Golden Chain 6426
6426 Mc 4,26-29
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: A parable occurred, a little above, about the three seeds which perished in various ways, and the one which was saved; in which last He also shews three differences, according to the proportion of faith and practice.
Here, however, He puts forth a parable concerning those only who are saved.
Wherefore it is said, "And He said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, &c."
Pseudo-Jerome: The kingdom of God is the Church, which is ruled by God, and herself rules over men, and treads down [p. 82] the powers which are contrary to her, and all wickedness.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else He calls by the name of kingdom of God, faith in Him, and in the economy of His Incarnation; which kingdom indeed is as if a man should throw seed. For He Himself being God and the Son of God, having without change been made man, has cast seed upon the earth, that is, He has enlightened the whole world by the word of divine knowledge.
Pseudo-Jerome: For the seed is the word of life, the ground is the human heart, and the sleep of the man means the death of the Saviour. The seed springs up night and day, because after the sleep of Christ, the number of Christians, through calamity and prosperity, continued to flourish more and more in faith, and to wax greater in deed.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or Christ Himself is the man who rises, for He sat waiting with patience, that they who received seed should bear fruit. He rises, that is, by the word of His love, He makes us grow to the bringing forth fruit, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand, (2Co 6,7) by which is meant the day, and on the left, by which is meant the night of persecution; for by these the seed springs up, and does not wither.
Theophylact: Or else Christ sleeps, that is, ascends into heaven, where, though He seem to sleep, yet He rises by night, when through temptations He raises us up to the knowledge of Himself; and in the day time, when on account of our prayers, He sets in order our salvation.
Pseudo-Jerome: But when He says, "He knoweth not how," He is speaking in a figure; that is, He does not make known to us, who amongst us will produce fruit unto the end.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else He says, "He knoweth not," that He may shew the free-will of those who receive the word, for He commits a work to our will, and does not work the whole Himself alone, lest the good should seem involuntary. For the earth brings forth fruits of its own accord, that is, she is brought to bear fruit without being compelled by a necessity contrary to her will. "First the blade."
Pseudo-Jerome: That is, fear. For "the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Then the full corn in the ear;" (Ps 111,10) that is, charity, for charity is the fulfilling of the Law. (see Rm 13,8)
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Cat. e Cat. in Marc.: Or, first it produces the blade, in the law of nature, by degrees growing up to advancement; afterwards it brings forth the ears, which are to be collected into a bundle, and to be offered on an altar to the Lord, that is, in the law (p. 83) of Moses; afterwards the full-fruit, in the Gospel.
Or because we must not only put forth leaves by obedience, but also learn prudence, and, like the stalk of corn, remain upright without minding the winds which blow us about. We must also take heed to our soul by a diligent recollection, that, like the ears, we may bear fruit, that is, shew forth the perfect operation of virtue.
Theophylact: for we put forth the blade when we shew a principle of good; then the ear, when we can resist temptations; then comes the fruit, when a man works something perfect.
It goes on: "and when it has brought forth the fruit, immediately he sendeth the sickle, because the harvest is come."
Pseudo-Jerome: The sickle is death or the judgment, which cuts down all things; the harvest is the end of the world.
Gregory, in Ezech, 2, Hom. 3: Or else, Man casts seed into the ground, when he places a good intention in his heart; and he sleeps, when he already rests in the hope which attends on a good work. But he rises night and day, because he advances amidst prosperity and adversity, though he knows it not, for he is as yet unable to measure his increase, and yet virtue, once conceived, goes on increasing.
When therefore we conceive good desires, we put seed into the ground; when we begin to work rightly, we are the blade. When we increase to the perfection of good works, we arrive at the ear; when we are firmly fixed in the perfection of the same working, we already put forth the full corn in the ear.
6430 Mc 4,30-34
Gloss.: After having narrated the parable concerning the coming forth of the fruit from the seed of the Gospel, he here subjoins another parable, to shew the excellence of the doctrine of the Gospel before all other doctrines.
Wherefore it is said, "And He said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?"
