1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of *David, the son of Abraham.

Luke 3:31.
The first English Testament, divided into verses, was that printed at Geneva, by Conrad Badius, in the year 1557. (Haydock) --- "The book of the Generation," is not referred to the whole gospel, but to the beginning, as in Genesis 5. "This is the book of the generation of Adam." (Estius) --- The book of the{ Ver. 1. Liber Generationis. Biblos geneseos. So Genesis 5:1. Hic est liber generationis Adam, Biblos, etc.|} Generation, that is the genealogy or pedigree, which is here set down in the first sixteen verses. In the style of the Scriptures any short schedule or roll is called a book, as the bill or short writing of a divorce, is called a little book. (Matthew 5:31.) (Witham) --- Jesus, in Hebrew Jesuah, is the proper name of Him, who was born of the Virgin Mary, who was also the Son of God, "a name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb." (Luke ii.) It signifies Saviour, "because he was to save his people from their sins." He was also called Christ, which signifies anointed; for though in the Old Testament kings, priests, and prophets were anointed, and though many were then designated by the name of Jesus, properly, and by an invariable custom of the New Testament, that person is exclusively signified, who, on account of the union of the divine and human nature, was anointed by the Holy Ghost above all his fellows. (Psalm xliv. and Hebrews 1:9.) Whence in this turn the hypostasis is understood, in which the two natures, the divine and human, meet. (Estius)
Matthew 1:2 *Abraham begot **Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. ***And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren.

Genesis 21:3. --- ** Genesis 25:25. --- *** Genesis 29:35.
He begins with Abraham, the father of the faithful, because to him the promise was made, that all generations should be blessed in his seed. (Theophylactus)
Matthew 1:3 *And Judas begot Phares and Zara, of Thamar. **And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram.

Genesis 38:29.; 1 Paralipomenon 2:4. --- ** Ruth 4:18.; 1 Paralipomenon 2:5.
See Genesis xxxviii, ver. 6. et dein., and Zara of Thamar, her daughter-in-law. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:4 And Aram begot Aminadab. *And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon.

Numbers 7:12.
Matthew 1:5 And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab.* And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse.

Ruth 4:22.
See Josue, Matthew 2:et dein. We nowhere else find the marriage of Salmon with Rahab; but this event might have been known by tradition, the truth of which the divinely inspired evangelist here confirms. (Bible de Vence) Rahab was a debauched woman, preserved in the pillage of Jericho, where she had been born. In this genealogy only four women are mentioned, of which two are Gentiles, and two adulteresses. Here the greatest sinners may find grounds for confidence in the mercies of Jesus Christ, and hopes of pardon, when they observed how the Lord of life and glory, to cure our pride, not only humbled himself by taking upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh, but by deriving his descent from sinners, and inspiring the holy evangelist to record the same to all posterity. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:6 *And Jesse begot David, the king. **And David, the king, begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias.

1 Kings 16:1. --- ** 2 Kings 12:24.
Extract from St. Chrysostom's first Homil. upon the first chapter of St. Matthew: "How, you say, does it appear that Christ descended from David? For if he be born not of man, but of a virgin, concerning whose genealogy nothing is said, how shall we know that he is of the family of David? We have here two difficulties to explain. Why is the genealogy of the Virgin passed over in silence, and why is Joseph's mentioned, as Christ did not descend from him?...How shall we know that the Virgin is descended from David? Hear the words of the Almighty addressed to the archangel Gabriel: 'Go to a virgin espoused to a man, whose name is Joseph, of the house and family of David.' What could you wish plainer that this, when you hear that the Virgin is of the family of David? Hence it also appears that Joseph was of the same house, for there was a law which commanded them not to marry any one but of the same tribe....But whether these words, of the house and family of David, be applied to the Virgin or to Joseph, the argument is equally strong. For if he was of the family of David, he did not take a wife but out of the same tribe, from which he had descended. Perhaps you will say he transgressed this law. But the evangelist has prevented such a suspicion, by testifying beforehand that Joseph was a just man. Beware how you attach crime to him, whose virtue is thus publicly acknowledged....It was not the custom among the Hebrews to keep the genealogies of women. The evangelist conformed to this custom, that he might not at the very beginning of the gospel offend by transgressing ancient rites, and introducing novelty."
Matthew 1:7 *And Solomon begot Roboam. **And Roboam begot Abias. ***And Abias begot Asa.

3 Kings 11:43. --- ** 3 Kings 14:31. --- *** 3 Kings 15:8.
Matthew 1:8 And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias.

Joram begot Ozias, three generations are omitted, as we find in 2 Paraliponenon xxii; for there, Joram begot Ochozias, and Ochozias begot Joas, and Joas begot Amazias, and Amazias begot Ozias. This omission is not material, the design of St. Matthew being only to shew the Jews that Jesus, their Messias, was of the family of David; and he is equally the son, or the descendent of David, though the said three generations be left out: for Ozias may be called the son of Joram, though Joram was his great-grandfather. (Witham) --- It is thought that St. Matthew omitted these three kings, Ochozias, Joas, and Amazias, to preserve the distribution of his genealogy into three parts, each of fourteen generations; and, perhaps, also on account of their impiety, or rather on account of the sentence pronounced against the house of Achab, from which they were descended by their mother Athalia. (3 Kings 21:21.) (Calmet)
Matthew 1:9 *And Ozias begot Joatham. **And Joatham begot Achas. ***And Achas begot Ezechias.

2 Paralipomenon 26:23. --- ** 2 Paralipomenon 27:9. --- *** 2 Paralipomenon 28:27.
Matthew 1:10 *And Ezechias begot Manasses. **And Manasses begot Amon. ***And Amon begot Josias.

2 Paralipomenon 32:33. --- ** 2 Paralipomenon 33:20. --- *** 2 Paralipomenon 33:25.
Matthew 1:11 *And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

2 Paralipomenon 36:2.
Josias begot{ Ver. 11. See St. Epiphanius, haer. vi. pag. 21. Edit. Petav. epeide tines etc.|} Jechonias, etc. The genealogy of Christ, as it appears by the 17th verse, is divided by the evangelist into thrice fourteen generations, and so it is to contain 42 persons. The first class of fourteen begins with Abraham, and ends with David. The second class begins with Solomon, and ends with Jechonias. The third class is supposed to begin with Salathiel, and to end, says St. Jerome, with our Saviour Christ. But thus we shall only find in the third class thirteen generations, and in all only forty-one, instead of forty-two. Not to mention in these short notes other interpretations, the conjecture of St. Epiphanius seems to most probable, that we are to understand two Jechonias's, the father and the son, who had the same name. So that the true reading should be, Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren, and Jechonias begot Jechonias, and Jechonias begot Salathiel. Thus Jechonias named in the 12th verse is not the same, but the son of him that was named in the 11th verse; and from Jechonias the son, begins the third class, and so Christ himself will be the last or 14th person in that last series or class. There are several difficulties about reconciling this genealogy in St. Matthew with that in St. Luke, Matthew 3. But without insisting on all the particulars in these short notes, I hope it may suffice to take notice, that no one can reasonably doubt that both the evangelists copied out the genealogical tables, as they were then extant, and carefully preserved by the Jews, and especially by those families that were of the tribe of Juda, and of the family of David, of which the Messias was to be born. For if the evangelists had either falsified, or made any mistake as to these genealogies, the Jews undoubtedly would have objected this against their gospels, which they never did. (Witham) --- The difficulties here are: 1. Why does St. Matthew give the genealogy of Joseph and not of Mary? 2. How is it inferred that Jesus is descended from David and Solomon, because Joseph is the son of David? 3. How can Joseph have two men for his father, Jacob of the race of Solomon, and Heli of the race of Nathan? To the 1st it is generally answered, that it was not customary with the Jews to draw out the genealogies of women; to the 2nd, that Jesus being the son of Joseph, either by adoption, or simply as the son of Mary his wife, he entered by that circumstance into all the rights of the family of Joseph; moreover, Mary was of the same tribe and family of Joseph, and thus the heir of the branch of Solomon marrying with the heiress of the branch of Nathan, the rights of the two families united in Joseph and Mary, were transmitted through them to Jesus, their son and heir; to the 3rd, that Jacob was the father of Joseph according to nature, and Heli his father according to law; or that Joseph was the son of the latter by adoption, and of the former by nature. (Haydock) --- In the transmigration,{ [Ver. 11.] In transmigratione, epi tes metoikesias, i.e., circa tempus transmigrationis.|} transportation to Babylon; that is about the time the Jews were carried away captives to Babylon. For Josias died before their transportation. See 4 Kings xxiv. (Witham) --- Some think we are to read: Josias begot Joakim and his brethren; and Joakim begot Joachim, or Jechonias. Jechonias was son to Joakim, and grandson to Josias. The brothers of Jechonias are not known, but those of Joakim are known. (1 Paralipomenon 3:15, 16.) Besides this reading give the number 14. (Haydock) --- St. Jerome says that Jechonias, the son of Josias, is a different person from Jechonias who begot Salathiel, for the latter was son of the former; see 1 Paralipomenon iii., where it is said that Zorobabel was son of Phadaia; but Phadaia is the same as Salathiel. (Estius) --- Mat. Polus affirms that every one the least conversant in Jewish story, must know that several genealogies which appear to contradict each other, do not in reality. (Synop. Crit. 5:4, p. 12.)
Matthew 1:12 And after they were carried to Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel.

By the text of the first book of Paralipomenon 3:17, 19., it appears that Zorobabel was grandson to Salathiel. In comparing the present genealogy with that of St. Luke, (Luke 3.) we find that in this last part St. Matthew has suppressed many generations, to bring the list to the number 14; for there are a greater number from Zorobabel to Jesus Christ in St. Luke, but in a different branch. (Bible de Vence) --- The evangelist was well aware that the suppressed names could be easily supplied from the Jewish records; and that every person could reply most satisfactorily to any objection on that head, who was the least acquainted with the Jewish tables. In the first fourteen of these generations, we see the family of David rising to the throne; in the second, a race of kings descending from him; in the last, the royal family descending to a poor carpenter. Yet, when every human appearance of restoring the kingdom to David's house was at an end, Jesus arose to sit on his father's throne, (Luke 1:32.) and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:13 And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor.

Matthew 1:14 And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud.

Matthew 1:15 And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob.

Matthew 1:16 And Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

The husband of Mary. The evangelist gives us rather the pedigree of St. Joseph, than that of the blessed Virgin, to conform to the custom of the Hebrews, who in their genealogies took no notice of women: but as they near akin, the pedigree of the one sheweth that of the other. (Challoner) --- Joseph the husband of Mary.{ Ver. 16. Joseph virum Mariae, ton andra Marias. And Ver. 19, vir ejus, aner autes. But Ver. 18, mnesteutheises, desponsata, mnesteuomai, is not properly the same as gamein.|} So he is again called, ver. 19: but in ver. 18, we read, when Mary his mother was espoused to Joseph. These different expressions of being husband, and being espoused, have occasioned different interpretations. Some think that Joseph and the blessed Virgin were truly married at the time of Christ's conception: others, that they were only then espoused, or engaged by a promise to marry afterwards. St. Jerome says, when you hear the name of husband, do not from thence imagine them to be married, but remember the custom of the Scriptures, according to which, they who are espoused only, are called husbands and wives. (Witham) --- That Jesus, who is called Christ, was of the seed of David, is also evident, as St. Augustine affirms from various texts of the holy Scriptures, as in the epistle to the Romans, where St. Paul, (chap. 1.) speaking of the Son of God, says, who was made to Him of the seed of David, according to the flesh. See also the promises made to David, 2 Kings 7.; Psalm 88.; Psalm 131. and spoken of Solomon, as a figure of Jesus Christ. (Estius)
Matthew 1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations: and from David until the carrying away to Babylon, fourteen generations: and from the carrying away to Babylon till Christ, fourteen generations.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Christ was thus: *When Mary, his mother, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:27.
The account of the birth of Jesus Christ follows his genealogy. From these words, "before they came together," Helvidius and others have started objections, which have been answered long ago by St. Jerome, where he shews in many examples from Scripture, that the words before and until do not signify what happened afterwards; for that point is left indefinite, but only what was done before, or not done. Thus when it is said, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool, Psalm cix, by no means signifies, that after the subjection of his enemies, the Son of God is no longer to sit at the right hand of his Father. In common conversation, when we say that a man died before he reached his 30th year, we do not mean that he afterwards attained it. Or, should we say that Helvidius died before he did penance, we cannot mean that he afterwards did penance: the same conclusion should be deduced from the words, "before they came together," the end being accomplished by the power of the operation of the Holy Ghost, without their going together. If we should advance, that such a man was cured before he went to a physician, the natural inference would be, that he did not go to a physician at all. Thus also in the language of Scripture, the word first-begotten does not mean after whom others were born, but before whom no one was born, whether there were further issue or not. And the reason is, because the law required that a sacrifice should be offered for the first-born, and that he should be redeemed very soon after his birth; nor did it allow the parents to wait and see if any other son should be born. (Estius) --- True and perfect marriage, and continual living in the same, without knowing each other. (St. Augustine, lib. 2:Consen. Evang. ch. I.) (Bristow)
Matthew 1:19 Whereupon Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.

