Golden Chain 7321
7321 Mc 13,21-27
Theophylact: After that the Lord had finished all that concerned Jerusalem, He now speaks of the coming of Antichrist, saying, "Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, to, he is there; believe him not." But when He says, "then," think not that it means immediately after these things are fulfilled about Jerusalem; as Matthew also says after the birth of Christ, "In those days came John the Baptist;" (Mt 3,1) does he mean immediately after the birth of Christ? No, but he speaks indefinitely and without precision. So also here, "then" may be taken to mean not when Jerusalem shall be made desolate, but about the time of the coming of Antichrist.
It goes on: "For false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."
For many shall take upon them the name of Christ, so as to seduce even the faithful.
Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xx, 19: For then shall Satan be unchained, and work through Antichrist in all his power, wonderfully indeed, but falsely. But a doubt is often raised whether the Apostle said "signs and lying wonders," because he is to deceive mortal sense, by phantoms, so as to appear to do what he does not, or because those wonders themselves, even though true, are to turn men aside to lies, because they will not believe that any power but a Divine power could do them, being ignorant of the power of Satan, especially when he shall have received such power as he never had before. But for whichever reason it is said, they shall be deceived by those signs and wonders who deserve to be deceived.
Greg., Hom in Ezech. i, 9: Why however is it said with a doubt "if it were possible," when the Lord knows beforehand what is to be? One of two things is implied; that if they are elect, it is not possible; and if it is possible, they are not elect. This doubt therefore in our Lord's discourse expresses the trembling in the mind of the elect. And He calls them elect, because He sees that they will persevere in faith and good works; for those who are chosen to remain firm are to be tempted to fall by the signs of the preachers of Antichrist.
Bede: Some however refer this to the time of the Jewish captivity, where many, declaring themselves to be Christs, drew after them crowds of deluded persons; but during the siege of the city there was no Christian to whom the Divine exhortation, not to follow false (p. 265) teachers, could apply. Wherefore it is better to understand it of heretics, who, coming to oppose the Church, pretended to be Christs; the first of whom was Simon Magus, but that last one, greater than the rest, is Antichrist.
It goes on: "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things."
Augustine, Epist., 78: For He did not only foretel to His disciples the good things which He would give to His saints and faithful ones, but also the woes in which this world was to abound, that we might look for our reward at the end of the world with more confidence, from feeling the woes in like manner announced as about to precede the end of the world.
Theophylact: But after the coming of Antichrist, the frame of the world shall be altered and changed, for the stars shall be obscured on account of the abundance of the brightness of Christ.
Wherefore it goes on: "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light; and the stars of heaven shall fall." Mc 13,24
Bede: For the stars in the day of judgment shall appear obscure, not by any lessening of their own light, but because of the brightness of the true light, that is, of the most high Judge coming upon them; although there is nothing to prevent its being taken to mean, that the sun and moon with all the other heavenly bodies then for a time are really to lose their light, just as we are told was the case with the sun at the time of our Lord's Passion. But after the day of judgment, when there shall be a new sky and a new earth, then shall happen what Isaiah says: "Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold." (Is 30,26)
There follows: "And the powers of heaven shall be shaken."
Theophylact: That is, the Angelic virtues shall be astonished, seeing that such great things are done, and that their fellow-servants are judged.
Bede: What wonder is it that men should be troubled at this judgment, the sight of which makes the very Angelic powers to tremble? What will the stories of the house do when the pillars shake? What does the shrub of the wilderness undergo, when the cedar of paradise is moved?
Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, the sun shall be darkened, at the coldness of their hearts, as in the winter time. And the moon shall not give her light with serenity, in this time of (p. 266) quarrel, and the stars of heaven shall fail in their light, when the seed of Abraham shall all but disappear, for to it they are likened (Gn 22,17). And the powers of heaven shall be stirred up to the wrath of vengeance, when they shall be sent by the Son of Man at His coming, of whose Advent it is said, "And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory," He, that is, who first came down like rain into the fleece of Gideon in all lowliness.
Augustine, Epist., cxcix, 11: For since it was said by the Angels to the Apostles, "He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven," (Ac 1,11) rightly do we believe that He will come not only in the same body, but on a cloud, since He is to come as He went away, and a cloud received Him as He was going.
Theophylact: But they shall see the Lord as the Son of Man, that is, in the body, for that which is seen is body.