Theophylact: Most brief indeed is the word of faith; Believe in God, and thou shalt be saved. But the preaching of it has been spread far and wide over the earth, and increased so, that the birds of heaven, that is, contemplative men, sublime in understanding and knowledge, dwell under it. For how many wise men among the Gentiles, quitting their wisdom, have found rest in the preaching of the Gospel! Its preaching then is greater than all.
Chrys.: And also because the wisdom spoken amongst the perfect expands, to an extent greater than all other sayings, that which was told to men in short discourses, for there is nothing greater than this truth.
Theophylact: Again, it put forth great boughs, for the Apostles were divided off as the boughs of a tree, some to Rome, some to India, some to other parts of the world.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, that seed is very small in fear, but great when it has grown into charity, which is greater than all herbs: for "God is love," (1Jn 4,16) whilst "all flesh is grass." (Is 40,6) But the boughs which it puts forth are those of mercy and compassion, since under its shade the poor of Christ, who are meant by the living creatures of the heavens, delight to dwell.
Bede: Again, the man who sows is by many taken to mean the Saviour Himself, by others, man himself sowing in his own heart.
Chrys.: Then after this, Mark, who delights in brevity, to shew the nature of the parables, subjoins, "And with many such parables spake He the word unto them as they could hear Him."
Theophylact: For since the multitude was unlearned, He instructs them from objects of food and familiar names, and for this reason he adds, "But without a parable spake He not unto them," that is, in order that they might be induced to approach and to ask Him.
It goes on, (p. 85) "And when they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples," that is, all things about which they were ignorant and asked Him, not simply all, whether obscure or not.
Pseudo-Jerome: For they were worthy to hear mysteries apart, in the most secret haunt of wisdom, for they were men, who, removed from the crowds of evil thoughts, remained in the solitude of virtue; and wisdom is received in a time of quiet.
6435 Mc 4,35-41
Pseudo-Jerome: After His teaching, they come from that place to the sea, and are tossed by the waves.
Wherefore it is said, "And the same day, when the even was come, &c."
Remig.: For the Lord is said to have had three places of refuge, namely, the ship, the mountain, and the desert. As often as He was pressed upon by the multitude, He used to fly to one of these. When therefore the Lord saw many crowds about Him, as man, He wished to avoid their importunity, and ordered His disciples to go over to the other side.
There follows: "And sending away the multitudes, they took Him, &c." [p. 86]
Chrys., Hom. in Matt. 28: The Lord took the disciples indeed, that they might be spectators of the miracle which was coming, but He took them alone, that no others might see that they were of such little faith.
Wherefore, to shew that others went across separately, it is said, "And there were also with Him other ships."
Lest again the disciples might be proud of being alone taken, He permits them to be in danger; and besides this, in order that they might learn to bear temptations manfully.
Wherefore it goes on, "And there arose a great storm of wind;" and that He might impress upon them a greater sense of the miracle which was to be done, He gives time for their fear, by sleeping.
Wherefore there follows, "And He was Himself in the hinder part of the ship, &c."
For if He had been awake, they would either not have feared, not have asked Him to save them when the storm arose, or they would not have thought that He could do any such things.
Theophylact: Therefore He allowed them to fall into the fear of danger, that they might experience His power in themselves, who saw others benefitted by Him. But He was sleeping upon the pillow of the ship, that is, on a wooden one.
Chrys., Hom. in Matt. 28: Shewing His humility, and thus teaching us many lessons of wisdom. But not yet did the disciples who remained about Him know His glory; they thought indeed that if He arose He could command the winds, but could by no means do so reposing or asleep.
And therefore there follows, "And they awake Him, and say unto Him, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?"
Theophylact: But He arising, rebukes first the wind, which was raising the tempest of the sea, and causing the waves to swell, and this is expressed in what follows, "And He arose, and rebuked the wind;" then He commands the sea.
Wherefore it goes on, "And He said to the sea, Peace, be still."
