Golden Chain 11128

vv. 28-33

11128 Lc 21,28-33

GREG. Having in what has gone before spoken against the reprobate, He now turns His words to the consolation of the elect; for it is added, When these things begin to be, look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh; as if he says, When the buffetings of the world multiply, lift up your heads, that is, rejoice your hearts, for when the world closes whose friends you are not, the redemption is near which you seek. For in holy Scripture the head is often put for the mind, for as the members are ruled by the head, so are the thoughts regulated by the mind. To lift up our heads then, is to raise up our minds to the joys of the heavenly country.

EUSEB. Or else, To those that have passed through the body and bodily things, shall be present spiritual and heavenly bodies: that is, they will have no more to pass the kingdom of the world, and then to those that are worthy shall be given the promises of salvation. For having received the promises of God which we look for, we who before were crooked shall be made upright, and we shall lift up our heads who were before bent low; because the redemption which we hoped for is at hand; that namely for which the whole creation waits.

THEOPHYL. That is, perfect liberty of body and soul. For as the first coming of our Lord was for the restoration of our souls, so will the second be manifested to the restoration of our bodies.

EUSEB. He speaks these things to His disciples, not as to those who would continue in this life to the end of the world, but as if uniting in one body of believers in Christ both themselves and us and our posterity, even to the end of the world.

GREG. That the world ought to be trampled upon and despised, He proves by a wise comparison, adding, Behold the fig tree and all the trees,

when they now put forth fruit, you know that summer is near. As if He says, as from the fruit of the tree the summer is perceived to be near, so from the fall of the world the kingdom of God is known to be at hand. Hereby is it manifested that the world's fall is our fruit. For hereunto it puts forth buds, that whomever it has fostered in the bud it may consume in slaughter. But well is the kingdom of God compared to summer; for then the clouds of our sorrow flee away, and the days of life brighten up under the clear light of the Eternal Sun.

AMBROSE; Matthew speaks of the fig-tree only, Luke of all the trees. But the fig-tree shadows forth two things, either the ripening of what is hard, or the luxuriance of sin; that is, either that, when the fruit bursts forth in all trees and the fruitful fig-tree abounds, (that is, when every tongue confesses God, even the Jewish people confessing Him,) we ought to hope for our Lord's coming, in which shall be gathered in as at summer the fruits of the resurrection. Or, when the man of sin shall clothe himself in his light and fickle boasting as it were the leaves of the synagogue, we must then suppose the judgment to be drawing near. For the Lord hastens to reward faith, and to bring an end of sinning.

AUG. But when He says, When you shall see these things to come to pass, what can we understand but those things which were mentioned above. But among them we read, And then shall they see the Son of man coming. When therefore this is seen, the kingdom of God is not yet, but nigh at hand. Or must we say that we are not to understand all the things before mentioned, when He says, When you shall see these things, &c. but only some of them; this for example being excepted, And then shall they see the Son of man. But Matthew would plainly have it taken with no exception, for he says, And so you, when you see all these things, among which is the seeing the coming of the Son of man; in order that it may be understood of that coming whereby He now comes in His members as in clouds, or in the Church as in a great cloud.

TIT. BOST. Or else, He says, the kingdom of God is at hand, meaning that when these things shall be not yet shall all things come to their last end, but they shall be already tending towards it. For the very coming of our Lord itself, casting out every principality and power, is the preparation for the kingdom of God.

EUSEB. For as in this life, when winter dies away, and spring succeeds, the sun sending forth its warm rays cherishes and quickens the seeds hid in the ground, just laying aside their first form, and the young plants sprout forth, having put on different shades of green; so also the glorious coming of the Only-begotten of God, illuminating the new world with His quickening rays shall bring forth into light from more excellent bodies than before the seeds that have long been hidden in the whole world, i.e. those who sleep in the dust of the earth. And having vanquished death, He shall reign from henceforth the life of the new world.

GREG. But all the things before mentioned are confirmed with greet certainly, when He adds, Verily I say to you, &c.

BEDE; He strongly commends that which he thus foretell. And, if one may so speak, his oath is this, Amen, I say to you. Amen is by interpretation "true." Therefore the truth says, I tell you the truth, and though He spoke not thus, He could by no means lie. But by generation he means either the whole human race, or especially the Jews.