And Joseph her husband, knowing her strict virtue, was surprised at this her pregnancy, but "being a just man," and not willing to expose her, by denouncing her, or giving her a bill of divorce, he had a mind to dismiss her privately, committing the whole cause to God. Let us learn from Joseph to be ever tender of our neighbour's reputation, and never to entertain any injurious thoughts, or any suspicions to his prejudice. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

Fear not to take, etc. i.e., fear not to marry her, if we suppose them not yet married, or if married already, the sense is, fear not to keep and remain with thy chaste wife; lay aside all thoughts of dismissing and leaving her. (Witham) --- As the incarnation of the Son of God was effected by the whole blessed Trinity, it may be asked why this operation is peculiarly attributed to the Holy Ghost, not only here, but in Luke 2:and in the apostles' creed? The answer is, because as power is attributed to the Father, wisdom to the Son, so goodness is attributed to the Holy Ghost, and the gifts of grace which proceed from it. (Estius in diff. loca.)
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son: *and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Luke 1:31.; Acts 4:12.
Jesus....he shall save, etc. The characteristic name of Saviour was peculiar to the Messias, by which he was distinguished, as well as by the adorable name of Jesus. The expectations of both Jew and Gentile looked forward to a saviour. St. Augustine, in the 18th book, 23rd chapter, de Civitate Dei, introduces a curious anecdote. He mentions there, that he received from the eloquent and learned Proconsul Flactianus, a book containing in Greek the verses of one of the Sybils, which related to the coming of Christ. The substance of them is much the same as occurs in the prophecies of Isaiah, from which Virgil has likewise copied into his Pollio, many of the sublime thoughts which we find in that beautiful eclogue. It is remarkable that of the initials of these verses, St. Augustine had formed an acrostic to the following import, Iesous Christos Deos uios soter; that is, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Saviour. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:22 Now all this was done that the word might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying:

The Greeks in general, after St. John Chrysostom, look upon this as a continuation of the angel's speech to St. Joseph. The other Fathers and commentators think it a reflection of the evangelist.
Matthew 1:23 *Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Isaias 7:14.
Behold a virgin,{ Ver. 23. Ecce Virgo, idou e parthenos. So is it read, not only here in St. Matthew but in the Septuagint, Isaias vii. St. Hier.[St. Jerome] lib. 1. Contra Jovin. tom. iv. parte 2. pag. 174. Ostendant mihi, ubi hoc Verbo (Alma) appellentur et nuptae, et imperitiam confitebor.|} etc. The Jews sometimes objected, as we see in St. Justin's dialogue with Tryphon, that the Hebrew word alma, in the prophet Isaias, signified no more than a young woman. But St. Jerome tells us that alma signifies a virgin kept close up. Let the Jews, says he, shew me any place in which the Hebrew word alma, is applied to any one that is not a virgin, and I will own my ignorance. Besides the very circumstances in the text of the prophet, are more than a sufficient confutation of this Jewish exposition; for there a sign, or miracle, is promised to Achaz; and what miracle would it be for a young woman to have a child, when she had ceased to be a virgin? (Witham) --- How happens it that nowhere in the gospels, or in any other part, do we find Christ called Emmanuel? I answer, that in the Greek expression the name is given for the thing signified; and the meaning is: He shall be a true Emmanuel, i.e., a God with us, true God and true man. (Estius) --- The text says, they shall call, i.e., all men shall look upon Him as an Emmanuel. Again, his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty, the Prince of peace, etc., i.e., He shall be all these, not so much nominally, as really and in effect. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:24 And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.

The heretic Helvidius argues from this text, and from what we read in the gospel of Christ's brethren, that Christ had brothers, and Mary other sons. But it is evident that in the style of the Scriptures, they who were no more than cousins were called brothers and sisters. (Haydock)
Matthew 1:25 And he knew her not till she brought forth her first-born son, and he called his name Jesus.

See note on ver. 18. --- St. Jerome assures us, that St. Joseph always preserved his virginal chastity. It is "of faith" that nothing contrary thereto ever took place with his chaste spouse, the blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph was given her by heaven to be the protector of her chastity, to secure her from calumnies in the birth of the Son of God, to assist her in her flight into Egypt, etc. etc. We cannot sufficiently admire the modest reserve of both parties. Mary does not venture to explain to her troubled husband the mystery of her pregnancy; and Joseph is afraid of mentioning his uneasiness and doubts, for fear of troubling her delicate mind and wounding her exquisite feelings. So great modesty, reserve and silence, are sure to be approved by heaven; and God sends an angel to Joseph in his sleep, to dissipate his doubts, and to expound to him the mystery of the incarnation. (Haydock)
Matthew 2:0 The offerings of the wise men: the flight into Egypt: the massacre of the innocents: and the return from Egypt.

Matthew 2:1 Now *when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

Luke 2.
Year of the World 4000, being four years before the common account called Anno Domini.[A.D., in the year of the Lord]* King Herod the Great, surnamed Ascalonite, was a foreigner, but a proselyte to the Jewish religion. St. Jerome. --- This city is called Bethlehem of Juda, to distinguish it from another Bethlehem, which was situated in the division of the tribe of Zabulon. (Haydock) Wise men.{ Ver. 1. Magi, oi Magoi.|} Both the Latin and Greek text may signify wise philosophers and astronomers, which is the common exposition. The same word is also many times taken for a magician or soothsayer, as it is applied to Simon, (Acts 8:9,) and to Elymas, Acts xiii, ver. 6. and 8. Some ancient interpreters think these very men might have been magicians before their conversion. See Cornelius a Lapide, etc. --- From the east. Some say from Arabia, others from Chaldea, others from Persia. Divers interpreters speak of them as if they had been kings, princes, or lords of some small territories. See Baron. an. 1:sect. 29. Tillemont, note 12. on Jesus Christ. The number of these wise men is uncertain. St. Leo, in his sermons on the Epiphany, speaks of them as if they had been three, perhaps on account of their three-fold offerings. What is mentioned in later writers as their names, is still of less authority, as Bollandus observed. There are also very different opinions as to the time that the star appeared to these wise men, whether before Christ's birth, or about the very time he was born, which seems more probable. The interpreters are again divided as to the year, and day of the year, when they arrived at Bethlehem, and adored the Saviour of the world. Some think not till two years after Christ's birth. See St. Epiphanius haer. xxx. num. 29. p. 134. And St. Jerome puts the massacre of the Holy Innocents about that time in his chronicle. But taking it for granted that the wise men came to Jerusalem and to Bethlehem the same year that Christ was born, it is not certain on what day of the year they adored him at Bethlehem. It is true the Latin Church, ever since the 4th or 5th age, has kept the feast of the Epiphany on the 6th day of January. But when it is said in that day's office, This day a star led the wise men to the manger, it may bear this sense only, this day we keep the remembrance of it; especially since we read in a sermon of St. Maximus (appointed to be read in the Roman Breviary on the 5th day within the octave of the Epiphany) these words: What happened on this day, he knows that wrought it; whatever it was, we cannot doubt it was done in favour of us. The wise men, by the 11th verse, found Jesus at Bethlehem, where his blessed mother was to remain forty days, till the time of her purification was expired. And it seems most probable that the wise men came to Bethlehem about that time, rather than within thirteen days after Christ's birth: for had they come so soon after Christ was born, and been directed to go, and make diligent inquiry at Bethlehem, which was not above five miles from Jerusalem, it can scarcely be imagined that so suspicious and jealous a prince as Herod was, would have waited almost a month for their return without searching for the new-born king. But it is likely, being again alarmed by what happened when Jesus was presented in the temple at his mother's purification, he thereupon gave those cruel and barbarous orders for the massacre of those innocent infants. (Witham)
Matthew 2:2 Saying: Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and we are come to adore him.

We have seen his star. They knew it to be his star, either by some prophecy among them, or by divine revelation. This star was some lightsome body in the air, which at last seemed to point to them the very place where the world's Redeemer lay. We know not whether it guided them during the whole course of their journey form the East to Jerusalem. We read nothing more in the gospel, but that it appeared to them in the East, and that they saw it again, upon their leaving Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem. (Witham) --- The wise men, in the Syrian tongue maguscha, are supposed to have come from Stony Arabia, near the Euphrates. They might have preserved in this country the remembrance of the prophecy of Balaam, which had announced the coming of the Messias by the emblem of a star, (Numbers 24:17.) which was to arise from Jacob. The star which appeared then, was the symbol of the star which Balaam had predicted. (Haydock)
Matthew 2:3 And Herod the king hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Through fear of losing his kingdom, he being a foreigner, and had obtained the sovereignty by violence. But why was all Jerusalem to be alarmed at the news of a king so long and so ardently expected? 1. Because the people, well acquainted with the cruelty of Herod, feared a more galling slavery. 2. Through apprehension of riots, and of a revolution, which could not be effected without bloodshed, as the Romans had such strong hold. They had also been so worn down with perpetual wars, that the most miserable servitude, with peace, was to the Jews an object rather of envy than deprecation. (Haydock)
Matthew 2:4 And assembling together all the chief priests, and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.

Matthew 2:5 But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda: For so it is written by the prophet:

Matthew 2:6 *And thou Bethlehem, the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the ruler, who shall rule my people Israel.

Micheas 5:2.; John 7:42.
And thou Bethlehem, etc. This was a clear prophecy concerning the Messias, foretold by Micheas; (chap. 5:2,) yet the words which we read in the evangelist are not quite the same as we find in the prophet, either according to the Hebrew or to the Greek text of the Septuagint. The chief difference is, that in the prophet we read: And thou Bethlehem art little; but in the evangelist, thou art not the least. Some answer that the words of the prophet are to be expounded by way of an interrogation, art thou little? It is certain the following words, both in the prophet and in the gospel, out of thee shall come forth a leader or a captain, etc. shew that the meaning is, thou art not little. St. Jerome's observation seems to clear this point: he tells us, that the Jewish priests, who were consulted, gave Herod the sense, and not the very words of the prophet; and the evangelist, as an historian, relates to us the words of these priests to Herod, not the very words of the prophet. (Witham) --- The testimony of the chief priests proves that this text of Micheas was even then generally applied to the Messias, and that to Him alone it must be referred according to the letter. (Haydock)
Matthew 2:7 Then Herod privately calling the wise men, inquired of them diligently the time of the star's appearing to them:

Matthew 2:8 And sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go, and search diligently after the child; and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him.

Matthew 2:9 And when they had heard the king, they went their way: and behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.

Matthew 2:10 And seeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Matthew 2:11 And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: *and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Psalm 71:10.
And going into the house. Several of the Fathers in their homilies, represent the wise men adoring Jesus in the stable, and in the manger. yet others, with St. Chrysostom take notice, that before their arrival, Jesus might be removed into some little house in Bethlehem. --- Prostrating themselves, or falling down, they adored him, not with a civil worship only, but enlightened by divine inspiration, they worshipped and adored him as their Saviour and their God. --- Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.{ Ver. 11. Aurum, etc. Pulcherrime, says St. Jerome on this place, Juvencus Munerum Sacramenta comprehendit, Thus, Aurum, Myrrham, Regique, Hominique, Deoque, Dona ferunt. See St. Ambrose in Luc. lib. II. ch. II.; St. Gregory hom. x. in Evang. etc.|} Divers of the ancient Fathers take notice of the mystical signification of these offerings; that by gold was signified the tribute they paid to him, as to their king; by incense, that he was God; and by myrrh, (with which dead bodies used to be embalmed) that now he was also become a mortal man. See St. Ambrose lib. 2. in Luc. ch. II.; St. Gregory etc. (Witham) --- The Church sings, "hodie stella Magos duxit ad praesepium," but it is not probable that the blessed Virgin should remain so long in the open stable, and the less so, because the multitude, who hindered Joseph from finding accommodations either among his relatives or in the public caravansaries, had returned to their own homes. (Estius) --- They adored Him. Therefore, in the eucharist also, Christ is to be adored. For it is of no consequence under what appearance he is pleased to give himself to us, whether that of a perfect man, a speechless child as here, or under the appearance of bread and wine, provided it is evident that he is there; for in whatever manner or place he appears, he is true God, and for that alone he is to be adored. Frivolous is the objection of certain sectarists, that Christ does not give himself to us in the blessed eucharist to be adored, but to be eaten. For Christ was not in Bethlehem, nor did he descend from heaven to be adored: He tells us in the xxth Matthew of Matthew, ver. 28, that the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; yet he was adored on earth, even while he was in his mortal state, by the magi, by his disciples, by the blind man that was cured of his blindness, etc. etc. "Let us imitate the magi. Thou seest him not now in the crib, but on the altar; not a woman holding him, but the priest present, and the Holy Ghost poured out abundantly upon the sacrifice." (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiv. in 1 Cor.; Hom. vii. de Sancto Philog.)
Matthew 2:12 And having received an answer in sleep, that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their own country.

Matthew 2:13 And when they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.

Matthew 2:14 Who, rising up, took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt:

Osee 11.
It is very probable that Joseph, with Jesus and his Mother, remained in some part of Egypt, where the Jews were settled, as at Alexandria. That many Jews dwelt in Egypt, particularly from the time of the prophet Jeremias, is evident from Josephus, and also from the first chapter of the second book of Machabees. Mention is also made of them in Acts 2:and Act. 4:under the name of Alexandrines.
Matthew 2:15 And he was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: *Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Out of Egypt have I called my son.{ Ver. 15. Ex Aegypto vocai filium meum. In the Septuagint ta tekna autou, filios ejus.|} St. Jerome understands these words to be taken out of the prophet Osee, (Chap. 11:2.) and granted they might be literally spoken of the people Israel: yet as their captivity in Egypt was a figure of the slavery of sin, under which all mankind groaned, and as their delivery by Moses was a figure of man's redemption by our Saviour Christ, so these words in a mystical and spiritual sense apply to our Saviour, who in a more proper sense was the Son of God, than was the people of Israel. (Witham) --- The application of this passage of the prophet to Christ, whereas in the simple letter it might appear otherwise, teaches us how to interpret the Old Testament; and that the principal sense is of Christ and his Church. (Bristow)
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry, and sending, killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

By this example, we learn how great credit we owe to the Church in canonizing saints, and celebrating their holydays: by whose only warrant, without any word of Scripture, these holy Innocents have been honoured as martyrs, and their holyday kept ever since the apostles' time, although they died not voluntarily, nor all, perhaps, circumcised, and some even children of pagans. (St. Augustine, ep. 28. Origen, hom. 3:in diversos.) (Bristow)
Matthew 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying:

Matthew 2:18 *A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning: Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Jeremias 31:15.
A voice was heard in Rama.{ Ver. 18. Vox in Excelso audita est. Jeremias 31:15.|} St. Jerome takes Rama, not for the name of any city, but for a high place, as appears by his Latin translation. (Jeremias 31:15.) But in all Greek copies here in St. Matthew, and in the Septuagint in Jeremias, we find the word itself Rama, so that it must signify a particular city. Rachel, who was buried at Bethlehem, is represented weeping (as it were in the person of those desolate mothers) the murder, and loss of so many children: and Rama being a city not far from Bethlehem, in the tribe of Benjamin, built on a high place, it is said that the cries and lamentations of these children, and their mothers, reached even to Rama. Cornelius a Lapide on Jeremias xxxi. thinks that these words were not only applied by the evangelist in a figurative sense, but that the prophet in the literal sense foretold these lamentations. (Witham)
Matthew 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph in Egypt,

Matthew 2:20 Saying: Rise, and take the child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead who sought the life of the child.

Matthew 2:21 Who, rising up, took the child, and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

Matthew 2:22 But hearing that Archelaus reigned in Judea in the room of Herod, his father, he was afraid to go thither: and being warned in sleep, retired into the parts of Galilee.

Matthew 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled, what was said by prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene.