Augustine, de Trin., i, 13: For the vision of the Son of Man is shewn even to the bad, but the vision of the form of God to the pure in heart alone, "for they shall see God." (Mt 5,8) And because the wicked cannot see the Son of God, as He is in the form of God, equal to the Father, and at the same time both just and wicked are to see Him as Judge of the quick and dead, before Whom they shall be judged, it was necessary that the Son of Man should receive power to judge. Concerning the execution of which power, there is immediately added, "And then shall He send He angels." Mc 13,27
Theophylact: Observe that Christ sends the Angels as well as the Father; where then are they who say that He is not equal to the Father? For the Angels go forth to gather together the faithful, who are chosen, that they may be carried into the air to meet Jesus Christ.
Wherefore it goes on: "And gather together His elect from the four winds." Mc 13,27
Pseudo-Jerome: As corn winnowed from the threshing-floor of the whole earth.
Bede: By "the four winds," He means the four parts of the world, the east, the west, the north, and the south. And lest any one should think that the elect are to be gathered together only from the four edges of the world, and not from the midland regions as well as the borders, He has fitly added, "From the uttermost part of earth, to the uttermost part of heaven," that is, from the extremities of the earth to its utmost bounds, where the circle of the heavens appears to those who look from (p. 267) afar to rest upon the boundaries of the earth. No one therefore shall be elect in that day who remains behind and does not meet the Lord in the air, when He comes to judgment. The reprobate also shall come to judgment, that when it is finished they may be scattered abroad and perish from before the face of God.
7328 Mc 13,28-31
Bede: Under the example of a tree the Lord gave a pattern of the end, saying, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree, when her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors."
Theophylact: As if He had said, As when the fig tree puts forth its leaves, summer follows at once, so also after the woes of Antichrist, at once, without an interval, shall be the coming of Christ, who will be to the just as summer after winter, but to sinners, winter after summer.
Augustine, Epist., 119, 11: All that is said by the three Evangelists concerning the Advent of our Lord, if diligently compared together and examined, will perchance be found to belong to His daily coming in His body, that is, the Church, except those places where that last coming is so promised, as if it were approaching; for instance in the last part of the discourse according to Matthew, the coming itself is clearly expressed, where it is said, "When the Son of Man shall come in His glory," (Mt 25,31) For what does He refer to in the words, "when ye shall see these things come to pass," (Mc 13,29) but those things which He has mentioned above, amongst which it is said, "And then ye shall see (p. 268) the Son of Man coming in the clouds." (Mc 13,26 The end therefore shall not be then, but then it shall be near at hand.
Or are we to say, that not all those things which are mentioned above are to be taken in, but only some of them, that is, leaving out these words, "Then shall ye see the Son of Man coming;" for that shall be the end itself, and not its approach only. But Matthew has declared that it is to be received without exception, saying, "When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." That which is said above must therefore be taken thus; "And He shall send His angels, and gather together the elect from the four winds;" that is, He shall collect His elect from the four winds of heaven, which He does in the whole of the last hour, coming in His members as in clouds.
Bede: This fruitbearing of the fig tree may also be understood to mean the state of the synagogue, which was condemned to everlasting barrenness, because when the Lord came, it had no fruits of righteousness in those who were then unfaithful. But the Apostle has said that when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in (Rm 11,25), all Israel shall be saved. What means this, but that the tree, which has been long barren, shall then yield the fruit, which it had withheld? When this shall happen, doubt not that a summer of true peace is at hand.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, the leaves which come forth are words now spoken, the summer at hand is the day of Judgment, in which every tree shall shew what it had within it, deadness for burning, or greenness to be planted with the tree of life.
There follows: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till these things be done." Mc 13,30
Bede: By generation He either means the whole race of mankind, or specially the Jews.
Theophylact: Or else, "This generation shall not pass away," that is, the generation of Christians, "until all things be fulfilled," which were spoken concerning Jerusalem and the coming of Antichrist; for He does not mean the generation of the Apostles, for the greater part of the Apostles did not live up to the destruction of Jerusalem. But He says this of the generation of Christians, wishing to console His disciples, lest they should believe that the faith should fail at that time; for the immoveable elements shall first fail, before the words of Christ fail; wherefore it is added, "Heaven and earth (p. 269) shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away." Mc 13,31
Bede: The heaven which shall pass away is not the ethereal or starry heaven, but the heaven where is the air. For wheresoever the water of the judgment could reach, there also, according to the words of the blessed Peter, the fire of judgment shall reach (2P 3,10-12). But the heaven and the earth shall pass away in that form which they now have, but in their essence they shall last without end.