EUSEB. Or by generation He means the new generation of His holy Church, showing that the generation of the faithful would last up to that time, when it would see all things, and embrace with its eyes the fulfillment of our Savior's words.

THEOPHYL. For because He had foretold that there should be commotions, and wars and changes, both of the elements and in other things, lest any one might suspect that Christianity itself also would perish, He adds, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away: as if He said, Though all things should be shaken, yet shall my faith fail not. Whereby He implies that He sets the Church before the whole creation. The creation shall suffer change, but the Church of the faithful and the words of the Gospel shall abide for ever.

GREG. Or else, The heaven and, earth shall pass away, &c. As if He says, All that with us seems lasting, does not abide to eternity without change, and all that with Me seems to pass away is held fixed and immovable, for My word which passes away utters sentences which remain unchangeable, and abide for ever.

BEDE; But by the heaven which shall pass away we must understand not the ethereal or the starry heaven, but the air from which the birds are named "of heaven." But if the earth shall pass away, how does Ecclesiastes say, The earth stands for ever? Plainly then the heaven and earth in the fashion which they now have shall pass away, but in essence subsist eternally.

vv. 34-36

11134 Lc 21,34-36

THEOPHYL. Our Lord declared above the fearful and sensible signs of the evils which should overtake sinners, against which the only remedy is watching and prayer, as it is said, And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time, &c.

BASIL; Every animal has within itself certain instincts which it has received from God, for the preservation of its own being. Wherefore Christ has also given us this warning, that what comes to them by nature, may be ours by the aid of reason and prudence: that we may flee from sin as the brute creatures shun deadly food, but that we seek after righteousness, as they wholesome herbs. Therefore said He, Take heed to yourselves, that is, that you may distinguish the noxious from the wholesome. But since there are two ways of taking heed to ourselves, the one with the bodily eyes, the other by the faculties of the soul, and the bodily eye does not reach to virtue; it remains that we speak of the operations of the soul. Take heed, that is, Look around you on all sides, keeping an ever watchful eye to the guardianship of your soul. He says not, Take heed to your own or to the things around, but to yourselves. For you are mind and spirit, your body is only of sense. Around you are riches, arts, and all the appendages of life, you must not mind these, but your soul, of which you must take especial care. The same admonition tends both to the healing of the sick, and the perfecting of those that are well, namely, such as are the guardians of the present, the providers of the future, not judging the actions of others, but strictly searching their own, not suffering the mind to be the slave of their passions but subduing the irrational part of the soul to the rational. But the reason why we should take heed He adds as follows, Lest at any time your hearts be overcharged, &c.

TIT. BOST. As if He says, Beware lest the eyes of your mind wax heavy. For the cares of this life, and surfeiting, and drunkenness, scare away prudence, shatter and make shipwreck of faith.

CLEM. ALEX. Drunkenness is an excessive use of wine; crapula is the uneasiness, and nausea attendant on drunkenness, a Greek word so called from the motion of the head. And a little below. As then we must partake of food lest we suffer hunger, so also of drink lest we thirst, but with still greater care to avoid falling into excess. For the indulgence of wine is deceitful, and the soul when free from wine will be the wisest and best, but steeped in the fumes of wine is lost as in a cloud.

BASIL; But carefulness, or the care of this life, although it seems to have nothing unlawful in it, nevertheless if it conduce not to religion, must be avoided. And the reason why He said this He shows by what comes next, And so that day come upon you unawares.

THEOPHYL. For that day will not come when men are expecting it, but unlooked for and by stealth, taking as a snare those who are unwary. For as a snare shall it come upon all them that sit upon the face of the earth. But this we may diligently keep far from us. For that day will take those that sit on the face of the earth, as the unthinking and slothful. But as many as are prompt and active in the way of good, not sitting and loitering on the ground, but rising from it, saying to themselves, Rise up, be gone, for here there is no rest for you. To such that day is not as a perilous snare, but a day of rejoicing.

EUSEB. He taught them therefore to take heed to the things we have just before mentioned, lest they fall into the indolence resulting therefrom. Hence it follows, Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all those things that shall come to pass.

THEOPHYL. Namely, hunger, pestilence, and such like, which for a time only threaten the elect and others, and those things also which are hereafter the lot of the guilty for ever. For these we can in no wise escape, save by watching and prayer.