He shall be called a Nazarite, or a Nazarene.{ Ver. 23. Nazaraeus, nazoraios. St. Chrysostom, hom. IX. in Matt. p. 66. Ed. Latinae, Multa ex Propheticis periere monumenta. --- St. Hieron. [St. Jerome] in Matt. pluraliter Prophetas vocans, ostendit se non verba de Scripturis sumpsisse, sed sensum: Nazaraeus Sanctus interpretatur, Sanctum autem Dominum futurum, omnis Scriptura commemorat. Possumus et aliter dicere, quod etiam iisdem verbis juxta Hebraicam veritatem in Isaia Scriptum sit. ch. XI. ver. 1. Exiet Virgo de radice Jesse, et Nazaraeus de radice ejus conscendet.|} Jesus was called a Nazarite, from the place where he was bred up in Galilee; and the Christians by the Jews were sometimes called Nazarenes, from Jesus of Nazareth. The evangelist would shew that this name, which the Jews through contempt gave to Christ and his disciples, had an honourable signification: and that this title was given in the predictions of the prophets to the Messias. But where, or in what prophet? For we find not the words exactly in any of the prophets. To this St. Chrysostom answers, that St. Matthew took it from some prophetical writings that have been lost. St. Jerome gives two other answers: first, that the word Nazarene, from the Hebrew Nezer, signifies separated, and distinguished from others by virtue and sanctity: and so some that were particularly consecrated, and devoted to the service of God, were called Nazareans, as Joseph, (Deuteronomy 33:16.) Sampson, (Judges 16:17.) etc. Thus a Nazarene signifies one that is holy: and all the prophets, says St. Jerome, foretold that Christ should be holy. Therefore also it was that St. Matthew did not cite any one prophet, but the prophets in general. The second answer is, that a Nazarean (if derived from the Hebrew Netser) signifies a flower, or bud; and so in the prophet Isaias (Isaias 11:1.) it is foretold of the Messias, that a flower shall ascend from the root of David. (Witham) --- The reason why Jesus is called of Nazareth, and not of Bethlehem, is, because he was educated there, and was generally supposed to have been born there. Hence he was called the Galilean; and the people argued from that circumstance, that he was not the Messias, nor even a prophet, saying, Can the Christ come from Galilee? Search the Scriptures, and see that out of Galilee a prophet riseth not. (John 7:52.) Again, in Nazareth the word was made flesh, though in Bethlehem he was produced to the world; and our Lord gives himself the same title, when he addressed Saul. I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. (Acts 22.) He remained at Nazareth till he was about 30 years of age. (Haydock)
Matthew 3:0 The preaching of John: his penance: his baptism. His reproaches against the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus Christ comes to him, and is baptized.

Matthew 3:1 Now, *in those days cometh John the Baptist, preaching in the desert of Judea,

about the year A.D. 30. "In those days," that is at the time of Jesus Christ, whose history this book contains. This expression does not always mean that what is going to be narrated, happened immediately after that which precedes. (Bible de Vence) --- 'Tis a way of speaking used by the Hebrews, even when there is no connection of time, as here are passed over 30 years of Christ's life. John the Baptist was so called from his baptizing the people in water. The Jews took this for some token of their Messias: for they said to him, (John 1:25,) why dost thou baptize if thou art not the Christ? --- In the desert, not in the house of his Father Zacharias, as some pretend, but in a true wilderness, as appears by the circumstances of his food, apparel, etc. (Witham) --- The Baptist was about 30 years of age. He, as well as our Lord, in conformity with the Jewish law, did not enter upon his public ministry before that age. (Haydock)
Matthew 3:2 And saying: *Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:4.; Luke 3:3.
"Desert," in Greek eremos, hence hermit. St. John the Baptist is praised by St. John Chrysostom, as a perfect model, and the prince of an Eremitical life. (Hom. I. in Mar. and hom. 1:in J. Bap.) Several sectarists do not approve of what St. Chrysostom advances in favour of an ascetic life, and doing penance for past sins. (Bristow) --- Do penance.{ Ver. 2. Poenitentiam agite. metanoeite. There is no need of translating in Latin, recipiscite, though more according to the etymology of the word. The judicious Mr. Bois, prebend. of Ely, in his book entitled, Veteris Interpretis cum Beza, etc. Collatio. Londini. an. 1655, commended by Walton in his Polyglot, declares he would not have this common translation of poenitentiam agite changed: and brings these words of Melancthon, Let us not be ashamed of our mother tongue; the Church is our Mother, and so speaks the Church.|} Beza would have it translated repent. We retain the ancient expression, consecrated in a manner by the use of the Church; especially since a true conversion comprehends not only a change of mind, and a new life, but also a sorrow for past offences, accompanied with self-denials, and some severities of a penitential life. --- The kingdom of heaven, which many times signifies the present condition of Christ's Church. (Witham) --- In this and other places of holy writ, instead of "do penance," Protestants give "repent ye;" but general use has rendered metanoia, by poenitentia, or penance; and in this text, not any kind of penance, or grief for sins committed, but that which is joined with a desire of appeasing Him who has been offended by sin; and this also by some external signs and works. For as many as heard this metanoeite, obeyed the voice, received from him the baptism of penance, confessed their sins, and it was said to them: Bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, ver. 8. Therefore, all this was contained in the penance preached by the baptist. And here we must not omit, that while sectarists preach faith alone, both the baptist and Jesus Christ begin their ministry with practising and preaching penance. (Tirinus) --- Poenitentiam agite, metanoeite. Which word, according to the use of the Scriptures and the holy fathers, does not only signify repentance and amendment of life, but also punishing past sins by fasting, and such like penitential exercises. (Challoner)
Matthew 3:3 For this is he, who was spoken of by Isaias the prophet, saying: *A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

Isaias 40:3.; Mark 1:3.; Luke 3:4.
Isaias spoke these words of the deliverance of the Jews from Babylon; but this was a figure of the freedom of mankind through Jesus Christ. The Jews expected Elias would come in person to prepare the ways of the Messias; but John the Baptist was raised up by God in the spirit and power of Elias, to precede the first coming of Jesus Christ, as Elias in person was to precede the second coming of this divine Saviour. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 3:4 And John himself had his garment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

His garment of camels' hair,{ Ver. 4. St. Hierom.[St. Jerome] lib. 2. con. Jovin. tom. 4. part. 2. p. 201. Orientales, et Libyae populos . . . locustis vesci, moris est. Theophylactus by akrides, understands buds of trees.|} not wrought camlet as some would have it, but made of the skin of a camel, with the hair on it. Thus Elias (4 Kings, 1:8,) is called an hairy man, with a leathern girdle about him. --- Locusts, not sea-crabs, as others again expound it; but a sort of flies, or grasshoppers, frequent in hot countries. They are numbered among eatables. (Leviticus 11:22) St. Jerome and others mention them as a food of the common people, when dried with smoke and salt. Theophylactus, by the Greek word, understands the tops of trees or buds. (Witham)
Matthew 3:5 *Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the country about the Jordan:

Mark 1:5.
So great was the celebrity of St. John's sanctity, so much did his mortified life, and powerful preaching, weigh upon the minds of the people, that all wished to receive baptism at his hands. (Haydock)
Matthew 3:6 And they were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

Baptized. The word baptism signifies a washing, particularly when it is done by immersion, or by dipping, or plunging a thing under water, which was formerly the ordinary way of administering the sacrament of baptism. But the Church, which cannot change the least article of the Christian faith, is not so tied up in matters of discipline and ceremonies. Not only the Catholic Church, but also the pretended reformed churches, have altered this primitive custom in giving the sacrament of baptism, and now allow of baptism by pouring or sprinkling water on the person baptized; nay may of their ministers do it now-a-days, by filliping a wet finger and thumb over the child's head, or by shaking a wet finger or two over the child, which it is hard enough to call a baptizing in any sense. --- Confessing their sins.{ Ver. 6. Confitentes peccata sua. exomologoumenoi tas amartias auton.|} We bring not this as a proof for sacramental auricular confession; yet we may take notice, with Grotius, that it is a different thing for men to confess their sins, and to confess themselves sinners. And here is expressed a declaring of particular sins, (as also Acts 19:18,) such as is recommended in the Protestant Common Prayer Book, in the visitation of the sick. (Witham) --- As the baptism of John was an external profession of penance, to this it was meet to add an external or oral confession of sins; and the more so, because such as were baptized by John, sought of him also, as we read in St. Luke, instructions how they were to amend their lives; now it is naturally expected of whoever asks for similar advice, that he should expose the defects of his past life. It is thus patients act with their physicians. (Haydock)
Matthew 3:7 And seeing many of the Pharisees, and Sadducees *coming to his baptism, he said to them: Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come?

Luke 3:7.
Pharisees and Sadducees. These are the names of two sects at that time among the Jews. There are different conjectures about the name of the Sadducees. This at least we find by the Gospels, and by the Acts of the Apostles, that they were a profane sort of men, that made a jest of the resurrection, and of the existence of spirits, and of the immortality of souls. To these the Pharisees were declared adversaries, as being a more religious sect, who pretended to be exact observers of the law, and also of a great many traditions, which they had, or pretended to have, from their forefathers. St. Epiphanius (haer. 16, p. 34,) derives their name from the Hebrew word Pharas, signifying separated, divided, or distinguished from others by a more holy way of living. So the proud Pharisee (Luke xviii.) said of himself, I am not like the rest of men, etc. --- Brood of vipers. St. John the Baptist, and also our Saviour himself, (Matthew 22:33,) made use of this sharp reprehension to such as come to them full of hypocrisy. --- The wrath to come: meaning punishments for the wicked after death. Or as some expound it, the destruction that was shortly to fall on the city of Jerusalem, on the temple, and the whole nation of the Jews. (Witham)
Matthew 3:8 Bring forth, therefore, fruit worthy of penance.

See note for ver. 2.
Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves: *We have Abraham for our father: for I tell you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

John 8:89.
Do not, therefore, wantonly imagine, that the fear of destroying the posterity of this patriarch, and of annulling the promises which God had made to him and to his seed, will hinder Him from punishing you. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 3:10 For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that yieldeth not good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire.

Without the least attention to its origin, or other advantages. Hence you must not rest your hopes of salvation on your birth alone, nor on the baptism alone you receive at my hands. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 3:11 *I indeed baptize you with water unto penance: but he who is to come after me, is stronger than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Mark 1:8.; Luke 3:16.; John 1:26.; Acts 1:5.
My baptism is only calculated to lead you to a penitential life, and not to give you true justice; but he who comes after me, is stronger than I, and whose shoes I am not worthy to carry: (it was customary with the attendant slave to carry a change of shoes for his master) he will baptize you in the Holy Ghost, and in the fire of his divine charity, which he will infuse into your hearts, to purify you from all your sins. (Bible de Vence) --- Here St. John tacitly insinuates the divinity of Jesus Christ. He acknowledges his unworthiness, and it is this his humility that makes him the more acceptable to God, "I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?" (Tirinus) --- Whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. In St. Mark, (chap. 1:7.) and in St. Luke 3:21., we read, the latchet of whose shoes . . . I am not worthy to untie. The sense is the same, and St. John might use both these expressions. His meaning is, that he was not worthy to do him the least, or the lowest service. --- He shall baptize you in, or with the Holy Ghost, that is by his baptism, he will give you the remission of your sins, and the graces of the Holy Ghost, signified also by fire, which may allude to the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, in the shape of fiery tongues. (Witham)
Matthew 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly[thoroughly?] cleanse his floor: and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

Address yourselves then to Him, and prevent, by a prompt and sincere conversion, that dreadful judgment which the just and severe Judge, whom I now announce to you, will most undoubtedly pass upon sinners, when he shall remove the chaff from the good grain, that is the bad from the good, calling the latter with him to his heavenly kingdom, and sending the former to burn in unquenchable fire. (Haydock)
Matthew 3:13 *Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan, unto John, to be baptized by him.

Mark 1:9.
Matthew 3:14 But John stayed him, saying, I ought to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said to him: Suffer it now: for so it becometh us to fulfil all justice. Then he suffered him.

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus being baptized, went up presently out of the water: and behold the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him,

He . . . went up, etc. Christ was in the river when he was baptized. As soon as he went out, and was praying, says St. Luke 3:21., the heavens were opened to him, or in favour of him; and he saw the Spirit of God descending: that is Christ himself saw the shape of the dove, which was also seen by the Baptist, as we find, John 1:33. And it was perhaps seen by all that were present. --- As a dove, or like a dove in a bodily shape. The dove was an emblem of Christ's meekness and innocence. (Witham) --- Calmet supposes that it was St. John that saw the Spirit of God descend thus upon Jesus Christ. The Greek text is favourable to this interpretation. But the Vulgate supposes it was Jesus Christ himself. St. John declares that he saw the Spirit; (John 1:32,) but this apparent disagreement is easily cleared, by supposing that both saw the shape of the dove, and also the surrounding crowd, and that they all heard the voice of the Father, as it was heard by the disciples in the transfiguration on Mount Thabor, (chap. 17.) and by the crowd in the temple. John 12. (Tirinus)
Matthew 3:17 *And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

Luke 3:22.; Luke 9:35.; 2 Peter 1:17.
about the year A.D. 30. This most solemn testimony of God the Father, relative to his own beloved Son, is repeated below in (chap. 17.) and is of such great moment, that the Holy Ghost would have it repeated not only by three evangelists, Matthew, Mark and Luke, but also by St. Peter, as a fourth evangelist, (2 Peter 1.) (Tirinus) --- In Greek, the emphatic article o uios mou o agapetos, strengthens the proof that Jesus Christ, upon whom the Spirit of God descended in the shape of a dove, was not the adoptive, but natural Son of God, born of Him before all ages, and should silence every blasphemous tongue and pen that can attempt to rob Jesus Christ of his divinity, and poor man of all hopes of salvation, through this God-man, Christ the Lord. But if it here be asked, why Jesus Christ, who was innocence itself, yes, and the very essence of sanctity, condescended so far as to be baptized with sinners, we answer, with the Holy Fathers, that it was, 1. to sanction the baptism and ministry of his precursor; 2. not to lose this opportunity of teaching humility, by placing himself among sinners, as if he had stood in need of the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; and lastly, with St. Ambrose, that it was to sanctify the waters, and to give to them the virtue of cleansing men from their sins by the laver of baptism. (Haydock)
Matthew 4:0 Christ's fast of forty days: he is tempted: begins his preaching in Galilee according to the prophet: fixes his abode at Capharnaum: calls Peter and Andrew, James and John: his miracles, reputation, and numerous followers.

Matthew 4:1 Then *Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil.