Gloss.: For from the troubling of the sea there arises a certain sound, which appears to be its voice threatening danger, and therefore, by a sort of metaphor, He fitly commands tranquility by a word signifying silence: just as in the restraining of the winds, which trouble the sea with their violence, He uses a rebuke.
For men who are in power are accustomed to curb those, who rudely disturb the peace of mankind, by threatening to punish them; by this, therefore, we are given to understand, that, as a king can repress violent (p. 87) men by threats, and by his edicts sooth the murmurs of his people, so Christ, the King of all creatures, by His threats restrained the violence of the winds, and compelled the sea to be silent.
And immediately the effect followed, for it continues, "And the wind ceased," when He had threatened, "and there arose a great calm," that is, in the sea, to which He had commanded silence.
Theophylact: He rebuked His disciples for not having faith; for it goes on, "And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?" How is it that ye have not faith? For if they had faith, they would have believed that even when sleeping, He could preserve them safe.
There follows, "And they feared with a great fear, and said one to another, &c."
For they were in doubt about Him, for since He stilled the sea, not with a rod like Moses, nor with prayers as Elisha at the Jordan, nor with the ark as Joshua, the son of Nun, on this account they thought Him truly God, but since He was asleep, they thought Him a man.
Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, however, the hinder part of the ship is the beginning of the Church, in which the Lord sleeps in the body only, for He never sleepeth who keepeth Israel; for the ship with its skins of dead animals keeps in the living, and keeps out the waves, and is bound together by wood, that is, by the cross and the death of the Lord the Church is saved.
The pillow is the body of the Lord, on which His Divinity, which is as His head, has come down.
But the wind and the sea are devils and persecutors, to whom He says Peace, when He restrains the edicts of impious kings, as He will.
The great calm is the peace of the Church after oppression, or a contemplative after an active life.
Bede: Or else the ship into which He embarked, is taken to mean the tree of His passion, by which the faithful attain to the security of the safe shore. The other ships which are said to have been with the Lord signify those who are imbued with faith in the cross of Christ, and are not beaten about by the whirlwind of tribulation; or who, after the storms of temptation, are enjoying the serenity of peace.
And whilst His disciples are sailing on, Christ is asleep, because the time of our Lord's Passion came on His faithful ones when they were meditating on the rest of His future reign.
Wherefore it is related, that it took place late, that not only the sleep of our Lord, but the hour itself of departing (p. 88) light might signify the setting of the true Sun.
Again, when He ascended the cross, of which the stern of the ship was a type, His blaspheming persecutors rose like the waves against Him, driven on by the storms of the devils, by which, however, His own patience is not disturbed, but His foolish disciples are stuck with amazement. The disciples awake the Lord, because they sought, with most earnest wishes, the resurrection of Him whom they had seen die. Rising up, He threatened the wind, because when He had triumphed in His resurrection, He prostrated the pride of the devil.
He ordered the sea to be still, that is, in rising again, He cast down the rage of the Jews. The disciples are blamed, because after His resurrection, He chided them for their unbelief. And we also when being marked with the sign of the Lord's cross, we determine to quit the world, embark in the ship with Christ; we attempt to cross the sea; but, He goes to sleep, as we are sailing amidst the roaring of the waters, when amidst the strivings of our virtues, or amidst the attacks of evil spirits, of wicked men, or of our own thoughts, the flame of our love grows cold.
Amongst storms of this sort, let us diligently strive to awake Him; He will soon restrain the tempest, pour down peace upon us, give us the harbour of salvation.
6501 Mc 5,1-20
(p. 89) Theophylact: Those who were in the ship enquired among themselves, "What manner of man is this?" and now it is made known Who He is by the testimony of His enemies. For the demoniac came up confessing that He was the Son of God. (p. 91) Proceeding to which circumstance the Evangelist says, "And they came over unto the other side, &c."