AUG. This is supposed to be that flight which Matthew mentions; which must not be in the winter or on the sabbath day. To the winter belong the cares of this life, which are mournful as the winter, but to the sabbath surfeiting and drunkenness, which drowns and buries the heart in carnal luxury and delight, since on that day the Jews are immersed in worldly pleasure, while they are lost to a spiritual sabbath.

THEOPHYL. And because a Christian needs not only to flee evil, but to strive to obtain glory, He adds, And to stand before the Son of man. For this is the glory of angels, to stand before the Son of man, our God, and always to behold His face.

BEDE; Now supposing a physician should bid us beware of the juice of a certain herb, lest a sudden death overtake us, we should most earnestly attend to his command; but when our Savior warns us to shun drunkenness and surfeiting, and the cares of this world, men have no fear of being wounded and destroyed by them; for the faith which they put in the caution of the physician, they disdain to give to the words of God.

vv. 37-38

11137 Lc 21,37-38

BEDE; What our Lord commanded in word, He confirms by His example. For He who bid us watch and pray before the coming of the Judge, and the uncertain end of each of us, as the time of His Passion drew near, is Himself instant in teaching, watching, and prayer. As it is said, And in the day time he was teaching in the temple, whereby He conveys by His own example, that it is a thing worthy of God, to watch, or by word and deed to point out the way of truth to our neighbor.

CYRIL; But what were the things He taught, unless such as transcended the worship of the law?

THEOPHYL. Now the Evangelists are silent as to the greater part of Christ's teaching; for whereas He preached for the space nearly of three years, all the teaching which they have written down would scarcely, one might say, suffice for the discourse of a single day. For out of a great many things extracting a few, they have given only a taste as it were of the sweetness of His teaching. But our Lord here instructs us, that we ought to address God at night and in silence, but in day time to be doing good to men; and to gather indeed at night, but in the day distribute what we have gathered. As it is added, And at night he went out and abode in the mount that is called Olivet. Not that He had need of prayer, but He did this for our example.

CYRIL; But because His speech was with power, and with authority He applied to spiritual worship the things which had been delivered in figures by Moses and the Prophets, the people heard Him gladly. As it follows, And the whole people made haste to come early to hear him in the temple. But the people who came to Him before light might with fitness say, O God my God, early do I wait upon you.

BEDE; Now mystically, we also when amid our prosperity we behave ourselves soberly, piously, and honestly, teach by day time in the temple, for we hold up to the faithful the model of a good work; but at night we abide on mount Olivet, when in the darkness of anguish we are refreshed with spiritual consolation; and to us also the people come early in the morning, when either having shaken off the works of darkness, or scattered all the clouds of sorrow, they follow our example.

Catena aurea luke 22

vv. 1-2

11201 Lc 22,1-2

CHRYS. The actions of the Jews were a shadow of our own. Accordingly if you ask of a Jew concerning the Passover, and the feast of unleavened bread, he will tell you nothing momentous, mentioning the deliverance from Egypt; whereas should a man inquire of me he would not hear of Egypt or Pharaoh, but of freedom from sin and the darkness of Satan, not by Moses, but by the Son of God;

GLOSS. Whose Passion the Evangelist being about to relate, introduces the figure of it, saying, Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

BEDE; Now the Passover, which is called in Hebrew "Phase," is not so named from the Passion, but from the passing over, because the destroying angel, seeing the blood on the doors of the Israelites, passed over them, and touched not their first-born. Or the Lord Himself, giving assistance to His people, walked over them. But herein is the difference between the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, that by the Passover is meant that day alone on which the lamb was slain towards the evening, that is, on the fourteenth day of the first month, but on the fifteenth, when the Israelites went out of Egypt, followed the feast of unleavened bread for seven days, up to the twenty-first of the same month. Hence the writers of the Gospel substitute one indifferently for the other. As here it is said, The day of unleavened bread, which is called the Passover. But it is signified by a mystery, that Christ having suffered once for us, has commanded us through the whole time of this world which is passed in seven days, to live in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

CHRYS. The Chief Priests set about their impious deed on the feast, as it follows, And the Chief Priests and Scribes, &c. Moses ordained only one Priest, at whose death another was to be appointed. But at that time, when the Jewish customs had begun to fall away, there were many made every year. These then wishing to kill Jesus, are not afraid of God, lest in truth the holy time should aggravate the pollution of their sin, but every where fear man. Hence it follows, For they feared the people.