7332 Mc 13,32-37
Theophylact: The Lord wishing to prevent His disciples from asking about that day and hour, says, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."
For if He had said, I know, but I will not reveal it to you, He would have saddened them not a little; but He acted more wisely, and prevents their asking such a question, lest they should importune Him, by saying, neither the Angels, nor I.
Hilary, de Trin., ix: This ignorance of the day and hour is urged against the Only-Begotten God, as if, God born of God had not the same perfection of nature as God. But first, let common sense decide whether it is credible that He, who (p. 270) is the cause that all things are, and are to be, should be ignorant of any out of all these things. For how can it be beyond the knowledge of that nature, by which and in which that which is to be done is contained? And can He be ignorant of that day, which is the day of His own Advent? Human substances foreknow as far as they can what they intend to do, and the knowledge of what is to be done, follows upon the will to act. How then can the Lord of glory, from ignorance of the day of His coming, be believed to be of that imperfect nature, which has on it a necessity of coming, and has not attained to the knowledge of its own advent?
But again, how much more room for blasphemy will there be, if a feeling of envy is ascribed to God the Father, in that He has withheld the knowledge of His beatitude from Him to whom He gave a foreknowledge of His death. But if there are in Him all the treasures of knowledge, He is not ignorant of this day; rather we ought to remember that the treasures of wisdom in Him are hidden; His ignorance therefore must be connected with the hiding of the treasures of wisdom, which are in Him.
For in all cases, in which God declares Himself ignorant, He is not under the power of ignorance, but either it is not a fit time for speaking, or it is an economy of not acting.
But if God is said then to have known that Abraham loved Him, when He did not hide that His knowledge from Abraham, it follows, that the Father is said to know the day, because He did not hide it from the Son. If therefore the Son knew not the day, it is a Sacrament of His being silent, as on the contrary the Father alone is said to know, because He is not silent. But God forbid that any new and bodily changes should be ascribed to the Father or the Son.
Lastly, lest He should be said to be ignorant from weakness, He has immediately added, "Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is."
Pseudo-Jerome: For we must needs watch with our souls before the death of the body.
Theophylact: But He teach us two things, watching and prayer; for many of us watch, but watch only to pass the night in wickedness; He now follows this up with a parable, saying, "For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave his servants power over every work, and commanded the porter to watch." (p. 271)
Bede: The man who taking a far journey left his house is Christ, who ascending as a conqueror to His Father after the Resurrection, left His Church, as to His bodily presence, but has never deprived her of the safeguard of His Divine presence.
Greg, Hom in Evan, 9: For the earth is properly the place for the flesh, which was as it were carried away to a far country, when it was placed by our Redeemer in the heavens. "And he gave his servants power over every work," when, by giving to His faithful ones the grace of the Holy Ghost, He gave them the power of serving every good work.
He has also ordered the porter to watch, because He commanded the order of pastors to have a care over the Church committed to them. Not only, however, those of us who rule over Churches, but all are required to watch the doors of their hearts, lest the evil suggestions of the devil enter into them, and lest our Lord find us sleeping.
Wherefore concluding this parable He adds, "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping."
Pseudo-Jerome: For he who sleeps applies not his mind to real bodies, but to phantoms, and when he awakes, he possesses not what he had seen; so also are those, whom the love of this world seizes upon in this life; they quit after this life what they dreamed was real.
Theophylact: See again that He has not said, I know not when the time will be, but, "Ye know not." For the reason why He concealed it was that it was better for us; for if, now that we know not the end, we are careless, what should we do if we knew it? We should keep on our wickedness even unto the end. Let us therefore attend to His words; for the end comes at even, when a man dies in old age; a midnight, when he dies in the midst of his youth; and at cockcrow, when our reason is perfect within us; for when a child begins to live according to his reason, then the cock cries loud within him, rousing him from the sleep of sense; but the age of childhood is the morning. Now all these ages must look out for the end; for even a child must be watched, lest he die unbaptized.