Mark 1:12., Luke 4:1.
Jesus Christ was led by the Holy Ghost, immediately after his baptism, into the desert,{ Ver. 1. St. Mark (Mark 1:13.) tells us, Christ was with wild beasts, eratque cum bestiis, meta ton therion.|} to prepare, by fasting and prayer, for his public ministry, and to merit for us by his victory over the enemy of our salvation, force to conquer him also ourselves. By this conduct, he teaches all that were to be in future times called to his ministry, how they are to retire into solitude, in order to converse with God in prayer, and draw down the blessing of heaven upon themselves and their undertaking. What treasures of grace might we expect, if, as often as we receive any of the sacraments, we were to retire within ourselves, and shut out, for a time, the world and its cares. Then should we come prepared to withstand temptation, and should experience the divine assistance in every difficulty through life. The life of man is a warfare on earth. It was not given us, says St. Hilary, to spend it in indolence, but to wage a continual war against our spiritual enemies. In the greatest sanctity there are often the greatest and most incessant trials; for Satan wishes nothing so much as the fall of the saints. (Haydock) --- By these trials, we learn the strength we have received from above, we are preserved from self-complacency and pride in the gifts of heaven; we confirm the renunciation we made in baptism of the devil, and all his works and pomps; we become stronger, and better prepared for future attacks, and are feelingly convinced of the dignity to which we have been raised, and of which the enemy of souls endeavours all he can to deprive us. St. Chrysostom hom. xiii. Both St. John the Baptist and our divine Master, by retiring into the wilderness for contemplation, prayer, fasting and suffering, have given a sanction and an example to those holy men called hermits, who have taken shelter in their sanctified retreats against the dangers of the world. (Bristow)
Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards hungry.

Jesus wished to manifest a certain corporeal weakness, arising from his continued fast, that the devil might venture to tempt him; and after a fast of 40 days and 40 nights he was hungry. (Haydock) --- Christ was well acquainted with the thoughts of the wicked fiend, and his great desire of tempting or trying him. The devil had learnt that he was come into the world from the songs of the angels at his birth, and from the mouth of the shepherds and of St. John the Baptist. To fast 40 days without being hungry, was certainly far above the strength of man, but to be hungry at any time is inconsistent with God; for which reason our blessed Saviour, that he might not manifestly declare his divinity, was afterwards hungry. (St. Hilary) --- On this example, as well as that of Moses and Elias, who also fasted 40 days, the fast of Lent was instituted by the apostles, and is of necessity to be observed according to the general consent of the ancient Fathers. St. Jerome (ep. liv. ad Marcel.) says, we fast 40 days, or make one Lent in a year, according to the tradition of the apostles. St. Augustine (serm. lxix.) says, by the due observance of Lent, the wicked are separated from the good, infidels from Christians, heretics from Catholics. Our Saviour fasted 40 days, not because he stood in need of it, as we do, to subject the unruly members of the body, which lust against the spirit, but to set an example for our imitation. (Haydock) --- Another reason might be, to prevent the captious remarks of the Jews, who might object that he had not yet done what the founder of their law, Moses, and after him Elias, had done. (Palacius in Mat.)
Matthew 4:3 And the tempter coming, said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

"And the tempter coming," O peirazon, who looked upon this hunger as a favourable moment to tempt him, and to discover if he were truly the Son of God, as was declared at his baptism, desired Jesus to change by a miracle the stones into bread, to appease his hunger and to recover his strength. (Haydock) --- By this we are taught, that amidst our greatest austerities and fasts, we are never free from temptation. But if your fasts, says St. Gregory, do not free you entirely from temptations, they will at least give you strength not to be overcome by them. (St. Thomas Aquinas.) The tempter is supposed to have appeared in a human form, and the whole temptation to have been merely external, like that which took place with our first parents in Paradise. It would have been beneath the perfection of Christ, to have allowed the devil the power of suggesting wicked thoughts to his mind. (Jansenius. p. 107.) Had Jesus Christ converted the stones into bread, the devil, according to St. Jerome, would have thence inferred that he was God. But it was Christ's intention to overcome the proud fiend rather by humility than power. (St. Thomas Aquinas) Thus, if the first Adam fell from God by pride, the second Adam has effectually taught us how to overcome the devil by humility. (Haydock)
Matthew 4:4 But he answered, and said: It is written: *Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Deuteronomy 8:3.; Luke 4:4.
Man liveth not by bread only. The words were spoken of the manna. (Deuteronomy 8:3.) The sense in this place is, that man's life may be supported by any thing, or in any manner, as it pleaseth God. (Witham) --- St. Gregory upon this passage says: if our divine Redeemer, when tempted by the devil, answered in so mild a manner, when he could have buried the wicked tempter in the bottom of hell, ought not man, when he suffers any thing from his fellow man, rather to improve it to his advantage, than to resent it to his own ruin. Man consists of soul and body; his body is supported by bread, his soul by the word of God; hence the saying, "Lex est cibus animae." (Mat. Polus.)
Matthew 4:5 Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple,

In the text of St. Luke this temptation is the third: but most commentators follow the order of St. Matthew. In Palestine, all buildings had a flat roof, with a balustrade or a parapet. It was probably upon the parapet that the devil conveyed Jesus. The three temptations comprise the three principal sources of sin: 1. sensuality; 2. pride; and 3. concupiscence. 1st epistle John 2:16. We may hope to conquer the first by fasting and confidence in divine Providence; the second by humility; the third by despising all sublunary things, as unworthy a Christian's solicitude. (Haydock) --- the devil took him, etc.{ Ver. 5. Assumpsit, paralambanei. statuit eum, istesin. St. Gregory, hom. 16. in Evang. t. 1. page. 1492. Ed. Ben. Quid mirum si se ab illo permisit in montem duci, qui se pertulit etiam a membris illius crucifigi?|} If we ask in what manner this was done, St. Gregory answers, that Christ might permit himself to be taken up, and transported in the air by the devil, he that afterwards permitted himself to be tormented, and nailed to a cross by wicked men, who are members of the devil. Others think the devil only conducted him from place to place. The text of St. Luke favours this exposition, when it is said, the devil led him to Jerusalem, to a high mountain, etc. (Witham)
Matthew 4:6 And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: *That he hath given his angels charge of thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psalm 90:11.
Heretics, says St. Augustine, quote Scriptures, as the devil does here, in a wrong and forced sense; the Church cites them, like Jesus Christ, in their true sense, and to confute their falsehood. (Cont. lit. Petil. lib. 2:chap. 51.) It is on this account, that the Catholic Church wishes persons who come to the study of the most mysterious and difficult book ever published, should bring with them some preparation of mind and heart; convinced that the abuse of the strongest and best food may be converted into deadly poison. The promoters of Bible societies have published in Ireland a tract to encourage the universal perusal of the Scriptures, as the sole rule of faith. In this they give not only a mutilated and corrupt version of the letter of his late Holiness Pius VI. to the now archbishop of Florence, (to be seen at the head of this edition of the Bible) but certain letters from German Jansenists, who are described as being good Catholics. (Haydock)
Matthew 4:7 Jesus said to him: It is written again: *Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Deuteronomy 6:16.
Matthew 4:8 Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain: and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,

Shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and as St. Luke says, in a moment of time. We cannot comprehend how this could be done from any mountain, or seen with human eyes. Therefore many think it was by some kind of representation; or that the devil shewing a part, by words set forth the rest. (Witham) --- He shewed him the different climates in which each country was situated. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 4:9 And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.

All these will I give thee. The father of lies here promised what was not his to give. For though he be called the prince of this world, (John 12:31,) meaning of the wicked, who wilfully make themselves his slaves; yet so restrained is the devil's power, that he could not go into the swine till Christ permitted it. (Matthew 8:31.) (Witham) --- What arrogance! what pride! The devil promises earthly kingdoms, whilst Jesus promises a heavenly kingdom to his followers. (St. Remigius) Behold the pride of his heart; as he formerly wished to make himself God, so now he wishes to assume to himself divine honours. (St. Aquinas)
Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan, for it is written: *The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.

Deuteronomy 6:13.
Jesus Christ does not here cite the words, but the substance of the text. (Deuteronomy 5:7-9; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20.) --- It is remarkable that our Lord bore with the pride and insolence of the devil, till he assumed to himself the honour due to God alone. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 4:11 Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and ministered to him.

Then the devil having exhausted all his artifices, left him for a time, as St. Luke remarks; whence we are to learn, that after we have resisted with success, we are not to think ourselves secure, but avail ourselves of the truce to return thanks to God for the victory, and to prepare for fresh combats, especially by fortifying ourselves with the bread of angels in the holy communion. The temptations of Jesus Christ are to us a subject both of consolation and instruction. By example he has taught us how to fight and to conquer. The struggle may be painful; but angels, as well as God, witness our struggle, ready to crown our victory. (Haydock)
Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was delivered up, *he retired into Galilee:

Mark 1:14.; Luke 4:14.; John 4:43.
Jesus then left the wilderness, and passed a few day on the banks of the Jordan, affording his holy precursor an opportunity of bearing repeated testimony of him and of his divine mission, as we read in the first Matthew of St. John, and then retired into Upper Galilee to avoid the fury of the Jews. There were two Galilees, that of the Jews and that of the Gentiles; this latter was given by the king of Tyre to king Solomon. (St. Jerome) This conduct of Jesus Christ, shews that on some occasions it is not only lawful, but advisable, to flee from persecution. (St. Chrysostom) --- Jesus Christ enters more publicly on his mission, and about to occupy the place of his precursor, the baptist, he chooses Galilee for the first theatre of his ministry, the place assigned by the ancient prophets. The Pharisees had prevailed upon Herod to arrest the baptist, nor could their hatred be less to Jesus Christ, who drew a still greater concourse of disciples after him.
Matthew 4:13 And leaving the city Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capharnaum, on the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

Nazareth was situated in Lower Galilee; and Capharnaum, a maritime town, in Higher Galilee. According to the historian, Josephus, it did not belong to Herod, the tetrarch, who sent the baptist to confinement, but to Philip, the tetrarch, his brother. (Calmet) --- He leaves Nazareth for good and all, and retires to Capharnaum, a very flourishing and much frequented emporium, both for the Jews and Gentiles. Here he makes his chief residence, a place well calculated for his preaching, being on the limits of both Galilees, although he made frequent excursions through Galilee to disseminate his doctrines. (Syn. crit.)
Matthew 4:14 That what was said by Isaias, the prophet, might be fulfilled:

Matthew 4:15 *The land of Zabulon and land of Nephthalim, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:

Isaias 60:1.
St. Matthew has omitted in this place part of the prophecy, (Isaias ix.) because it was not to his purpose. He has likewise given us the mystical, though still true, interpretation of the prophecy, which was written in the first instance to foretell the deliverance of Jerusalem from Senacherib, in the time of Ezechias. (1 Kings, xix.) (Jansenius)
Matthew 4:16 The people that sat in darkness, saw great light: and to them that sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is sprung up.

And a light is risen, etc. This light, foretold by the prophet Isaias, (Isaias 9:1.) was our Saviour Christ, the light of the world, who now enlightened them by his instructions, and by his grace. (Witham) --- Thus when the morning star has gone by and disappeared, the sun rises and diffuses its light to mortals, who rejoice that the darkness of night is removed from the earth. (Jansenius)
Matthew 4:17 *From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Mark 1:15.
Jesus began not to preach till St. John had announced his coming to the world, that the dignity of his sacred person might thus be manifested, and the incredulous Jews be without excuse. If after the preaching of St. John, and his express testimony of the divinity of our Redeemer, they could still say: thou givest testimony of thyself; thy testimony is not true: what would they not have said, if, without any precursor, he had, all on a sudden, appeared amongst them. He did not begin to preach till St. John was cast into prison, that the people might not be divided. On this account also St. John wrought no miracle, that the people might be struck with the miracles of our Saviour, and yield their assent to him. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 14.) --- It may here be remarked, how different were the motives of the prophets from those which the baptist and Christ made use of to exhort to repentance. The former menaced evil, and held out a promise of good, but the good or evil was temporal. St. John begins his exhortations with the threat of eternal punishments---but Christ sweetens the hardships of penance by reminding us of the reward. "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Jansenius)
Matthew 4:18 And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, *saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers).

Mark 1:16.; Luke 5:2.
Jesus wished not only to prove that the establishment of his religion was heavenly, but also to humble the pride of man; and therefore he did not choose orators and philosophers, but fishermen, says St. Jerome. Cyprian, the eloquent orator, was called to the priesthood; but before him was Peter, the fisherman. (St. Chrysostom) --- Jesus saw two brothers, etc. If we compare what is related by the evangelists, as to the time that St. Peter and St. Andrew became Christ's disciples, we shall find Andrew, who had been a disciple of St. John Baptist, to have brought to Christ his brother Simon. (John i, ver. 40.) But at that time they staid not with him, so as to become his disciples, and to remain with him as they afterwards did, by quitting their boat, their nets, their fishing, and all they had in the world, which is here related; and by St. Mark, (chap. 1.,) and by St. Luke, Matthew 5. (Witham)
Matthew 4:19 And he saith to them: Come after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

Jesus Christ here makes an allusion to the prior occupation of his apostles. David, in his Psalms, makes similar allusions to his former occupation of shepherd: "He took him from the flocks of sheep, he brought him from following the ewes big with young, to feed Jacob, his servant, and Israel, his inheritance." (Psalm lxxvii. ver. 70.) (Menochius)
Matthew 4:20 And they, immediately leaving their nets, followed him.

Matthew 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets: and he called them.

It was objected by the ancient enemies of Christianity, Porphyrius, Julian the apostate, and others, that Christ chose for his apostles simple and ignorant men, easy to be imposed upon, and not such as would have been on their guard against deception; thus converting that into an argument against the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which of all other circumstances most solidly and forcibly establishes its divinity and authority. (Salmeron. trac. 25.) --- If Christ had persuaded the ignorant apostles only, there might be some room for such an argument. But if these 12 ignorant men triumphed over the learning, the eloquence, the sophisms of the philosophers themselves, over the strong arm of power in the hands of tyrants, and finally over the devils and passions of men, which were the last to give up the combat against a doctrine that established itself on their ruin, then we may conclude, with St. Paul, that it was wisdom in God to choose the weak things of this world to confound the strong---the foolish and the things that are not, to confound those which are. (Haydock)
Matthew 4:22 And they, immediately leaving their nets and father, followed him.

Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom: and healing all diseases, and infirmities among the people.

The synagogues were religious assemblies with the Jews, wherein they met on the sabbath and festival days, to pray, to read and hear expounded the word of God, and to exercise the other practices of their law. (Calmet)
Matthew 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all sick people, that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and such as were possessed by devils and lunatics, and those that had the palsy, and he healed them:

Many came to Christ to beg to be cured of their corporal infirmities; nor do we read of a single one here, who came to be delivered from spiritual sickness. Our blessed Savior nevertheless, bearing with their imperfection, condescends to heal them, that he might thence take occasion of exciting their faith, and preparing them for their spiritual cure. (Jansenius) --- It is much to be regretted, that the conduct of Christians at the present day, is not more reasonable than that of the Jews here mentioned. If the Almighty, says the eloquent Masillon, had not the power or will of dispensing goods and evils, how small would be the number of those who would ever retire to the temple to present their petition to Him. (Haydock) --- Our Saviour asks not, if they believed, as he did on other occasions; they had given him sufficient proof, by bringing their sick from distant parts. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xiv.)
Matthew 4:25 *And great multitudes followed him from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

Mark 3:7.; Luke 6:17.
Matthew 5:0 Christ's sermon on the mount. The eight beatitudes, etc.