BEDE; Not indeed that they apprehended sedition, but were afraid lest by the interference of the people He should be taken out of their hands. And these things Matthew reports to have taken place two days before the Passover, when they were assembled in the judgment hall of Caiaphas.

vv. 3-6

11203 Lc 22,3-6

THEOPHYL. Having already said that the Chief Priests sought means how they might slay Jesus without incurring any danger, he next goes on to relate the means which occurred to them, as it is said, Then entered Satan into Judas.

TIT. BOST. Satan entered into Judas not by force, but finding the door open. For forgetful of all that he had seen, Judas now turned his thoughts solely to covetousness.

CHRYS. St. Luke gives his surname, because there was another Judas.

TIT. BOST. And he adds, one of the twelve, since he made up the number, though he did not truly discharge the Apostolic office. Or the Evangelist adds this, as it were for contrast sake. As if he said, "He was of the first band of those who were especially chosen."

BEDE; There is nothing contrary to this in what John says, that after the sop Satan entered into Judas; seeing he now entered into him as a stranger, but then as his own, whom he might lead after him to do whatsoever he willed.

CHRYS, Observe the exceeding iniquity of Judas, that he both sets out by himself, and that he does this for gain. It follows, And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains.

THEOPHYL. The magistrates here mentioned were those appointed to take care of the buildings of the temple, or it may be those whom the Romans had set over the people to keep them from breaking forth into tumult; for they were seditious.

CHRYS. By covetousness then Judas became what he was, for it follows, And they covenanted to give him money. Such are the evil passions which covetousness engenders, it makes men irreligious, and compels them to lose all knowledge of God, though they have received a thousand benefits from Him, nay, even to injure Him, as it follows, And he contracted with them.

THEOPHYL. That is, he bargained and promised. And sought opportunity to betray him to them, without the crowds, that is, when he saw Him standing by Himself apart, in the absence of the multitude.

BEDE; Now many shudder at the wickedness of Judas, yet do not guard against it. For whosoever despises the laws of truth and love, betrays Christ who is truth and love. Above all, when he sins not from infirmity or ignorance but after the likeness of Judas seeks opportunity, when no one is present, to change truth for a lie, virtue for crime.

vv. 7-13

11207 Lc 22,7-13

TIT. BOST. Our Lord, in order to leave us a heavenly Passover, ate a typical one, removing the figure, that the truth might take its place.

BEDE; By the day of unleavened bread of the Passover, He means the fourteenth day of the first month, the day on which, having put away the leaven, they were accustomed to hold the Passover, that is, the lamb, towards evening.

EUSEB. But should any one say, "If on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples of our Savior prepare the Passover, on that day then should we also celebrate the Passover;" we answer, that this was not an admonition, but a history of the fact. It is what took place at the time of the saving Passion; but it is one thing to relate past events, another to sanction and leave them an ordinance to posterity. Moreover, the Savior did not keep His Passover with the Jews at the time that they sacrificed the lamb. For they did this on the Preparation, when our Lord suffered. Therefore they entered not into the hall of Pilate, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. For from the time that they conspired against the truth, they drove far from them the Word of truth. Nor on the first day of unleavened bread, on which the Passover ought to be sacrificed, did they eat their accustomed Passover, for they were intent upon something else, but on the day after, which was the second of unleavened bread. But our Lord on the first day of unleavened bread, that is, on the fifth day of the week, kept the Passover with His disciples.

THEOPHYL. Now on the same fifth day He sends two of His disciples to prepare the Passover, namely, Peter and John the one in truth as loving, the other as loved. In all things showing, that even to the end of His life He opposed not the law. And He sends them to a strange house; for He and His disciples had no house, else would He have kept the Passover in one of them. So it is added, And they said Where will you that we prepare?

BEDE; As if to sad, We have no abode, we have no place of shelter. Let those hear this, who busy themselves in building houses. Let them know that Christ, the Lord of all places, had no where to lay His head.

CHRYS. But as they knew not to whom they were sent, He gave them a sign, as Samuel to Saul, as it follows, And he told to them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in.