Pseudo-Jerome: He thus concludes His discourse, that the last should hear from those who come first this precept which is common to all; wherefore He adds, "But what I say unto you I (p. 272) say unto all, Watch."
Augustine, Epist., 199, 3: For He not only speaks to those in whose hearing He then spake, but even to all who came after them, before our time, and even to us, and to all after us, even to His last coming. but shall that day find all living, or will any man say that He speaks also to the dead, when He says, "Watch, lest when he cometh he find you sleeping?"
Why then does He say to all, what only belongs to those who shall then be alive, if it be not that it belongs to all, as I have said? For that day comes to each man when his day comes for departing from this life such as he is to be, when judged in that day, and for this reason every Christian ought to watch, lest the Advent of the Lord find him unprepared; but that day shall find him unprepared, whom the last day of his life shall find unprepared.
7401 Mc 14,1-2
(p. 273) Pseudo-Jerome: Let us now sprinkle our book, and our thresholds, with blood, and put the scarlet thread around the house of our prayers, and bind scarlet on our hand, as was done to Zarah (Gn 38,30), that we may be able to say that the red heifer () is slain in the valley (Dt 21,4). For the Evangelist, being about to speak of the slaying of Christ, premises, "After two days was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread."
Bede, Marc., iv, 43: Pascha, which in Hebrew is, phase, is not called from Passion, as many think, but from passing over, because the destroyer, seeing the blood on the doors of the Israelites, passed by them, and did not smite them; or the Lord Himself, bringing aid unto His people, walked above them.
Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, phrase, is interpreted as a passing over, but Pascha means sacrifice. In the sacrifice of the lamb, and the passing of the people through the sea, or through Egypt, the Passion of Christ is prefigured, and the redemption of the people from hell, when He visits us after two days, that is, when the moon is most full, and the age of Christ is perfect, that when no part at all of it is dark, we may eat the flesh of the Lamb without spot, Who (p. 274) taketh away the sins of the world, in one house, that is, in the Catholic Church, shod with charity, and armed with virtue.
Bede: The difference according to the Old Testament between the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread was, that the day alone on which the lamb was slain in the evening, that is, the fourteenth moon of the first month, was called Passover. But on the fifteenth moon, when they came out of Egypt, the feast of unleavened bread came on, which solemn time was appointed for seven days, that is, up to the twenty-first day of the same month in the evening. But the Evangelists indifferently use the day of unleavened bread for the Passover, and the Passover for the days of unleavened bread. Wherefore Mark also here says, "After two days was the feast of the Passover, and of unleavened bread," because the day of the Passover was also ordered to be celebrated on the days of unleavened bread, and we also, as it were, keeping a continual passover, ought always to be passing out of this world.
Pseudo-Jerome: But iniquity came forth in Babylon from the princes, who ought to have purified the temple and the vessels, and themselves according to the law, in order to eat the lamb.
Wherefore there follows: "And the Chief Priests and the Scribes sought how they might take Him by craft, and put him to death."
Now when the head is slain, the whole body is rendered powerless, wherefore these wretched men slay the Head. But they avoid the feast day, which indeed befits them, for what feasting can there be for them, who have lost life and mercy?
Wherefore it goes on: "But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people."
Bede: Not indeed, as the words seem to imply, that they feared the uproar, but they were afraid lest He should be taken out of their hands by the aid of the people.
Theophylact: Nevertheless, Christ Himself had determined for Himself the day of His Passion; for He wished to be crucified on the Passover, because He was the true Passover.
7403 Mc 14,3-9
Bede: The Lord when about to suffer for the whole world, and to redeem all nations with His Blood, dwells in Bethany, that is, in the house of obedience.
Wherefore it is said, "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman."
Pseudo-Jerome: For the fawn amongst the stags ever comes back to his couch, that is, the Son, obedient to the Father even unto death, seeks for obedience from us.
Bede: He says "of Simon the leper", not because he remained still a leper at that time, but because having once been such, he was healed by Our Saviour; his former name is left, that the virtue of the Healer may be made manifest.
Theophylact: But although the four Evangelists record the anointing by a woman, there were two women and not one; one described by John, the sister of Lazarus; it was she who six days before the Passover anointed the feet of Jesus; another described by the other three Evangelists. Nay, if you examine, you will find three; (p. 276) for one is described by John, another by Luke, a third by the other two. For that one described by Luke is said to be a sinner and to have come to Jesus during the time of His preaching; but this other described by Matthew and Mark is said to have come at the time of the Passion, nor did she confess that she had been a sinner.