Matthew 5:1 Now *Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain, and when he had sat down, his disciples came to him.

about the year A.D. 31. What is said here, does not follow immediately what was said in the preceding chapter. See Luke vi.
Matthew 5:2 And opening his mouth he taught them, saying:

Opening his mouth. It is a Hebraism, to signify he began to speak. (Witham) --- This is a common expression in Scripture, to signify something important is about to be spoken. Thus it is used in various other places, as "Job opening his mouth cursed his day, and said," etc. Daniel 10. et alibi. (Jansenius) --- And why is it added, says St. Chrysostom "and opening his mouth," without doubt that we might know, that not only when he spoke, but even when silent, he gave instruction: sometimes, therefore, he opened his mouth; at other times he spoke by his very actions. (Hom. xv.)
Matthew 5:3 *Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 6:20.
The poor in spirit;{ Ver. 3. The humble. See St. Chrysostom hom. xv. in Matt. St. Jerome on this place in his Commentary on St. Matt. St. Augustine, Serm. Domini in Monte. tom. iii, part 2. p. 166, etc.|} which, according to the common exposition, signifies the humble of mind and heart. Yet some understand it of such as are truly in poverty and want, and who bear their indigent condition with patience and resignation. (Witham) --- That is, the humble; and they whose spirit is not set upon riches. (Challoner) --- It is not without reason that the beatitudes are disposed of in this order. Each preceding one prepares the way for what immediately follows, furnishing us in particular with spiritual arms of such graces as are necessary for obtaining the virtue of the subsequent beatitude. Thus the poor in spirit, that is the truly humble, will mourn for their transgressions, and whoever is filled with sorrow and confusion for his own sins, cannot but be just, and behave to others with meekness and clemency; when possessed of these virtues, he then becomes pure and clean of heart. Peace of conscience reigns in this assemblage of virtues, and cannot be expelled the soul by any tribulations, persecutions, or injustices of men. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.) What is this poverty of spirit, but humility and contrition? This virtue of humility is placed in the first place, because it is the parent of every other virtue, as pride is the mother of every vice. Pride deprived our first parents of their original innocence, and nothing but humility can restore us to our former purity. We may pray and fast, we may be possessed of mercy, chastity, or any virtues, if humility do not accompany them, they will be like the virtue of the Pharisee, without foundation, without fruit. (Hom. xv.)
Matthew 5:4 *Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.

Psalm 36:11.
The land of the living, or the kingdom of heaven. The evangelist prefers calling it the land of the living in this place, to shew that the meek, the humble, and the oppressed, who are spoiled of the possession of this earth by the powerful and the proud, shall obtain the inheritance of a better land. (Menochius) "They shall possess the land," is the reward annexed by our Saviour to meekness, that he might not differ in any point from the old law, so well known to the persons he was addressing. David, in psalm xxxvi, had made the same promise to the meek. If temporal blessings are promised to some of the virtues in the beatitudes, it is that temporal blessings might always accompany the more solid rewards of grace. But spiritual rewards are always the principal, always ranked in the first place, all who practice these virtues are pronounced blessed. (Hom. xv.)
Matthew 5:5 *Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Isaias 61:2.
Not those that mourn for worldly motives, but such as mourn for their sins, are blessed. The sorrow that is according to God, says St. Paul, worketh penance steadfast unto salvation, but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Corinthians 7:10.) The same is promised in St. John; (xvi. 20,) you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. (Menochius)
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall be filled.

Hunger and thirst; that is spiritually, with an earnest desire of being just and holy. But others again understand such as endure with patience the hardships of hunger and thirst. (Witham) --- Rupertus understands those to whom justice is denied, such as poor widows and orphans. Maldonatus those who from poverty really suffer hunger and thirst, because justice is not done them. (Menochius) --- They shall be filled with every kind of good in their heavenly country. I shall be filled when thy glory shall appear. (Psalm xvi.)
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Not only the giving of alms, but the practice of all works of mercy, both corporal and spiritual, are recommended here, and the reward will be given on that day when God will repay every one according to his works, and will do by us, as we have done by our brethren. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:8 *Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.

Psalm 23:4.
The clean of heart are either those who give themselves to the practice of every virtue, and are conscious to themselves of no evil, or those who are adorned with the virtue of chastity. For nothing is so necessary as this purity in such as desire to see God. Keep peace with all and chastity, says St. Paul, for without this none can see God. Many are merciful to the poor and just in their dealings, but abstain not from luxury and lust. Therefore our Saviour, wishing to shew that mercy was not sufficient, adds, that if we would see God, we must also be possessed of the virtue of purity. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.) By this, we shall have our heart exempt from all disordinate love of creatures, and shall be exclusively attached to God. (Haydock) --- The clean of heart, that is they who are clean from sin: who are pure in body and mind, says St. Chrysostom. It seems to be a particular admonition to the Jews, who were mostly solicitous about an outward and legal cleanness. (Witham)
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God.

To be peaceful ourselves and with others, and to bring such as are at variance together, will entitle us to be children of God. Thus we shall be raised to a participation in the honour of the only begotten Son of God, who descended from heaven to bring peace to man, and to reconcile him with his offended Creator. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.)
Matthew 5:10 *Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

1 Peter 2:20.; 1 Peter 3:14.; 1 Peter 4:14.
Heretics and malefactors suffer occasionally, but they are not on this account blessed, because they suffer not for justice. For, says St. Augustine they cannot suffer for justice, who have divided the Church; and where sound faith or charity is wanting, there cannot be justice. (Cont. epis. Parm. lib. 1:chap. 9. ep. 50. ps. 4. conc. 2.) (Bristow) --- By justice here we understand virtue, piety, and the defence of our neighbour. To all who suffer on this account, he promises a seat in his heavenly kingdom. We must not think that suffering persecution only, will suffice to entitle us to the greatest promises. The persecutions we suffer must be inflicted on us on his account, and the evils spoken of us must be false and contradicted by our lives. If these are not the causes of our sufferings, so far from being happy, we shall be truly miserable, because then our irregular lives would be the occasion of the persecutions we suffer. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.)
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you untruly, for my sake;

Matthew 5:12 Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for your reward is very great in heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets, that were before you.

Reward, in Latin merces, in Greek misthos, signifies wages done for hire, and due for work, and presupposes merit. (Bristow) --- If you participate in the sufferings of the prophets, you will equally participate in their glory, their reward. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth. *But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more, but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.

Mark 9:49.; Luke 14:34.
The former instructions Jesus Christ gave to the multitude. Now he addresses his apostles, styling them the salt of the earth, meant to preserve men from the corruption of sin, and to make them relish the truths of salvation. He tells them not to suffer their faith or their charity to slacken, in which all their power consists, lest they come to be rejected by God, and despised by man. (Calmet) --- I send you, says Jesus Christ, not to two, ten, or twenty cities, not to one single nation, as the prophets were sent, but to the whole world, a world oppressed with numberless iniquities. It is not the property of salt to restore what is already corrupted, but to preserve from corruption. Therefore the virtue of the merits of Christ delivers us from the corruption of sin; but the care and labour of the apostles preserves us from again returning to it. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xv.) --- It appears from Luke 14:34, that this comparison is taken from agriculture. We observe these properties of salt in the different manures that fertilize the soil, but suffer the salts to evaporate, and all their virtue is lost. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a mountain cannot be hid.

Matthew 5:15 *Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house.

Mark 4:21.; Luke 8:16. et 11:33.
This light of the world, city on a mountain, and candle upon a candlestick, signify the Catholic Church, so built upon Christ, the mountain, that it must be visible, and cannot be hidden or unknown. (St. Augustine, cont. Fulg.) Therefore the Church being a candle not under a bushel, but shining to all in the house, that is in the world, what shall I say more, saith St. Augustine than that all are blind, who shut their eyes against the candle which is set on the candlestick? (Tract 2:in ep. Jo.)
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, *that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 2:12.
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Not to destroy the law, etc. It is true, by Christ's coming, a multitude of ceremonies and sacrifices, and circumcision, were to cease; but the moral precepts were to continue, and to be complied with, even with greater perfection. (Witham) --- To fulfil. By accomplishing all the figures and prophecies, and perfecting all that was imperfect. (Challoner) --- Our Saviour speaks in this manner, to prepare the minds of the Jews for his new instructions. For although they were not very solicitous about fulfilling the law, still they were extremely jealous of any change being made in the letter of the law; more particularly, if the proposed change exacted a more perfect morality. Our Lord fulfilled the law three several ways: 1. By his obedience to the prescribed rites; therefore he says, it behoveth us to fulfil all justice: and who shall accuse me of sin? 2. He observes the law, not only by his own observance of it, but likewise by enabling us to fulfil it. It was the wish of the law to make man just, but found itself too weak; Christ therefore came justifying man, and accomplished the will of the law. 3. He fulfilled the law, by reducing all the precepts of the old law to a more strict and powerful morality. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xvi.)
Matthew 5:18 *For amen, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Luke 16:17.
Amen. That is, assuredly, of a truth. This Hebrew word Amen, is here retained by the example and authority of all the four evangelists, who have retained it. It is used by our Lord as a strong asseveration, and affirmation of the truth. (Challoner) --- Not one jot (or not one jota), nor one tittle, that is not the least letter, nor stroke of a letter; that is, not the least moral precept. Besides every type and figure of the former law, now by my coming shall be fulfilled. (Witham) --- Amen, is retained in the Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, and Armenian languages, as well as in all vulgar idioms. It is a term of asseveration, and equivalent to an oath; and in many places, to make the asseveration still stronger, it is repeated. St. Luke very accurately translates it into nai. St. Paul and St. John unite them nai and amen. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:19 *Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

James 2:10.
He shall be called; that is (by a frequent Hebrew idiom) he shall be the least in the kingdom of heaven; that is, according to St. Augustine he shall not be there at all; for none but the great in sanctity and virtue shall find admittance into heaven. (Witham) --- Do not then imitate the Scribes and Pharisees, who content themselves with instructing other in the precepts of the law, without practising them themselves, or if they observe the letter, neglect the spirit of the law, performing what it ordains, not to please God, but to satisfy their vanity. (Calmet)
Matthew 5:20 For I say to you, that unless your justice abound *more than that of the Scribes and of the Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 11:39.
Of the Scribes and of the Pharisees. The Scribes were the doctors of the law of Moses; the Pharisees were a precise set of men, making profession of a more exact observance of the law: and upon that account greatly esteemed among the people. (Challoner) --- See how necessary it is, not only to believe, but to keep all the commandments, even the very least. (Bristow) --- Our Saviour makes this solemn declaration at the opening of his mission, to shew to what a height of perfection he calls us. (St. Aquinas) --- "Your justice." It is our justice when given us by God. (St. Augustine, in Ps. XXX. lib. de. spir. et lit. ch. IX.) So that Christians are truly just, and have in themselves inherent justice, by observing God's commandments, without which justice of works, no man can be saved. (St. Augustine, de fide et oper. ch. XVI.) Whereby we see salvation, justice and justification, do not come by faith only, or imputation of Christ's justice. (Bristow)
Matthew 5:21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: *Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill, shall be liable to the judgment.

Exodus 20:13.
Shall be liable to the judgment. That is, shall deserve to be punished by that lesser tribunal among the Jews, called the judgment, which took cognizance of such crimes. (Challoner) --- Among the Jews at the time of Christ, there were three sorts of tribunals: the first composed of three judges to try smaller causes, as theft; there was one in each town: the second of twenty-three judges, who judged criminal causes, and had the power of condemning to death. This was called the Little Sanhedrim, and of this it is supposed Jesus Christ speaks: the third, or Great Sanhedrim of seventy-two judges, who decided on the most momentous affairs, relating to religion, the king, the high priest, and the state in general. It is this last that is designated under the name of council in the next verse. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be liable to the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Whosoever is angry{ Ver. 22. eike, sine causa, is in most Greek copies at present, as also in St. Chrysostom; and so it is in the Protestant translation. But St. Jerome, who examined this reading, says positively that eike was wanting in the true copies. In quibusdam Codicibus additur sine causa, Caeterum in veris definita sententia est, et ira penitus tollitur.|} with his brother. In almost all Greek copies and manuscripts we now read angry without a cause: yet St. Jerome, who corrected the Latin of the New Testament from the best copies in his time, tells us that these words, without a cause, were only found in some Greek copies, and not in the true ones. It seems at first to have been placed in the margin for an interpretation only, and by some transcribers afterwards taken into the text. This as well as many other places may convince us, that the Latin Vulgate is many times to be preferred to our present Greek copies. --- Raca.{ Ver. 22. Raca. St. Augustine (Serm. Domini in Monte. p. 174.) affirms it to be, non vocem significantem aliquid, sed indignantis animi motum, etc.|} St. Augustine thinks this was no significant word, but only a kind of interjection expressing a motion of anger. Others take it for a Syro-Chaldaic word, signifying a light, foolish man, though not so injurious as to call another a fool. --- Shall be guilty of the council:{ Ver. 22. reus erit Concilii, to sunedrio.|} that is, shall deserve to be punished by the highest court of judicature, called the council, or sanhedrim, consisting of seventy-two persons, where the highest causes were tried and judged, and which was at Jerusalem. --- Thou fool; this was a most provoking injury, when uttered with contempt, spite, or malice. --- Shall be in danger of hell fire.{ Ver. 22. gehennae ignis, enochos estai eis ten geennan tou puros.|} Literally, according to the Greek, shall deserve to be cast into the Gehennom of fire. Gehennom was the valley of Hinnom, near to Jerusalem, where the worshippers of the idol Moloch used to burn their children, sacrificed to that idol. In that place was a perpetual fire, on which account it is made use of by our Saviour (as it hath been ever since), to express the fire and punishments of hell. (Witham) --- Here is a plain difference between sin and sin; some mortal, that lead to hell; some venial, and less punished. (Bristow)
Matthew 5:23 Therefore, if thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there shalt remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee;

He commands us to leave unfinished any work we may have begun, though in its own nature most acceptable to God, in order to go and be reconciled to our brother; because God will have mercy and not sacrifice. Thus he in a manner seems to prefer the love of our neighbour to the love of himself. (Menochius)
Matthew 5:24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then come and offer thy gift.

Leave thy offering. This is not to be understood, as if a man were always bound to go to the person offended; but it is to signify, that a man is bound in his heart and mind to be reconciled, to forgive every one, and seek peace with all men. (Witham) --- Beware of coming to the holy table, or to any sacrament, without charity. Be first reconciled to your brother, and much more to the Catholic Church, which is the whole brotherhood of Christian men. (Hebrews 13:1.) (Bristow)
Matthew 5:25 *Agree with thy adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

Luke 12:58.
et 26. Agree whilst you are in the way, or wayfaring men, that is in this life, lest you be cast into prison, that is according to Sts. Cyprian, Ambrose, and Origen, into purgatory; according to St. Augustine, into hell, in which, as the debt is to be paid to inflexible justice, it can never be acquitted, and of course no release can be hoped for from that prison. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:26 Amen, I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence, till thou pay the last farthing.