AMBROSE; First observe the greatness of His divine power. He is talking with His disciples, yet knows what will happen in another place. Next behold His condescension, in that He chooses not the person of the rich or powerful, but seeks after the poor, and prefers a mean inn to the spacious palaces of nobles. Now the Lord was not ignorant of the name of the man whose mystery He knew, and that he would meet the disciples, but he is mentioned without a name, that he may be counted as ignoble.

THEOPHYL. He sends them for this reason to an unknown man: to show them that He voluntarily underwent His Passion, since He who so swayed the mind of one unknown to Him, that He should receive them, was able to deal with the Jews just as He wished. But some say that He gave not the name of the men, lest the traitor knowing his name might open the house to the Pharisees, and they should have come and taken Him before that the supper was eaten, and He had delivered the spiritual mysteries to was disciples. But He directs them by particular signs to a certain house; whence it follows, And you shall say to the goodman of the house, The Master said, Where is the guest-chamber, &c.

And he will show you an upper room, &c.

GLOSS. And perceiving these signs, the disciples zealously fulfilled all that had been commanded them; as it follows, And they went and found as he had said to them, and made ready the Passover.

BEDE; To explain this Passover, the Apostle says, Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Which Passover in truth must needs have been slain there, as it was so ordained by the Father's counsel and determination. And thus although on the next day, that is, the fifteenth, He was crucified, yet, on this night on which the lamb was slain by the Jews, being seized and bound, He consecrated the beginning of His sacrifice, that is, of His Passion.

THEOPHYL. By the day of unleavened bread, we must understand that conversation which is wholly in the light of the Spirit, having lost all trace of the old corruption of Adam's first transgression. And living in this conversation, it becomes us to rejoice in the mysteries of Christ. Now these mysteries Peter and John prepare, that is, action and contemplation, fervid zeal and peaceful meekness. And these preparers a certain man meets, because in what we have just mentioned, lies the condition of man who was created after the image of God. And he carries a pitcher of water, which signifies the grace of the Holy Spirit. But the pitcher is humbleness of heart; for He gives grace to the humble, who know themselves to be but earth and dust.

AMBROSE; Or the pitcher is a more perfect measure, but the water is that which was thought meet to be a sacrament of Christ; to wash, not to be washed.

BEDE; They prepare the Passover in that house, whither the pitcher of water is carried, for the time is at hand in which to the keepers of the true Passover, the typical blood is taken away from the lintel, and the baptism of the life giving fountain is consecrated to take away sin.

ORIGEN, But I think that the man who meets the disciples as they enter into the city, carrying a pitcher of water, was some servant of a master of a house, carrying water in an earthen vessel either for washing or for drinking. And this I think is Moses conveying the spiritual doctrine in fleshly histories. But they who follow him not, do not celebrate the Passover with Jesus. Let us then ascend with the Lord united to us, to the upper part in which is the guest-chamber, which is shown by the understanding, that is, the goodman of the house, to every one of the disciples of Christ. But this upper room of our house must be large enough to receive Jesus the Word of God, who is not comprehended but by those who are greater in comprehension. And this chamber must be made ready by the goodman of the house, (that is, the understanding,) for the Son of God, and it must be cleaned, wholly purged of the filth of malice. The master of the house also must not be any common person having a known name. Hence He says mystically in Matthew, Go you to such a one.

AMBROSE; Now in the upper parts he has a large room furnished, that you may consider how great were his merits in whom the Lord could sit down with His disciples, rejoicing in His exalted virtues.

ORIGEN; But we should know that they who are taken up with banquetings and worldly cares do not ascend into that upper part of the house, and therefore do not keep the Passover with Jesus. For after the words of the disciples wherewith they questioned the goodman of the house, (that is, the understanding,) the Divine Person came into that house to feast there with His disciples.

vv. 14-18

11214 Lc 22,14-18

CYRIL; As soon as the disciples had prepared the Passover, they proceed to eat it; as it is said, And when the hour was come, &c.

BEDE; By the hour of eating the Passover, He signifies the fourteenth day of the first month, far gone towards evening, the fifteenth moon just appearing on the earth.

THEOPHYL. But how is our Lord said to sit down, whereas the Jews eat the Passover standing? They say, that when they had eaten the legal Passover, they sat down according to the common custom, to eat their other food.

It follows, And he said to them, With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you, &c.