Augustine, de Con. Evan., ii, 79: I however think that nothing else can be meant, but that the sinner who then came to the feet of Jesus was none other than the same Mary who did this twice; once, as Luke relates it, when coming for the first time with humility and tears she merited the remission of her sins. For John also relates this, when he began to speak of the raising of Lazarus before He came to Bethany, saying, "It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick." (Jn 11,2)
But what she again did at Bethany is another act, unrecorded by Luke, but mentioned in the same way by the other three Evangelists. In that therefore Matthew and Mark say that the head of the Lord was anointed by the woman, whilst John says the feet, we must understand that both the head and the feet were anointed by the woman. Unless because Mark has said that she broke the box in order to anoint His head, any one is so fond of cavilling as to deny that, because the box was broken, any could remain to anoint the feet of the Lord. But a man of a more pious spirit will contend that it was not broken so as to pour out the whole, or else that the feet were anointed before it was broken, so that there remained in the unbroken box enough to anoint the head.
Bede: Alabaster is a sort of white marble, veined with various colors which is often hollowed out for boxes of ointment, because it keeps things of that nature most uncorrupt. Nard is an aromatic shrub of a large and thick root, but short, black and brittle; though unctuous, it smells like cypress, and has a sharp taste, and small and dense leaves. Its tops spread themselves out like ears of corn, therefore, its gift being double, perfumers make much of the spikes and the leaves of the nard. And this is what is meant by Mark, when he says "spikenard very precious", that is, the ointment which Mary brought for the Lord was not made of the root of nard, but even, what made it more precious, by the addition of the spikes and the leaves, the gratefulness of its smell and virtue was augmented.
Theophylact, Matthew 26:2 : (p. 277) Or as is said in Greek, of pistic nard, that is, faithful, because the ointment of the nard was made faithfully and without counterfeit.
Augustine, de Con. Evan. ii, 78: It may appear to be a contradiction, that Matthew and Mark after mentioning "two days" and "the Passover", and afterwards that Jesus was in Bethany, where that precious ointment is mentioned; whilst John, just before he speaks of the anointing, says, that Jesus came into Bethany six days before the feast. (Jn 12,1) But those persons who are troubled by this, are not aware that Matthew and Mark do not place that anointing in Bethany immediately after that two days of which he foretold, but by way of recapitulation at the time when there were yet six days to the Passover.
Pseudo-Jerome: Again in a mystic sense, Simon the leper means the world, first infidel, and afterwards converted, and the woman with the alabaster box, means the faith of The Church, who says, My spikenard sendeth forth its smell. It is called pistic nard, that is, faithful and precious. The house filled with the smell of it is heaven and earth; the broken alabaster box is carnal desire, which is broken at the Head, from which the whole body is framed together, whilst He was reclining, that is, humbling Himself, that the faith of the sinner might be able to reach Him, for she went up from the feet to the head, and down from the head to the feet by faith, that is, to Christ and to His members.
It goes on: "And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this loss of the ointment?"
By the figure synecdoche, one is put for many, and many for one; for it is the lost Judas who finds loss in salvation; thus in the fruitful vine rises the snare of death. Under the cover of his avarice, however, the mystery of faith speaks; for our faith is bought for three hundred pence, in our ten senses (denarii, i.e. ten senses), that is, our inward and outward senses which are again trebled by our body, soul and spirit.
Bede: and in that he says, "And they murmured against her," we must not understand this to be spoken of the faithful Apostles, but rather of Judas mentioned in the plural.
Theophylact: Or else, it appears to be aptly implied that many disciples murmured against the woman, because they had often heard our Lord talking of alms. Judas, however, was indignant, but not with the same feeling, but on account of his love of money, and filthy gain; (p. 278) wherefore John also records him alone, as accusing the woman with a fraudulent intent. But he says, "They murmured against her," meaning that they troubled her with reproaches, and hard words. Then Our Lord reproves His disciples, for throwing obstacles against the wish of the woman.
Wherefore it goes on: "And Jesus said, Let her alone, why trouble ye her?" For after she had brought her gift, they wished to prevent her purpose by their reproaches.