Matthew 5:27 You have heard that it was said to them of old: *Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Exodus 20:14.
Jesus Christ here perfects the old law, which makes no mention of the acts of the mind and will. (Menochius)
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Matthew 5:29 *And if thy right eye cause thee to offend, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish, than that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Mark 9:46.; Matthew 18:9.
Whatever is an immediate occasion of sin, however near or dear it may be, must be abandoned (Menochius), though it prove as dear to us, or as necessary as a hand, or an eye, and without delay or demur. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand cause thee to offend, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is better for thee that one of thy members should perish, than that thy whole body should go into hell.

Matthew 5:31 It hath also been said: *Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.

Deuteronomy 24:1.; Matthew 19:7.
Matthew 5:32 But I say to you: *that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.

Mark 10:11.; Luke 16:18.; 1 Corinthians 7:10.
Excepting the cause of fornication. A divorce or separation as to bed and board, may be permitted for some weighty causes in Christian marriages; but even then, he that marrieth her that is dismissed, commits adultery. As to this, there is no exception. The bond of marriage is perpetual; and what God hath joined, no power on earth can separate. See again Matthew 19:9. (Witham) --- The knot of marriage is so sacred a tie, that the separation of the parties cannot loosen it, it being not lawful for either of the parties to marry again upon a divorce. (St. Augustine, de bon. conjug. ch. VII.) (Bristow)
Matthew 5:33 Again you have heard that it was said to them of old: *Thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord.

Exodus 20:7.; Leviticus 19:12.; Deuteronomy 5:11.; James 5:12.
Matthew 5:34 But I say to you, not to swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God:

Swear not at all. We must not imagine that here are forbidden all oaths, where there is a just and necessary cause of calling God to witness. An oath on such an occasion is an act of justice and religion. Here are forbidden unnecessary oaths in common discourse, by which the sacred name of God, which never ought to be pronounced without reverence and respect, is so frequently and scandalously profaned. (Witham) --- 'Tis not forbidden to swear in truth, justice and judgment; to the honour of God, or our own or neighbours' just defence; but only to swear rashly, or profanely, in common discourse, and without necessity. (Challoner)
Matthew 5:35 Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool: nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king:

The Anabaptists and other sectarists, following the letter, and not the spirit of the Scripture, and walking in the footsteps of their predecessors, the Waldenses, and the Pelagians, will allow of no oath to be lawful, not even before a judge. (Bristow)
Matthew 5:36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Matthew 5:37 *But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: but that which is over and above these, is of evil.

James 5:12.
Matthew 5:38 You have heard that it hath been said: *An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

Exodus 21:24.; Leviticus 24:20.; Deuteronomy 19:21.
Hence your doctors have concluded that revenge, equal to the injury, was permitted.
Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, not to resist evil: *but if any one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Luke 6:29.
Not to resist evil;{ Ver. 39. Non resistere malo, to ponero, as before, a malo est, ek tou ponerou estin. In both places o poneros, seems to signify an evil spirit, or an evil man.|} that is not to resist or revenge thyself of him that hath done evil to thee. --- Turn him the other cheek. Let him have also thy cloak. These are to be understood as admonitions to Christians, to forgive every one, and to bear patiently all manner of private injuries. But we must not from hence conclude it unlawful for any one to have recourse to the laws, when a man is injured, and cannot have justice by any other means. (Witham) --- What is here commanded, is a Christian patience under injuries and affronts, and to be willing even to suffer still more, rather than to indulge the desire of revenge; but what is further added does not strictly oblige according to the letter, for neither did Christ, nor St. Paul, turn the other cheek. (St. John xviii. and Acts xxiii.) (Challoner) --- Hence also the Anabaptists infer, that it is not lawful to go to law even for our just rights; and Luther, that Christians ought not to resist the Turks. (Bristow)
Matthew 5:40 *And if any man will go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

1 Corinthians 6:7.
Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall force thee to go one mile, go with him other two.

Go with him other two.{ Ver. 41. Vade cum eo et alia duo. In the ordinary Greek copies, we only read upage met autou duo. But in other manuscripts upage met autou eti alla duo.|} I know many interpreters would have it to signify no more than two in all. But the literal sense of the Latin, and also of the best Greek manuscripts. (as Dr. Wells takes notice in his amendments to the Prot. translation) express two more, that is not only as far again, but twice as far. And thus it is expounded by St. Augustine, Serm. Domini in monte. t. 3:p. 193. Ed Ben. (Witham) --- Continue to be his guide sooner than lose patience, or be wanting in charity. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:42 *Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not away.

Deuteronomy 15:8.
Matthew 5:43 You have heard that it hath been said: *Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy.

Leviticus 19:18.
And hate thy enemy. The words of the law (Leviticus 19:18.) are only these: thou shalt love thy friend as thyself; but by a false gloss and inference, these words, and hate thy enemy, were added by the Jewish doctors. (Witham)
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you: *Love your enemies, **do good to them that hate you: ***and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you,

Luke 6:27. --- ** Romans 12:20. --- *** Luke 23:34.; Acts 7:59.
I come to establish the purity of the law, which they have corrupted. (Haydock)
Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father, who is in heaven: who maketh his sun to rise upon the good and the bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.

Matthew 5:46 For if you love those that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans the same?

The publicans. These were the gatherers of the public taxes: a set of men, odious and infamous among the Jews, for their extortions and injustice. (Challoner)
Matthew 5:47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens the same?

Matthew 5:48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jesus Christ here sums up his instructions by ordering us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect; that is to imitate, as far as our exertions, assisted by divine grace, can reach, the divine perfection. (Witham) --- See here the great superiority of the new over the old law. But let no one hence take occasion to despise the old. Let him examine attentively, says St. Chrysostom, the different periods of time, and the persons to whom it was given; and he will admire the wisdom of the divine Legislator, and clearly perceive that it is one and the same Lord, and that each law was to the great advantage of mankind, and wisely adapted to the times of their promulgation. For, if among the first principles of rectitude, these sublime and eminent truths had been found, perhaps neither these, nor the less perfect rules of morality would have been observed; whereas, by disposing of both in their proper time, the divine wisdom has employed both for the correction of the world. (Hom. xviii.) Seeing then that we are thus blessed as to be called, and to be the children of so excellent a Father, we should endeavour, like Him, to excel in goodness, meekness, and charity; but above all in humility, which will secure to us the merit of good works, through the infinite merits of our divine Redeemer, Master, and model, Christ Jesus the Lord. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:0 Alms, prayer, and fasting recommended, but ostentation to be avoided. Forgiveness of injuries urged: simplicity of intention, and greater solicitude for the next than this life.

Matthew 6:1 Take *heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall have no reward of your Father, who is in heaven.

about the year A.M. 4035.[the year of the world 4035]; about the year A.D. 31. Your justice;{ Ver. 1. Justitiam. In almost all Greek copies, eleemosunen.|} in the common Greek copies, your alms, which seems to be the sense in this place. (Witham) --- Hereby it is plain that good works are justice, and that man doing them doth justice, and is thereby just and justified, and not by faith only. All which justice of a christian man, our Saviour here compriseth in the three eminent good works, alms deeds, prayer, and fasting. (St. Augustine, lib. perf. just. ch. VIII.) So that to give alms is to do justice, and the works of mercy are justice. (St. Augustine, in Psalm xlix, ver. 5.) (Bristow) --- St. Gregory says, that the man who by his virtuous actions would gain the applause of men, quits at an easy rate a treasure of immense value; for, with what he might purchase the kingdom of heaven, he only seeks to acquire the transitory applause of mortals. This precept of Christ, says St. Chrysostom, beautifully evinces the solicitude and unspeakable goodness of God, lest we should have the labour of performing good works, and on account of evil motives be deprived of our reward. (Hom. xix.) "Shut up alms in the heart of the poor." (Ecclesiasticus 29:15.)
Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou dost an alms-deed, sound not a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

This must be understood figuratively, that we must avoid all ostentation in the performance of our good works. Many respectable authors are of opinion, that it was customary with the Pharisees and other hypocrites, to assemble the poor they designed to relieve by sound of trumpet. (Menochius) --- Let us avoid vain glory, the agreeable plunderer of our good works, the pleasant enemy of our souls, which presents its poison to us under the appearance of honey. (St. Basil)
Matthew 6:3 But when thou dost alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth:

Be content to have God for witness to your good works, who alone has power to reward you for them. They will be disclosed soon enough to man, when at the day of general retribution the good and the evil will be brought to light, and every one shall be rewarded according to his works. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:4 That thy alms may be in secret, and thy Father, who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

This repaying or rewarding of good works, so often mentioned here by Jesus Christ, clearly evinces that good works are meritorious, and that we may do them with a view to a reward, as David did, propter retributionem. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, who love to pray standing in the synagogues, and at the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Hypocrisy is forbidden in all these three good works of justice, but not the doing of them openly for the glory of God, the edification of our neighbour, and our own salvation. Let your light so shine before men, that is let your work be so done in public, that the intention remain in secret. (St. Gregory)
Matthew 6:6 But thou, when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father, who seeth in secret, will reward thee.

Because he who should pray in his chamber, and at the same time desire it to be known by men, that he might thence receive vain glory, might truly be said to pray in the street, and sound a trumpet before him: whilst he, who though he pray in public, seeks not thence any vain glory, acts the same as if he prayed in his chamber. (Menochius) --- Jesus Christ went up to the temple, to attend public worship on the festival days.
Matthew 6:7 And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

[Speak not much.{ Ver. 7. Nolite multum loqui, me battologesete, which is balbutire, nugari, etc.|} ] Long prayer is not here forbidden; for Christ himself spent whole nights in prayer: and he sayeth, we must pray always; and the apostle, that we must pray without intermission, 1 Thessalonians v.; and the holy Church hath had from the beginning her canonical hours for prayer, but rhetorical and elaborate prayer, as if we thought to persuade God by our eloquence, is forbidden; the collects of the Church are most brief and most effectual. (St. Augustine, ep. 121. ch. VIII, IX, X.) (Bristow) --- Perseverance in prayer is recommended us by the example of the poor widow, who by her importunity prevailed over the unjust judge. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xix.) --- The Greek word means, to babble or trifle.
Matthew 6:8 Be not you therefore like them. For your Father knoweth what you stand in need of, before you ask him.

Matthew 6:9 You therefore shall pray in this manner: *Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Luke 11:2.
As God is the common Father of all, we pray for all. Let none fear on account of their lowly station here, for all are comprised in the same heavenly nobility. ... By saying, "who art in heaven," he does not mean to insinuate that he is there only, but he wishes to withdraw the humble petitioner from earth, and fix his attention on heaven. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.) Other prayers are not forbidden. Jesus Christ prayed in different words (John 17.), and the apostles; (Acts 1:24.) but this is an example of the simple style to be used in prayer, and is applicable to all occasions. --- Hallowed be thy name, from the word holy, be held and kept holy, be glorified by us, and that not only by our words, but principally by the lives we lead. The honour and glory of God should be the principal subject of our prayers, and the ultimate end of our every action; every other thing must be subordinate to this. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Those who desire to arrive at the kingdom of heaven, must endeavour so to order their life and conversation, as if they were already conversing in heaven. This petition is also to be understood for the accomplishment of the divine will in every part of the world, for the extirpation of error, and explosion of vice, that truth and virtue may everywhere obtain, and heaven and earth differ no more in honouring the supreme majesty of God. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.)
Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.

Our supersubstantial bread.{ Ver. 11. Supersubstantialem, epiousion, which Greek word is translated, quotidianam, Luke 11:3. So it is expounded by St. Chrysostom om xv. p. 138. ti estin ton arton ton epiousion. St. Gregory of Nyssa (tom. i, p. 750, Edit. Paris. an. 1638) calls it, o artos tes semerines chreias esti. Panis hodiernae, or quotidianae necessitatis. Suidas expounds it, o te onsia emon armozon, qui est conveniens nostrae substantiae or o kathemerinos, quotidianus.|} So it is at present in the Latin text: yet the same Greek word in St. Luke, is translated daily bread, as we say it in our Lord's prayer, and as it was used to be said in the second or third age, as we find by Tertullian and St. Cyprian. Perhaps the Latin word, supersubstantialis, may bear the same sense as daily bread, or bread that we daily stand in need of; for it need not be taken for supernatural bread, but for bread which is daily added, to maintain and support the substance of our bodies. (Witham) --- In St. Luke the same word is rendered daily bread. It is understood of the bread of life, which we receive in the blessed sacrament. (Challoner) --- It is also understood of the supernatural support of the grace of God, and especially of the bread of life received in the blessed eucharist. (Haydock) --- As we are only to pray for our daily bread, we are not to be over solicitous for the morrow, nor for the things of this earth, but being satisfied with what is necessary, turn all our thoughts to the joys of heaven. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.)
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.

Of all the petitions this alone is repeated twice. God puts our judgment in our own hands, that none might complain, being the author of his own sentence. He could have forgiven us our sins without this condition, but he consulted our good, in affording us opportunities of practising daily the virtues of piety and mildness. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xx.) --- These debts signify not only mortal but venial sins, as St. Augustine often teaches. Therefore every man, be he ever so just, yet because he cannot live without venial sin, ought to say this prayer. (Cont. 2 epis. Pelag. lib. 1:chap. 14.) --- (lib. XXI. de civit. Dei. ch. XXVII.) (Bristow)
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

God is not the tempter of evil, or author of sin. (James 1:13.) He tempteth no man: we pray that he would not suffer the devil to tempt us above our strength: that he would remove the temptations, or enable us to overcome them, and deliver us from evil, particularly the evil of sin, which is the first, and the greatest, and the true efficient cause of all evils. (Haydock) --- In the Greek we here read, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory; which words are found in some old Greek liturgies, and there is every appearance that they have thence slipped into the text of St. Matthew. They do not occur in St. Luke 11:4., nor in any one of the old Latin copies, nor yet in the most ancient of the Greek texts. The holy Fathers prior to St. Chrysostom, as Grotius observes, who have explained the Lord's prayer, never mention these words. --- And not being found in Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, etc., nor in the Vatican Greek copy, nor in the Cambridge manuscripts. etc. as Dr. Wells also observes, it seems certain that they were only a pious conclusion, or doxology, with which the Greeks in the fourth age began to conclude their prayers, much after the same manner as, Glory be to the Father, etc. was added to the end of each psalm. We may reasonably presume, that these words at first were in the margin of some copies, and afterwards by some transcribers taken into the text itself. (Witham)
Matthew 6:14 *For if you forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences.