CYRIL; He says this, because the covetous disciple was looking out for the time for betraying Him; but that he might not betray Him before the feast of the Passover, our Lord had not divulged either the house, or the man with whom He should keep the Passover. That this was the cause is very evident from these words.

THEOPHYL. Or He says, With desire have I desired; as if to say, This is My last supper with you, therefore it is most precious and welcome to Me; just as those who are going away to a distance, utter the last words to their friends most affectionately.

CHRYS. Or He says this, because after that Passover the Cross was at hand. But we find Him frequently prophesying of His own Passion, and desiring it to take place.

BEDE; He first then desires to eat the typical Passover, and so to declare the mysteries of His Passion to the world.

EUSEB. Or else; When our Lord was celebrating the new Passover, He fitly said, With desire have I desired this Passover, that is, the new mystery of the New Testament which He gave to His disciples, and which many prophets and righteous men desired before Him. He then also Himself thirsting for the common salvation, delivered this mystery, to suffice for the whole world. But the Passover was ordained by Moses to be celebrated in one place, that is, in Jerusalem. Therefore it was not adapted for the whole world, and so was not desired.

EPIPH. Hereby we may refute the folly of the Ebionites concerning the eating of flesh, seeing that our Lord eats the Passover of the Jews. Therefore He pointedly said, "This Passover" that no one might transfer it to mean another.

BEDE; Thus then was our Lord the approver of the legal Passover; and as He taught that it related to the figure of His own dispensation, He forbids it henceforth to be represented in the flesh. Therefore He adds, For I say to you, I will not any more eat thereof; until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. That is, I will no more celebrate the Mosaic Passover, until, being spiritually understood, it is fulfilled in the Church. For the Church is the kingdom of God; as in Luke, The kingdom of God is within you. Again, the ancient Passover, which He desired to bring to an end, is also alluded to in what follows;

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take you, &c. For this gave He thanks, that the old things were about to pass away, and all things to become new.

CHRYS. Remember then when you sit down to meat that after the meal you must pray therefore satisfy your hunger, but with moderation, lest being overcharged you should not be able to bend your knees in supplication and prayer to God. Let us not then after our meals turn to sleep, but to prayer. For Christ plainly signifies this, that the partaking of food should not be followed by sleep or rest, but by prayer and reading the holy Scripture. It follows, For I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God come.

BEDE; This may be also taken literally, for from the hour of supper up to the time of resurrection He was about to drink no wine. Afterwards He partook both of meat and drink, as Peter testifies, Who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

THEOPHYL. The resurrection is called the kingdom of God, because it has destroyed death. Therefore David also says, The Lord reigns. He has put on beauty, that is, a beautiful robe, having put off the corruption of the flesh. But when the resurrection comes, He again drinks with His disciples; to prove that the resurrection was not a shadow only.

BEDE; But it is far more natural, that as before of the typical lamb, so now also of the drink of the Passover, He should say that He would no more taste, until the glory of the kingdom of God being made manifest, the faith of the whole world should appear; that so by means of the spiritual changing of the two greatest commands of the law, namely, the eating and drinking of the Passover you might learn that all the Sacraments of the law were to be transferred to a spiritual observance.

vv. 19-20

11219 Lc 22,19-20

BEDE; Having finished the rites of the old Passover, He passes on to the new, which He desires the Church to celebrate in memory of His redemption, substituting for the flesh and blood of the lamb, the Sacrament of His own Flesh and Blood in the figure of the bread and wine, being made a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech. Hence it is said, And he look bread, and gave thanks, as also He had given thanks upon finishing the old feast, leaving us an example to glorify God at the beginning and end of every good work. It follows, And broke it. He Himself breaks the bread which He holds forth, to show that the breaking of His Body, that is, His Passion, will not be without His will. And gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you.

GREG. NYSS. For the bread before the consecration is common bread, but when the mystery has consecrated it, it is, and it is called, the Body of Christ.

