, that the same Mary, one while exalted to the summit of faith, touches Christ, and holds Him with entire and holy affection; and again, cast down in weakness of flesh, and (p. 982) womanly infirmity, doubts, undeserving to touch her Lord, causes us no difficulty.
For that is of mystery, this of her sex; that is of divine grace, this of human nature. And so also we, when we have knowledge of divine things, live unto God; when we are wise in human things, we are blinded by our own selves.
Chrysol., Serm. 80: They held His feet to shew that the head of Christ is the man, but that the woman is in Christ's feet, and that it was given to them through Christ, not to go before, but to follow the man. Christ also repeats what the Angel had said, that what an Angel had made sure, Christ might make yet more sure.
It follows, "Then saith Jesus unto them, Fear not."
Jerome: This may be always observed, both in the Old and New Testament, that when there is an appearance of any majestic person, the first thing done is to banish fear, that the mind being tranquillized may receive the things that are said.
Hilary: The same order as of old now followed in the reversal of our woe, that whereas death began from the female sex, the same should now first see the glory of the Resurrection, and be made the messenger thereof.
Whence the Lord adds, "Go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there shall they see me."
Chrysol.: He calls them "brethren" whom He has made akin to His own body; "brethren" whom the generous Heir has made His co-heirs; "brethren," whom He has adopted to be sons of His own Father.
Aug., de Cons. Ev., iii, ult: That the Lord, both by His own mouth, and by the Angel, directs them to seek for Him, not in that place in which He was to shew Himself first, but in Galilee, makes every believer anxious to understand in what mystery it is spoken. Galilee is interpreted 'transmigration,' or 'revelation.' (ed. note: According to the two different senses of the Hebrew root, 'migrating from a country,' or 'revealing,' both coming from the primitive notion of 'making bare.')
And according to the first interpretation what meaning offers itself, save this, that the grace of Christ was to pass from the people of Israel to the Gentiles, who would not believe when the Apostles should preach the Gospel to them, unless the Lord Himself should first make ready their way in the hearts of men. This is the signification of that, "He shall go before you into Galilee. There shall ye see him," means, there shall ye find His (p. 983) members, there shall ye perceive His living Body in such as shall receive you. According to the other interpretation, 'revelation,' it is to be understood, "ye shall see him" no longer in the form of a servant, but in that in which He is equal with the Father. That revelation will be the true Galilee, when "we shall be like him, and shall see him as he is." (1Jn 3,2) That will be the blessed passing from this world to that eternity.
5811 (Mt 28,11-15)
Chrys., Hom. xc: Of the signs which were shewn around Christ, some were common to the whole world, as the darkness; some peculiar to the watch, as the wonderful apparition of Angels, and the earthquake, which were wrought for the soldiers' sake, that they might be stunned with amazement, and bear testimony to the truth. For when truth is proclaimed by its adversaries, it adds to its brightness.
which befel now; "Some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the Chief Priests all the things that were done."
Raban.: Simple minds, and unlearned country-folk, often make manifest without guile the truth of a matter, as the thing is; but on the other hand, a crafty wickedness studies how to recommend falsehood by glosing words.
Jerome: Thus the Chief Priests, who ought to have been by this turned to penitence, and to seek Jesus risen, persevere in their wickedness, and convert the money which was given for the use of the Temple (p. 984) to the purchase of a lie, as before they had given thirty pieces of silver to the traitor Judas.
Chrysol.: Not content to have put the Master to death, they plot how they may destroy the disciples, and make the Master's power matter of charge against His disciples. The soldiers indeed lost Him, the Jews missed Him, but the disciples carried Him away, not by theft, but by faith; by virtue, and not by fraud; by holiness, and not by wickedness; alive, and not dead.
Chrys.: How should the disciples carry Him away by stealth, men poor, and of no station, and who scarcely dared to shew themselves? They fled when afterwards they saw Christ alive, how, when He was dead, would they not have feared so great a multitude of soldiers? How were they to remove the door of the sepulchre? One might have done it unperceived by the guard. But a large stone was rolled to the mouth requiring many hands. And was not the seal thereon? And why did they not attempt it the first night, when there was none at the sepulchre? For it was on the Sabbath that they begged the body of Jesus.
Moreover, what mean these napkins which Peter sees laid here? Had the disciples stolen the Body, they would never have stripped it, both because it might so receive hurt, and cause unnecessary delay to themselves, and so expose them to be taken by the watch; especially since the Body and clothes were covered with myrrh, a glutinous spice, which would cause them to adhere.
The allegation of the theft then is improbable. So that their endeavours to conceal the Resurrection do but make it more manifest. For when they say, "His disciples stole the body," they confess that it is not in the sepulchre. And as they thus confess that they had not the Body, and as the watch, the sealing, and the fears of the disciples, make the theft improbable, there is seen evidence of the Resurrection not to be gainsaid.
Remig.: But if the guards slept, how saw they the theft? And if they saw it not, how could they witness thereto? So that what they desire to shew, they cannot shew.
Gloss., non occ.: That the fear of the Governor might not restrain them from this lie, they promise them impunity.
Chrys.: See how all are corrupted; Pilate persuaded; the people stirred up; the soldiers bribed; as it follows, "And they took the money, and did as they were (p. 985) instructed." If money prevailed with a disciple. so far as to make him become the betrayer of his Master, what wonder that the soldiers are overcome by it.
Hilary: The concealment of the Resurrection, and the false allegation of theft, is purchased by money; because by the honour of this world, which consists in money and desire, Christ's glory is denied.
Raban.: But as the guilt of His blood, which they imprecated upon themselves and their children, presses them down with a heavy weight of sin, so the purchase of the lie, by which they deny the truth of the Resurrection, charges this guilt upon them for ever; as it follows, "And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."
Chrysol.: "Among the Jews," not among the Christians; what in Judaea the Jew concealed by his gold, is by faith blazed abroad throughout the world.
Jerome: All who abuse to other purposes the money of the Temple, and the contributions for the use of the Church, purchasing with them their own pleasure, are like the Scribes and Priests who bought this lie, and the blood of the Saviour.
Golden Chain 5757