Ecclesiasticus 28:3. 4. and 5.; Matthew 18:35.; Mark 11:25.
Here he again recommendeth the forgiving of others, as the means of obtaining forgiveness. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:15 But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.

Matthew 6:16 And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear fasting to men. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

He condemns not public fasts as prescribed to the people of God, (Judges 20:26.; 2 Esdras ix.; Joel 2:15.; John[Jonas?] iii.) but fasting through vain glory, and for the esteem of men. (Bristow)
Matthew 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face,

The forty days' fast, my dear brethren, is not an observance peculiar to ourselves; it is kept by all who unite with us in the profession of the same faith. Nor is it without reason that the fast of Christ should be an observance common to all Christians. What is more reasonable, than that the different members should follow the example of the head. If we have been made partakers with him of good, why not also of evil. Is it generous to exempt ourselves from every thing that is painful, and with to partake with him in all that is agreeable? With such dispositions, we are members unworthy of such a head. ... Is it much for us to fast with Christ, who expect to sit at the table of his Father with him? Is it much for the members to suffer with the head, when we expect to be made one day partakers with him in glory? Happy the man who shall imitate such a Master. He shall accompany him whithersoever he goes. (St. Bernard Serm, in Quad.) --- Wherefore, my dear brethren, if the taste only has caused us to offend God, let the taste only fast, and it will be enough. But if the other members also have sinned, let them also fast. Let the eye fast, if it has been the cause of sin to the soul; let the ear fast, the tongue, the hand, and the soul itself. Let the eye fast from beholding objects, which are only calculated to excite curiosity and vanity; that being now humbled, it may be restrained to repentance, which before wandered in guilt. Let the ear fast from listening to idle stories and words that have no reference to salvation. Let the tongue fast from detraction and murmuring, from unprofitable and sacrilegious discourse; sometimes also, out of respect to holy silence, from speaking what appears necessary and profitable. Let the hand also fast from useless works, and from every action that is not commanded. But above all, let the soul fast from sin and the doing of its own will. Without these fasts, all others will not be accepted by the Lord. (St. Bernard, Serm. 2 de Jejun. Quad.) --- Fast from what is in itself lawful, that you may receive pardon for what you have formerly done amiss. Redeem an eternal fast by a short and transitory one. For we have deserved hell fire, where there will be no food, no consolation, no end; where the rich man begs for a drop of water, and is not worthy to receive it. A truly good and salutary fast, the observance of which frees us from eternal punishment, by obtaining for us in this life the remission of our sins. Nor is it only the remission of former transgressions, but likewise a preservative against future sin, by meriting for us grace to enable us to avoid those faults we might otherwise have committed. I will add another advantage, which results from tasting, one which I hope I am not deceived in saying you have frequently experienced. It gives devotion and confidence to prayer. Observe how closely prayer and fasting are connected. Prayer gives us power to fast, fasting enables us to pray. Fasting gives strength to our prayer, prayer sanctifies our fast, and renders it worthy of acceptance before the Lord. (St. Bernard, Serm. de Orat. et []ejun.)
Matthew 6:18 That thou appear not fasting to men, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.

Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and the moth consume, and where thieves dig through, and steal.

Matthew 6:20 *But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor the moth doth consume, and where thieves do not dig through, nor steal.

Luke 12:33.; 1 Timothy 6:19.
By doing good works, distributing your superfluities to the indigent. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:21 For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.

Matthew 6:22 *The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be simple, thy whole body shall be lightsome.

Luke 11:34.
Every action is lighted or directed by the intention. If the intention be upright, the whole body of the action is good, provided it proceed not from a false conscience. If the intention be bad, how bad must be the action! Christ does not here speak of an exterior, but an interior eye. He, therefore, who directs all his thoughts to God, may justly be said to have his eye lightsome, and consequently his heart undefiled with worldly affections; but he who has all his thoughts corrupted with carnal desires is, beyond a doubt, enveloped in darkness. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 6:23 But if thy eye be evil, thy whole body shall be darksome. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great will the darkness itself be?

Matthew 6:24 *No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Luke 16:13.
Behold here a fresh motive to detach you from the love of riches, or mammon. We cannot both serve God and the world, the flesh and the spirit, justice and sin. The ultimate end of action must be one, either for this or for the next life. (Haydock)
Matthew 6:25 *Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment?

Psalm 54:23.; Luke 12:22.; Philippians 4:6.; 1 Timothy 6:7.; 1 Peter 5:7.
A prudent provision is not prohibited, but that over-solicitude which draws the soul, the heart, and its affections from God, and his sweet all-ruling providence, to sink and degrade them in empty pursuits, which can never fill the soul. (Haydock) --- Be not solicitous;{ Ver. 25. Me merimnate. It does not seem well translated, take no thought.|} that is too solicitous with a trouble and anxiety of mind, as appears by the Greek. --- For your life; lit. for your soul, which many times is put for life. (Witham)
Matthew 6:26 Behold the birds of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?

Matthew 6:27 And which of you by thinking can add to his stature one cubit?

Why should the children of God fear want, when we behold the very birds of the air do not go unprovided? Moreover, what possible good can this anxiety, this diffidence procure them? Almighty God gives life and growth, which you cannot do with all your solicitude, however intensely you think. Apollo may plant, Paul may water, but God alone can give the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6.) Of how much greater consequence is it then to love and serve Him, and to live for Him alone! (Haydock)
Matthew 6:28 And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin.

Matthew 6:29 Yet I say to you, that not even Solomon, in all his glory, was arrayed as one of these.

Matthew 6:30 Now if God so clothe the grass of the field, which is to-day, and to-morrow is cast into the oven: how much more you, O ye of little faith?

"O ye of little faith;" that is, of little confidence in God and his providence. (Menochius)
Matthew 6:31 Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed?

Matthew 6:32 For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.

It is not without reason that men are in such great fear and distress, when they are so blind as to imagine that their happiness in this life is ruled by fate. But such as know that they are entirely governed by the will of God, know also that a store is laid up for them in his hands. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 6:33 Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice: and all these things shall be added unto you.

{ Ver. 33. Et justitiam ejus, dikaiosunen autou, non autes, Dei, not Regni.|} Your Father knoweth; he does not say God knoweth, but your Father, to teach us to apply to him with greater confidence. (St. Chrysostom) --- He that delivers himself entirely into the hands of God, may rest secure both in prosperity and adversity, knowing that he is governed by a tender Father. (St. Aquinas)
Matthew 6:34 Be not therefore solicitous for to-morrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

The morrow will bring with it cares enough, to occupy you in providing what will then be necessary for you. Christ does not prohibit all care about temporal concerns, but only what hinders us from seeking the kingdom of heaven in the first instance; or what makes us esteem more the things of this world, than those of the next. (Menochius) --- The affliction and labour which each day brings with it is a sufficient trial, nor ought we seek by our anxiety for labour and affliction before it arrive; for why should man forestall the evil day, which has not arrived, and perhaps may never arrive? But again, this does not prohibit us from making a provision for the morrow, for Jesus Christ does not say to us, provide not for the morrow, but, be not solicitous for to-morrow. (Estius, in different location) He who supplied our wants to-day, will supply them also to-morrow. The evil of the day is sufficient, without borrowing to-morrow's burden to increase the load. It is the curse of the envious and wicked to be self-tormented, whilst they who live by faith, can always rejoice in hope, the true balm of every Christian's breast, the best friend of all in distress.
Matthew 7:0 Rash judgment and the profanation of holy things condemned. Confidence in prayer, and earnest endeavours for salvation, recommended. Caution against false teachers. Perseverance in the practice of Christian virtues.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, *that you may not be judged,

Luke 6:37.; Romans 2:1.
about the year A.D. 31.;* Judge not,{ Ver. 1. Nolite judicare, krinein, which signifies either to judge, or to condemn.|} or condemn not others rashly, that you may not be judged or condemned. (Witham) --- St. Jerome observes, Christ does not altogether forbid judging, but directs us how to judge. Where the thing does not regard us, we should not undertake to judge. Where it will bear a favourable interpretation, we should not condemn. Magistrates and superiors, whose office and duty require them to judge faults, and for their prevention to condemn and punish them, must be guided by evidence, and always lean towards the side of mercy, where there are mitigating circumstances. Barefaced vice and notorious sinners should be condemned and reprobated by all. (Haydock) --- In this place, nothing more is meant than that we should always interpret our neighbor's actions in the most favourable light. God permits us to judge of such actions as cannot be done with a right intention, as murder. As to indifferent actions, we must always judge in the most favourable sense. There are two things in which we must be particularly on our guard: 1. With what intention such an action was done. 2. Whether the person who appears wicked will not become good. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: *and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Mark 4:24.
This rule, which God will infallibly follow, should put a check to the freedom with which we so frequently condemn our neighbour. (Haydock) --- As we behave towards our neighbours, interpreting their actions with charitableness, and excusing their intentions with mildness; or, on the contrary, judging them with severity, and condemning them without pity; so shall we receive our judgment. (Menochius) --- As the pardon of our sins is proportioned to the pardon we afford to others, so also will our judgment be proportioned to the judgment we pass on others. If our neighbour be surprised by sin, we must not reproach or confound him for it, but mildly admonish him. Correct your brother, not as an enemy, taking revenge, but as a physician, administering appropriate remedies, assisting him with prudent counsels, and strengthening him in the love of God. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiii.)
Matthew 7:3 And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?

"Mote and beam," light and grievous sins. (Menochius)
Matthew 7:4 Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye: and behold a beam is in thy own eye?

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Thou hypocrites, cast out first the beam, etc. Correct first thy own greater faults, before thou censure the lesser failings of others. (Witham)
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy to dogs: neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turning upon you, tear you.

Give not that which is holy, or holy things, (as in the Greek) to dogs; that is to scandalous libertines, or infidels, who are not worthy to partake of divine mysteries and sacraments, who sacrilegiously abuse them, and trample them under their feet, as hogs do pearls. (Witham) --- The sacred mysteries should not be given to those that are not properly instructed in the sublime nature of them; nor should we hold any communication of religion with those that are enemies to the truths of Christ, which they tread under their feet and treat contemptuously, and will be so far from having any more friendship for you on account of such a criminal complaisance, that it is more probable they will betray you and turn against you. (Haydock)
Matthew 7:7 *Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.

Matthew 21:22.; Mark 11:24.; Luke 11:9.; John 14:13.; James 1:6.
After having preached these great and wonderful truths, after having commanded his apostles to keep themselves free from the vices of mankind, and make themselves like not to angels or archangels only, but to the Lord of all things; and not only observe justice themselves, but likewise to labour for the correction of others, lest they should be disheartened at these almost insurmountable difficulties: our Redeemer subjoins, Ask, and you shall receive, etc. When we offer our petitions to the Almighty, we must imitate the example of Solomon, who immediately obtained what he asked of the Lord, because he asked what he ought. Two things, therefore, are necessary to every prayer, that it be offered up with perseverance and fervour, and that it contain a lawful prayer. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiv.) --- The reasons why so many do not obtain the effects of their prayers, are,---1st. Because they ask for what is evil; and he that makes such a request, offers the Almighty an intolerable injury by wishing to make him, as it were, the author of evil: 2nd. Although what they ask be not evil, they seek it for an evil end. (St. James iv.): 3rd. Because they who pray, are themselves wicked; (St. John ix.) for God doth not hear sinners: 4th. Because they ask with no faith, or with faith weak and wavering: (St. James i.) 5th. Because although what we ask be good in itself, yet the Almighty refuses it, in order to grant us a greater good: 6th. Because God wishes us to persevere, as he declares in the parable of the friend asking bread, Luke, ch. ii.; and that we may esteem his gifts the more: 7th. We do not always receive what we beg, because, according to St. Augustine, (lib. ii, de Serm. Dom. et epis. 34, ad Paulinum) God often does not grant us what we petition for, that he may grant us something more useful and profitable. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 7:8 For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Whatever we ask necessary to salvation with humility, fervour, perseverance, and other due circumstances, we may be assured God will grant when it is best for us. If we do not obtain what we pray for, we must suppose it is not conducive to our salvation, in comparison of which all else is of little moment. (Haydock)
Matthew 7:9 *Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will he reach him a stone?

Luke 11:11.
Lest any one considering the great inequality between God and man, should despair of obtaining favours of God, and therefore should not dare to offer up his petitions, he immediately introduces this similitude of the Father; so that if we were on the point of despairing on account of our sins, from his fatherly tenderness we might still have hopes. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 7:10 Or if he shall ask a fish, will he reach him a serpent?

Matthew 7:11 If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more will your Father, who is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:12 *All things, therefore, whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. For this is the law and the prophets.

Tobias 4:16.; Luke 6:31.
For this is the law and the prophets; that is, all precepts that regard our neighbour are directed by this golden rule, do as you would be done by. (Witham) --- The whole law and all the duties between man and man, inculcated by the prophets, have this principle for foundation. The Roman emperor Alexander Severus, is related to have said, that he esteemed the Christians for their acting on this principle. (Haydock) --- This is the sum of the law and of the prophets, the whole law of the Jews. (Menochius)
Matthew 7:13 *Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who enter by it.

Luke 13:24.
Enter ye in at the narrow gate, etc. The doctrine of these two verses needs no commentary, but deserve serious attention. (Witham)
Matthew 7:14 How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way, which leadeth to life: and few there are who find it!

Our Saviour in another place says, my yoke is sweet, and my burthen light. How comes it then that so few bear it, or how can we reconcile these texts together? The answer is at hand; for if soldiers and mariners esteem wounds, storms, and shipwreck, easy to be borne with, in hopes of temporal rewards, surely no one can complain that the duties of a Christian are difficult, when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (St. Chrysostom) --- It may also be added that God, by his heavenly consolations, makes them not only supportable, but even easy and pleasant. Thus the martyrs occasionally did not feel their torments through the sweet unction of divine love, and the excessive joy which God poured into their souls. (Haydock)
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

In the clothing of sheep. Beware of hypocrites, with their outward appearance of sanctity, and sound doctrine --- by their fruits you shall know them. Such hypocrites can scarcely ever continue constant in the practice of what is good. (Witham) --- Heretics usually affect an extraordinary appearance of zeal and holiness, calling themselves evangelical preachers and teachers of the gospel, as if that Church which preceded them, and which descends by an uninterrupted succession from the apostles, did not teach the pure gospel of Christ. (Haydock) --- Beware of false prophets, or heretics. They are far more dangerous than the Jews, who being rejected by the apostles, are also avoided by Christians, but these having the appearance of Christianity, having churches, sacraments, etc. etc. deceive many. These are the rapacious wolves, of whom St. Paul speaks, Acts xx. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xix.) Origen styles them, the gates of death, and the path to hell. (Com. in Job. lib. 1:Tom. 2.)
Matthew 7:16 By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes off thorns, or figs off thistles?