CYRIL; Nor doubt that this is true; for He plainly says, This is my body; but rather receive the words of your Savior in faith. For since He is the Truth, He lies not. They rave foolishly then who say that the mystical blessing loses its power of sanctifying, if any remains are left till the following day. For the most holy Body of Christ will not be changed, but the power of blessing and the life giving grace is ever abiding in it. For the life-giving power of God the Father is the only-begotten Word, which was made flesh not ceasing to be the Word, but making the flesh life giving. What then? since we have in us the life of God, the Word of God dwelling in us, will our body be life-giving? But it is one thing for us by the habit of participation to have in ourselves the Son of God, another for Himself to have been made flesh, that is, to have made the body which He took from the pure Virgin His own Body. He must needs then be in a certain manner united to our bodies by His holy Body and precious Blood, which we have received for a life giving blessing in the bread and wine. For lest we should be shocked, seeing the Flesh and Blood placed on the holy altars, God, in compassion to our infirmities, pours into the offerings the power of life, changing them into the reality of His own flesh, that the body of life may be found in us, as it were a certain life-giving seed. He adds, Do this in commemoration of me.

CHRYS. Christ did this to bring us to a closer bond of friendship, and to betoken His love toward us, giving Himself to those who desire Him, not only to behold Him, but also to handle Him, to eat Him, to embrace Him with the fullness of their whole heart. Therefore as lions breathing fire do we depart from that table, rendered objects of terror to the devil.

BASIL; Learn then in what manner you ought to eat the Body of Christ, namely, in remembrance of Christ's obedience even to death, that they who live may no more live in themselves, but in Him who died for them, and rose again.

THEOPHYL. Now Luke mentions two cups; of the one we spoke above, Take this, and divide it among yourselves, which we may say is a type of the Old Testament; but the other after the breaking and giving of bread, He Himself imparts to His disciples. Hence it is added, Likewise also the cup after supper.

BEDE; He gave to them, is here understood to complete the sentence.

AUG. Or because Luke has twice mentioned the cup, first before Christ gave the bread, then after He had given it, on the first occasion he has anticipated, as he frequently does, but on the second that which he has placed in its natural order, he had made no mention of before. But both joined together make the same sense which we find in the others, that is, Matthew and Mark.

THEOPHYL. Our Lord calls the cup the New Testament, as it follows, This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you, signifying that the New Testament has its beginning in His blood. For in the Old Testament the blood of animals was present when the law was given, but now the blood of the Word of God signifies to us the New Testament. But when He says, for you, He does not mean that for the Apostles only was His Body given, and His Blood poured out, but for the sake of all mankind. And the old Passover was ordained to remove the slavery of Egypt; but the blood of the lamb to protect the first-born. The new Passover was ordained to the remission of sins; but the Blood of Christ to preserve those who are dedicated to God.

CHRYS. For this Blood molds in us a royal image, it suffers not our nobleness of soul to waste away, moreover it refreshes the soul, and inspires it with great virtue. This Blood puts to flight the devils, summons angels, and the Lord of angels. This Blood poured forth washed the world, and made heaven open. They that partake of it are built up with heavenly virtues, and arrayed in the royal robes of Christ; yes rather clothed upon by the King Himself. And since if you come clean, you come healthfully; so if polluted by an evil conscience, you come to your own destruction, to pain and torment. For if they who defile the imperial purple are smitten with the same punishment as those who tear it asunder, it is not unreasonable that they who with an unclean heart receive Christ should be beaten with the same stripes as they were who pierced Him with nails.

BEDE; Because the bread strengthens, and the wine produces blood in the flesh, the former is ascribed to the Body of Christ, the latter to His Blood. But because both we ought to abide in Christ, and Christ in us, the wine of the Lord's cup is mixed with water, for John bears witness, The people are many waters.

THEOPHYL. But first the bread is given, next the cup. For in spiritual things labor and action come first, that is, the bread, not only because it is toiled for by the sweat of the brow, but also because while being eaten it is not easy to swallow. Then after labor follows the rejoicing of Divine grace, which is the cup.

BEDE; For this reason then the Apostles communicated after supper, because it was necessary that the typical passover should be first completed, and then they should pass on to the Sacrament of the true Passover. But now in honor of so great a Sacrament, the masters of the Church think right that we should first be refreshed with the spiritual banquet, and afterward with the earthly.

GREEK EX. He that communicates receives the whole Body and Blood of our Lord, even though he receive but a part of the Mysteries. For as one seal imparts the whole of its device to different substances, and yet remains entire after distribution, and as one word penetrates to the hearing of many, so there is no doubt that the Body and Blood of our Lord is received whole in all. But the breaking of the sacred bread signifies the Passion.

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