Bede, in Marc., 2, 21: Geraza is a noted town of Arabia, across the Jordan, near mount Galaad, which the tribe of Manasseh held, not far from the lake of Tiberias, into which the swine were precipitated.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Nevertheless the exact reading contains neither Gadarenes, nor Gerasines, but Gergesenes. For Gadara is a city of Judaea, which has no sea at all about it; and Geraza is a city of Arabia, having neither lake nor sea near it. And that the Evangelists may not be thought to have spoken so manifest a falsehood, well acquainted as they were with the parts around Judaea, Gergese, from which come the Gergesenes, was an ancient city, now called Tiberias, around which is situated a considerable lake. (ed. note: Reland seems to feel the same difficulty about Gadara as the author of this comment; but he reconciles it by saying that the whole region might have been so called from the town of Gadara in Peroea, though the town itself was not on the lake. Reland, Palace., v2, p774, also Lightfoot, Horae Hebr. in locum.)
It continues, "And when He was come out of the ship, immediately there met Him, &c."
Augustine, de Con. Evan., 2, 24: Though Matthew says that there were two, Mark and Luke mention one, that you may understand that one of them was a more illustrious person, concerning whose state that country was much afflicted.
Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc., see Chrys., Hom. in Matthew, 28: Or else, Mark and Luke relate what was most worthy of compassion, and for this reason they put down more at length what had happened to this man; for there follows, "no man could bind him, no, not with chains."
They therefore simply said, a "man possessed of a devil," without taking heed to the number; or else, that he might shew the greater virtue in the Worker; for He who had cured one such, might cure many others. Nor is there any discrepancy shewn here, for they did not say that there was one alone, for then they would have contradicted Matthew.
Now devils dwelt in tombs, wishing to convey a false opinion to many, that the souls of the dead were changed to devils.
Greg. Nyss.: Now the assembly of the devils had prepared itself to resist the Divine power. But when He was approaching Who had power over all things, they proclaim aloud His eminent virtue.
Wherefore there follows, "But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, saying, &c."
Cyril: See how the devil is divided between to passions, fear and audacity; he hangs back and prays, as (p. 92) if meditating a question; he wishes to know what he had to do with Jesus, as though he would say, "Do you cast me out from men, who are mine?"
Bede: And how great is the impiety of the Jews, to say that He cast out devils by the prince of the devils, when the very devils confess that they have nothing in common with Him.
Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc., and Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 28: Then praying to Him, he subjoins, "I adjure thee by God, that Thou torment me not." For he considered being cast out to be a torment, or else he was also invisibly tortured. For however bad the devils are, they know that there awaits them at last a punishment for their sins; but that the time of their last punishment was not yet come, they full well knew, especially as they were permitted to mix among men. But because Christ had come upon them as they were doing such dreadful deeds, they thought that such was the heinousness of their crimes, He would not wait for the last times, to punish them; for this reason they beg that they may not be tormented.
Bede: For it is a great torment for a devil to cease to hurt a man, and the more severely he possesses him, the more reluctantly he lets him go.
For it goes on, "For He said unto Him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit."
Cyril: Consider the unconquerable power of Christ; He makes Satan shake, for to him the words of Christ are fire and flame: as the Psalmist says, "The mountains melted at the presence of the Lord, (Ps 97,5) that is, great and proud powers.
There follows, "And He asked him, What is thy name?"
Theophylact: The Lord indeed asks, not that He Himself required to know, but that the rest might know that there was a multitude of devils dwelling in him.
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Lest he should not be believed, if He affirmed there were many, He wishes that they themselves should confess it; wherefore there follows, "And he saith unto Him, Legion, for we are many." He gives not a fixed number, but a multitude, for such accuracy in the number would not help us to understand it.
Bede: But by the public declaration of the scourge which the madman suffered the virtue of the Healer appears more gracious. And even the priests of our time, who know how to cast out devils by the grace of exorcism, are wont to say that the sufferers cannot be cured at all, unless they in confession openly declare, as far as they are able to know, what they have suffered from the unclean spirits in sight, in hearing, in taste, in touch, or (p. 93) any other sense of body or soul, whether awake or asleep.