Origen, on Matthew, 35: For they were grieved at the waste of the ointment, which might be sold for a large sum and given to the poor. This however ought not to have been, for it was right that it should be poured over the head of Christ, with a holy and fitting stream; wherefore it goes on, "She hath wrought a good work on me."
And so effectual is the praise of this good work, that it ought to excite all of us to fill the head of the Lord with sweet-smelling and rich offerings, that of us it may be said that we have done a good work over the head of the Lord. For we always have with us, as long as we remain in this life, the poor who have need of the care of those who have made progress in the word, and are enriched in the wisdom of God; they are not however able always day and night to have with them the Son of God, that is, the Word and Wisdom of God.
For it goes on: "For ye have the poor always with you, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good; but me ye have not always.
Bede: To me, indeed, He seems to speak of His bodily presence, that He should by no means be with them after His Resurrection, as He then was living with them in all familiarity.
Pseudo-Jerome: He says also, "She hath wrought a good work on me," for whosoever believes on the Lord, it is counted unto Him for righteousness. For it is one thing to believe Him, and to believe on Him, that is, to cast ourselves entirely upon Him.
It goes on: "She hath done what she could, she is come aforehand to anoint My Body to the burying."
Bede: As if the Lord said, What ye think is a waste of ointment is the service of my burial.
Theophylact: For "She is come aforehand" as though led by God "to anoint my body", as a sign of my approaching burial; by which He confounds the traitor, as if He said, With what conscience canst thou confound the woman, who anoints my body to the burial, and dost not (p. 279) confound thyself, who wilt deliver me to death? But the Lord makes a double prophecy; one that the Gospel shall be preached over the whole world, another that the dead of the woman shall be praised.
Wherefore it goes on: "Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her."
Bede: Observe, also, that as Mary won glory throughout the whole world for the service which she rendered to the Lord, so, on the contrary, he who was bold enough to reprove her service, is held in infamy far and wide; but the Lord in rewarding the good the due praise has passed over in silence the future shame of the impious.
7410 Mc 14,10-11
Bede: The unhappy Judas wishes to compensate with the price of his Master for the loss which he thought he had made by the pouring out of the ointment.
Where it is said: "And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the Chief Priests to betray Him unto them."
Chrysostom, de Prod. Jud., Homily 1: Why dost thou tell me of his country? would that I could also have been ignorant of his existence. But there was another disciple called Judas the zealot, the brother of James, and lest by calling him by this name there should arise a confusion between the two, he separates the one from the other. But he says not Judas the traitor, that he may teach us to be guiltless of detraction, and to avoid accusing others. In that however he says, "one of the twelve", he enhanced the detestable guilt of the traitor; for there were seventy other disciples, these however were not so intimate with Him, nor admitted to such familiar intercourse. But these twelve were approved by Him, these were the regal band, out of which the wicked traitor came forth.
Pseudo-Jerome: But he was one of the twelve in number, not in merit, one in body, not in soul. But he went to the Chief Priests after he went out and Satan entered into him. Every living (p. 280) thing unites with what is like itself.
Bede: But by the words, "he went out", it is shown that he was not invited by the Chief Priests, nor bound by any necessity, but entered upon this design from the spontaneous wickedness of his own mind.
Theophylact: It is said, to "betray him unto them", that is, to announce to them when He should be alone. But they feared to rush upon Him when He was teaching, for fear of the people.
Pseudo-Jerome: And he promises to betray Him, as his master the devil said before, "All this power I will give thee." (Lc 4,6)
It goes on, "And when they heard it they were glad, and promised to give him money." They promise him money, and they lose their life, which he also loses on receiving the money.
Chrysostom: Oh! the madness, yes, the avarice of the traitor, for his covetousness brought forth all the evil. For covetousness retains the souls which it has taken, and confines them in every way when it has bound them, and makes them forget all things, maddening their minds. Judas, taken captive by this madness of avarice, forgets the conversation, the table of Christ, his own discipleship, Christ's warnings and persuasion.
For there follows, "And he sought how he might conveniently betray Him."
Pseudo-Jerome: No opportunity for treachery can be found, such that it can escape vengeance here or there.
Bede: Many in this day shudder at the crime of Judas in selling his Master, his Lord and his God, for money, as monstrous and horrible wickedness. They however do not take heed, for when the sake of gain they trample on the rights of charity and truth, they are traitors to God, Who is Charity and Truth.
Golden Chain 7321