It goes on, "And he besought Him much that He would not send them away out of the country."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Luke, however, says, "into the abyss." (Lc 8,3) For the abyss is the separation of this world, for devils deserve to be sent into outer darkness, prepared for the devil and his angels. This Christ might have done, but He allowed them to remain in this world, lest the absence of a tempter should deprive men of the crown of victory.
Theophylact: Also that by fighting with us, they may make us more expert.
It goes on, "Now there was there about the mountain a great herd of swine feeding."
Augustine, de Con. Evan, ii, 24: What Mark here says, that the herd was about the mountain, and what Luke calls on the mountain, are by no means inconsistent. For the herd of swine was so large, that some part were on the mountain, the rest around it.
It goes on: "And the devils besought Him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them."
Remig., see Aurea Catena in Matt., p.327: The devils entered not into the swine of their own will, but their asking for this concession was that is might be shewn that they cannot hurt men without Divine permission. They did not ask to be sent into men, because they saw that He, by whose power they were tortured, bore a human form. Nor did they desire to be sent into the flocks, for they are clean animals offered up in the temple of God. But they desired to be sent into the swine, because no animal is more unclean than a hog, and devils always delight in filthiness.
It goes on: "And forthwith Jesus gave them leave."
Bede: And He gave them leave, that by the killing of the swine, the salvation of men might be furthered.
Pseudo-Chyrs., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: He wished to shew publicly the fury which devils entertain against men, and that they would inflict much worse things upon men, if they were not hindered by Divine power; because, again, His compassion would not allow this to be shewn on men, He permitted them to enter into the swine, that on them the fury and power of the devils might be made known.
There follows: "And the unclean spirits went out."
Titus: But the herdsmen also took to flight, lest they should perish with the swine, and spread the same fear amongst the inhabitants of the town.
Wherefore there follows: "And they that fed them, &c."
The necessity of their loss, however, brought these men to the Saviour; for (p. 94) frequently when God makes men suffer loss in their possessions, He confers a benefit on their souls.
Wherefore it goes on: "And they came to Jesus, and see him that was tormented by the devil, &c." that is, at the feet of Him from whom he had obtained health; a man, whom before, not even chains could bind, clothed and in his right mind, though he used to be continually naked; and they were amazed.
Wherefore it says, "And they were afraid."
This miracle then they find out partly by sight, partly by words.
Wherefore there follows: "And they that saw it told them."
Theophylact: But amazed at the miracle, which they had heard, they were afraid, and for this reason they beseech Him to depart out of their borders; which is expressed in what follows: "And they began to pray Him to depart out of their coasts;" for they feared lest some time or other they should suffer a like thing: for, saddened at the loss of their swine, they reject the presence of the Saviour.
Bede: Or else, conscious of their own frailty, they judged themselves unworthy of the presence of the Lord.
It goes on: "And when He was going to the ship, he that had been tormented, &c."
Theophylact: For he feared lest some time or other the devils should find him, and enter into him a second time. But the Lord sends him back to his house, intimating to him, that though He Himself was not present, yet His power would keep him; at the same time also that he might be of use in the healing of others.
Wherefore it goes on: "And He did not suffer him, and saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, &c."
See the humility of the Saviour. He said not, 'Proclaim all things which I have done to you,' but, all that the Lord hath done; do thou also, when thou hast done any good thing, take it not to thyself, but refer it to God.
Chrys.: But although He bade others, whom He healed, to tell it to no one, He nevertheless fitly bids this one proclaim it, since all that region, being possessed by devils, remained without God.
Theophylact: He therefore began to proclaim it, and all wonder, which, is that which follows: "And he began to publish."
Bede: Mystically, however, Gerasa or Gergese, as some read it, is interpreted casting out a dweller or a stranger approaching, because the people of the Gentiles both expelled the enemy from the heart, and he who was afar off is made near.
Pseudo-Jerome: Here again the demoniac is the people of the Gentiles, in a most hopeless case, bound neither by the (p. 95) law of nature, nor of God, nor by human fear.
Bede: Who dwelt in the tombs, because they delighted in dead works, that is, in sins; who were ever raging night and day, because whether in prosperity or in adversity, they were never free from the service of malignant spirits: again, by the foulness of their works, they lay as it were in the tombs, in their lofty pride, they wandered over the mountains, by words of most hardened infidelity, they as it were cut themselves with stones.
But he said, "My name is Legion," because the Gentile people were enslaved to divers idolatrous forms of worship. Again, that the unclean spirits going out from man enter into swine, which they cast headlong into the sea, implies that now that the people of the Gentiles are freed from the empire of demons, they who have not chosen to believe in Christ, work sacrilegious rites in hidden places.
Theophylact: Or by this it is signified that devils enter into those men who live like swine, rolling themselves in the slough of pleasure; they drive them headlong into the sea down the precipice of perdition, into the sea of an evil life where they are choked.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or they are choked in hell without any touch of mercy by the rushing on of an early death; which evils many persons thus avoid, for by the scourging of the fool, the wise is made more prudent.
Bede: But that the Lord did not admit him, though he wished to be with Him, signifies, that every one after the remission of his sins should remember that he must work to obtain a good conscience, and serve the Gospel for the salvation of others, that at last he may rest in Christ.
Greg., Mor., 37: For when we have perceived ever so little of the Divine knowledge, we are at once unwilling to return to human affairs, and seek for the quiet of contemplation; but the Lord commands that the mind should first toil hard at its work, and afterwards should refresh itself with contemplation.
Pseudo-Jerome: But the man who is healed preached in Decapolis, where the Jews, who hang on the letter of the Decalogue, are being turned away from the Roman rule.
6521 Mc 5,21-34
(p. 97) Theophylact: After the miracle of the demoniac, the Lord works another miracle, namely, in raising up the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue; the Evangelist, before narrating this miracle, says, "And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto Him."
Augustine, de Con. Evan., 2, 28: But we must understand, that what is added of the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, took place when Jesus had again crossed the sea in a ship, though how long after does not appear; for if there were not an interval, there could be no time for the taking place of that which Matthew relates, concerning the feast at his own house; after which event, nothing follows immediately, except this concerning the daughter of the chief of the synagogue. For he has so put it together, that the transition itself shews that the narrative follows the order of time.
It goes on, "There cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, &c."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: He has recorded the name on account of the Jews of that time, that it might mark the miracle.
It goes on, "And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet, and besought Him greatly, &c."
Matthew indeed relates that the chief of the synagogue reported that his daughter was dead, but Mark says that she was very sick, and that afterwards it was told to the ruler of the synagogue, when our Lord was about to go with him, that she was dead. The fact then, which Matthew implies, is the same, namely, that He raised her from the dead; and it is for the sake of brevity, that he says that she was dead, which was evident from her being raised.
Augustine: For he attaches himself not to the words of the father, but to what is of most importance, his wishes; for he was in such despair, that his wish was that she should return to life, not thinking that she could be found alive, whom he had left dying.
Theophylact: Now this man was faithful in part, inasmuch as he fell at the feet of Jesus, but in that he begged of Him to come, he did not shew as much faith as he ought. For he ought to have said, 'Speak the word only, and my daughter shall be healed.'
There follows, "And He went away with him, and much people followed Him, and thronged Him; and a woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, &c."
Chrys., see Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 31: This woman, who was celebrated and known to all, did not dare to approach the Saviour openly, nor to [p. 98] come to Him, because, according to the law, she was unclean; for this reason she touched Him behind, and not in front, for that she durst not do, but only ventured to touch the hem of His garment. It was not however the hem of the garment, but her frame of mind that made her whole.
There follows, "For she said, "If I may but touch His clothes, I shall be whole."
Theophylact: Most faithful indeed is this woman, who hoped for healing from His garments. For which reason she obtains health.
Wherefore it goes on, "And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed."
Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Now the virtues of Christ are by His own will imparted to those men, who touch Him by faith.
Wherefore there follows, "And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned Him about in the press, and said, Who touched My clothes?" The virtues indeed of the Saviour do not go out of Him locally or corporally, nor in any respect pass away from Him. For being incorporeal, they go forth to others and are given to others; they are not however separated from Him, from whom they are said to go forth, in the same way as sciences are given by the teacher to his pupils.
Therefore it says, "Jesus, knowing in Himself the virtue which had gone out of Him," to shew that with His knowledge, and not without His being aware of it, the woman was healed. But He asked, "Who touched me?" although He knew her who touched Him, that He might bring to light the woman, by her coming forward, and proclaim her faith, and lest the virtue of His miraculous work should be consigned to oblivion.
It goes on, "And His disciples said unto Him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched Me?"
But the Lord asked, "Who touched Me," that is in thought and faith, for the crowds who throng Me cannot be said to touch Me, for they do not come near to Me in thought and in faith.
There follows, "And He looked round about to see her that had done this thing."
Theophylact: For the Lord wished to declare the woman, first to give His approbation to her faith, secondly to urge the chief of the synagogue to a confident hope that He could thus cure his child, and also to free the woman from fear. For the woman feared because she had stolen health.
Wherefore there follows, "But the woman fearing (p. 99) and trembling, &c."
Bede, in Marc., 2, 22: Observe that the object of His question was that the woman should confess the truth of her long want of faith, of her sudden belief and healing, and so herself be confirmed in faith, and afford an example to others.
"But He said to her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
He said not, Thy faith is about to make thee whole, but has made thee whole, that is, in that thou hast believed, thou hast already been made whole.
Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc., see Chrys., Hom. in Matt., 31: He calls her "daughter" because she was saved by her faith; for faith in Christ makes us His children.
Theophylact: But He saith to her, "Go in peace," that is, in rest, which means, go and have rest, for up to this time thou hast been in pains and torture.
Pseudo-Chrys.: Or else He says, "Go in peace," sending her away into that which is the final good, for God dwells in peace, that thou mayest know, that she was not only healed in body, but also from the causes of bodily pain, that is, from her sins.
Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, however, Jairus comes after the healing of the woman, because when the fulness of the Gentiles has come in, then shall Israel be saved. (Rm 11) Jairus means either illuminating, or illuminated, that is, the Jewish people, having cast off the shadow of the letter, enlightened by the Spirit, and enlightening others, falling at the feet of the Word, that is, humbling itself before the Incarnation of Christ, prays for her daughter, for when a man lives himself, he makes others live also. Thus Abraham, and Moses, and Samuel, intercede for the people who are dead, and Jesus comes upon their prayers.
Bede: Again, the Lord going to the child, who is to be healed, is thronged by the crowd, because though He gave healthful advice to the Jewish nation, He is oppressed by the wicked habits of that carnal people; but the woman with an issue of blood, cured by the Lord, is the Church gathered together from the nations, for the issue of blood may be either understood of the pollution of idolatry, or of those deeds, which are accompanied by pleasure to flesh and blood. But whilst the word of the Lord decreed salvation to Judaea, the people of the Gentiles by an assured hope seized upon the health, promised and prepared for others.
Theophylact: Or else, by the woman, who had a bloody flux, understand human nature; for sin rushed in upon it, which (p. 100) since it killed the soul, might be said to spill its blood. It could not be cured by many physicians, that is, by the wise men of this world, and of the Law and the Prophets; but the moment that it touched the hem of Christ's garment, that is, His flesh, it was healed, for whosoever believes the Son of man to be Incarnate is he who touches the hem of His garment.
Bede: Wherefore one believing woman touches the Lord, whilst the crowd throngs Him, because He, who is grieved by divers heresies, or by wicked habits, is worshipped faithfully with the heart of the Catholic Church alone. But the Church of the Gentiles came behind Him; because though it did not see the Lord present in the flesh, for the mysteries of His Incarnation had been gone through, yet it attained to the grace of His faith, and so when by partaking of His sacraments, it merited salvation from its sins, as it were the fountain of its blood was dried up by the touch of His garments. And the Lord looked round about to see her who had done this, because He judges that all who deserve to be saved are worthy of His look and of His pity.
Golden Chain 6426