As the true Church is known by the four marks of its being one, holy, catholic, and apostolical, so heretics and false teachers are known by certain vices, and the pernicious effects of their novelties in religion. As the true Church is one, by its members submitting with humility to the authority established by Christ, (he that will not hear the Church, let him be unto thee as the heathen and the publican. Matthew 18:17.) so are false teachers known by their separation from the ancient Church, and their divisions among themselves, the necessary consequences of rebelling against the authority established by Christ, and alone capable of determining controversies. The same pride and other secret vices which make them despise government, (2 Peter 2:10.) make them also not afraid to bring in sects of perdition, blaspheming, and this in civil government as well as ecclesiastical. Those that call themselves Reformers, in the beginning of the 16th century, of all others were remarkable in this. What bloody tumults and wars were there not produced in Germany, by the first Reformers in that country! Calvin overturned the government of Geneva; and his followers, under the name Hugonots, filled France for a great length of time with slaughter and civil wars, frequently shaking the throne itself. In this country, the first cause of its separation from the universal Church, was the unbridled passion of a tyrant: the effects were adultery, and the murder of the successive queens that he had taken to his adulterous bed. In the reign of his successor, the insatiate avarice of a corrupt nobility, gratified with the sacrilegious plunder of the Church, established what is called the Reformation. The fear of being compelled to disgorge the fruits of their rapine, contributed much to the confirmation of that order of things in the reign of Elizabeth. She was inclined to it by the circumstances of her birth, which could not be legitimate, if her father's marriage with Catharine of Arragon was valid, as the first authority in the Catholic Church had declared. The natural spirit of this heresy, though checked a while and kept under by the despotical government of this queen, appeared in its own colours soon after, and produced its natural fruits in the turbulence of the times that succeeded, and the multiplicity of sects that are continually springing up to this very day. --- As the true Church is holy, recommending various exercises of religion tending to purify human nature, and render men holy, as fasting, confession of sins, evangelical counsels, etc. so false teachers cast off all these, promising liberty, (2 Peter 2:16.[19.?]) and giving full rein to the lustful passions, thus giving a liberty of living, as well as a liberty of believing. --- Another fruit of false teachers is, separation from what was the Universal Church before their time, and which continues to be still the far greater part, not being confined to one state or country. If some modern principles, of not allowing any communion of religion out of each state, were admitted, as many religions should have been established by heaven as men think proper to establish different states; nor could Christ have given one for all mankind, under whatever state or form of government they might live. --- Finally, false teachers are to known by their not being able to shew, that they have received their doctrine and mission from the apostles, in a regular succession from them. Some of our modern divines would spurn at the idea of holding their doctrine and orders from the Catholic Church, such as it existed at the time of the Reformation, which is precisely such as it exists at the present moment. --- In answer to this it has been retorted, that the fruits of the Catholic religion have been as bad, or worse; and the horrors of the French revolution are particularly mentioned, as a proof. ... That great crimes have been committed by those who professed themselves Catholics, is not denied; but that they were prompted to them by the nature of their religion, is certainly not admitted. The revolution of France in particular, was the effect of the people falling off from their religion. As well may the Puritans, that brought Charles to the block, be said to be Catholics, because they or their parents once had been such: as well may the present bench of Protestant bishops be said to be Catholics, because the bishops of their sees once were so; or that Robespierre, Marat, and the Jacobins that persecuted catholicity in France, and brought its too indulgent sovereigns to the guillotine, were Catholics, or directed in the least by Catholic principles. (Haydock)
Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the bad tree bringeth forth bad fruit.

It is not to be understood from this text, that a man who is once bad can never bring forth good fruit; but that as long as he remains in the state of sin, he cannot perform any meritorious action. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiv.)
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot yield bad fruit, neither can a bad tree yield good fruit.

A good tree cannot yield bad fruit, etc. Not but that both good and bad men may change their lives. This, according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers, is only to be understood while they remain such. If a bad tree begin to produce good fruit, it becomes a good tree, etc. (Witham) --- For not those who do one or two good works are just, but those who continue permanently to do good: in the same manner, not those who commit one or two bad actions are wicked, but those who continue in evil. (Menochius)
Matthew 7:19 *Every tree that yieldeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.

Matthew 3:10.
Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.

Matthew 7:21 *Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father, who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 25:11.; Luke 6:46.
Here Jesus Christ shews, that it is not sufficient to believe in him and hear his words, but that in order to salvation, we must join works with faith; for in this shall we be examined at the last day. (Menochius) --- Without faith they could not cry out, Lord, Lord. (Romans x.) But the strongest faith without the works of justice, will not be available to salvation. (1 Corinthians xiii.) (Bristow) --- Many who have the Lord continually in their mouths, but care little about putting on the Lord, or penetrating themselves with his true spirit, will find their presumption, and the false consciences they have made to themselves, wofully disappointed. (Haydock)
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, *and cast out devils in thy name, and done many wonderful works in thy name?

Acts 19:13.
Have not we prophesied in thy name? The gift of prophecy, and of doing miracles, may sometimes be granted to bad men, as to Caiphas, and Balaam. (Witham) --- Under the name of prophets, the Hebrews comprised not only such as predicted future events, but also in general all such as gave themselves out for inspired, or who undertook teaching and interpreting the holy Scriptures; and here by prophesying is understood, in a general acceptation, all public functions, predicting futurity, expounding Scripture, instructing the people, preaching, etc. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you: *depart from me, you that work iniquity.

Psalm 6:9.; Matthew 25:41.; Luke 13:27.
So as to approve and reward your works. Here he shews that even prophecy and miracles will not save us without good works. (Menochius) --- How much less will faith, unassisted by good works, preserve us from condemnation. (Haydock) --- The gift of miracles is bestowed on men not for their own good, but for the advantage of others. We must not then be surprised if men, who had indeed faith in Christ, but whose lives did not correspond with their faith, should be honoured with these extraordinary gifts, since the Almighty sometimes employs as his instruments in working similar wonders, men destitute both of faith and virtue. Balaam, void of faith and probity, still by the will of God, prophesied for the advantage of others. To Pharao and Nabuchodonosor were revealed future events of the greatest moment; and the wicked Judas himself cast out devils. Therefore St. Paul said, "if I had all faith so as to remove mountains, and if I knew all mysteries, and was possessed of all wisdom, but had not charity, I am nothing." (St. Chrysostom, Hom. xv.)
Matthew 7:24 *Every one, therefore, that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock.

Luke 6:48.; Romans 2:13.; James 1:22.
In the Greek text, "I will compare him;" an apposite comparison, to shew the necessity of good works. It is the duty of each individual to erect this spiritual edifice of good works in the interior of his soul, which may be able to resist all the attacks of our spiritual enemy: whilst those men who have true faith and no works are compared to a fool, and are sure to perish. (Menochius) ---Here again our Saviour dispenses his rewards to such as order their lives according to his instructions; but as before he promised the kingdom of heaven, divine consolations, and other rewards, so here he promises them the numberless blessings attendant on virtue in this life. The just alone are surrounded with virtue as with a strong guard, and amidst the high swelling waves of worldly troubles, enjoy a calm and unchangeable tranquillity. Thus was Job strengthened by his virtue against the attacks both of men and satan. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxv.)
Matthew 7:25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

The Scribes and Pharisees only explained the law, and laid open the promises of Moses, whereas our Saviour gives new laws, and makes new promises in his own name; But I say to you, etc. The energy also with which our Saviour spoke, together with the miracles which he wrought, had far greater influence on the minds of the people than the frigid manner in which the Scribes delivered their doctrines. (Menochius)
Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.

Nothing can be more foolish than to raise an edifice on sand: it carries punishment with it, causing indeed abundance of labour, but yielding neither reward nor repose. The slaves of malice, luxury, and voluptuousness, labour in the pursuit of their desires, yet not only receive no reward, but, on the contrary, the greatest punishment. They sow in the flesh, from the flesh they shall reap corruption. (Galatians vi.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxv.)
Matthew 7:27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.

Such again shall be the end of all false prophets. Their death shall be in the same proportion, ignominious and miserable, as their life had been glorious and attractive. They shall be punished with so much greater severity, than others, as their sins have proceeded from greater knowledge and greater malice. (Haydock)
Matthew 7:28 And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine.

With reason were the people enraptured with his doctrines; for he taught as having authority from himself, and not like their doctors, who only spoke in the name of Moses, and whose only ambition was to please, and not to correct. In the Greek text there is only mention of the Scribes or doctors, but not of the Pharisees.
Matthew 7:29 *For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as their Scribes and Pharisees.

Mark 1:22.; Luke 4:32.
He taught as one having power, exousian, to found a law of his own. Hence he said: Ego autem dico vobis; "But I say to you," viz. as a legislator, announcing to you not the law of Moses, or of any other, but my own law. (Estius, in different location) --- All agree that St. Matthew anticipates the sermon on the mount, in order thus to prefix the doctrines of Christ to the account of his miracles; for we cannot doubt that the discourse on the mount, which is mentioned by St. Matthew, is the same as that recorded by St. Luke. The beginning, the middle, and the conclusion correspond with each other. If St. Matthew mentions some particulars omitted by St. Luke, it is because his design was to collect together several instructions, which Jesus delivered on different occasions; and these, for the most part, are to be found in other parts of St. Luke. --- This admirable sermon may be divided into three parts, viz. the exordium, the body of the discourse, and the conclusion. The exordium comprises the eight beatitudes, and merits our most serious attention. The body of the discourse is chiefly addressed to the apostles, whom Jesus had recently chosen, in order to instil into them, and all succeeding pastors of the Church, a right sense of the great duties belonging to their ministry; and, in the second place, it refers to all the faithful in general. The conclusion consists of an exhortation to a life of piety, and contains several advices, some of which chiefly regard pastors, others indiscriminately all the faithful in general. --- May this excellent abridgment of thy doctrine, O Jesus! be the rule of our manners, the pattern of our life. Amen. (Haydock)
Matthew 8:0 Cure of a leper; of the centurion's servant; of the mother-in-law of S. Peter. Dispositions for following Jesus Christ. The storm appeased. Devils driven out of two men possessed, and suffered to go into the swine.

Matthew 8:1 And when he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

And when he was come down from the mountain. St. Matthew says, that Jesus Christ ascended the mountain, and sat down to teach the people; while St. Luke affirms, that he descended, and stood in a plain place. But there is no contradiction; for he first ascended to the top of the mountain, and then descended to an even plain, which formed part of the descent. Here he stood for a while, and cured the sick, as mentioned by St. Luke; but afterwards, according to the relation of St. Matthew, he sat down, which was the usual posture of the Jewish doctors. (St. Augustine)
Matthew 8:2 *And behold a leper coming, adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Mark 1:40.; Luke 5:12.
about the year A.D. 31. As the three evangelists relate the cure of the leper in nearly the same words, and with the same circumstances, we may conclude they speak of the same miracle. St. Matthew alone seems to have observed the time and order of this transaction, viz. after the sermon of the mount; the other two anticipate it. The Bible de Vence seems to infer, from the connection St. Matthew makes between the sermon of the mount and the cure of the leper, that it was not the same leper as that mentioned, Mark 1:40.; Luke 5:12. (Bible de Vence) --- Adored him. In St. Mark it is said, kneeling down, Matthew 1:40. In St. Luke, prostrating on his face. It is true, none of these expressions do always signify the adoration or worship which is due to God alone, as may appear by several examples in the Old and New Testament; yet this man, by divine inspiration, might know our blessed Saviour to be both God and man. (Witham) --- "Make me clean;" literally, "purify me;" the law treated lepers as impure. (Bible de Vence) --- The leper, by thus addressing our Saviour acknowledges his supreme power and authority, and shews his great faith and earnestness, falling on his knees, as St. Luke relates it. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.) Our prayer should be such with great faith and confidence, qualified with profound humility, and entire diffidence of self.
Matthew 8:3 And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will. Be thou made clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Jesus, stretching forth his hand, touched him. By the law of Moses, whosoever touched a leper, contracted a legal uncleanness: but not by touching in order to heal him, says Theophylactus. Besides, Christ would teach them that he was not subject to this law. (Witham) --- "Touched him." To shew, says St. Cyprian, that his body being united to the Divinity, had the power of healing and giving life. Also to shew that the old law, which forbad the touching of lepers, had no power over him; and that so far from being defiled by touching him, he even cleansed him who was defiled with it. (St. Ambrose) --- When the apostles healed the lame man, they did not attribute it to their own power, but said to the Jews: Why do you wonder at this? Or, why look you at us, as if by our power or strength we have made this man to walk? But when our Saviour heals the leper, stretching out his hand, to shew he was going to act of his own power, and independently of the law, he said: "I will. Be thou clean;" to evince that the cure was effected by the operation of his own divine will. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.)
Matthew 8:4 And Jesus said to him: See thou tell no man: but go, *shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony to them.

Leviticus 14:2.
For a testimony to them. That is, when the priest finds thee truly cured, make that offering which is ordained in the law. (Witham) --- He did this to give us an example of humility, and that the priests, by approving of his miracle, and being made witnesses to it, might be inexcusable, if they would not believe him. (Menochius) --- He thus shews his obedience to the law, and his respect for the diginity of priests. He makes them inexcusable, if they can still call him a transgressor of the law, and prevaricator. He moreover gives this public testimony to them of his divine origin. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxvi.) St. Chrysostom, in his third book on the priesthood, says: "the priests of the old law had authority and privilege only to discern who were healed of leprosy, and to denounce the same to the people; but the priests of the new law have power to purify, in very deed, the filth of the soul. Therefore, whoever despiseth them, is more worthy to be punished than the rebel Dathan and his accomplices." Our Saviour willeth him to go and offer his gift or sacrifice, according as Moses prescribed in that case, because the other sacrifice, being the holiest of all holies, viz. his body, was not yet begun. (St. Augustine, lib. ii. et Evang. 2:3. et cont. adver. leg. et Proph. lib. 1:chap. 19, 20.)
Matthew 8:5 And when he had entered into Capharnaum, *there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,

Luke 7:1.
A centurion. The same who (Luke 7:3,) is said to have sent messengers to our Saviour. But there is no contradiction: for what a man does by his servants, or friends, he is many times said to do himself. He came not in person out of humanity, but by his message shewed an extraordinary faith. (Witham) --- The centurion shews a much stronger faith in the power of Christ, than those who let down the sick man through the roof, because he thought the word of Christ alone sufficient to raise the deceased. And our Saviour, to reward his confidence, not only grants his petition, as he does on other occasions, but promises to go with him to his house to heal his servant. St. Chrysostom, hom. xxvii. The centurion was a Gentile, an officer in the Roman army. According to St. Luke he did not come to him in person, but sent messengers to him, who desired him to come down and heal his servant, whereas he seems here not to wish him to come: "Lord, I am not worthy," etc. These difficulties may be easily removed. A person is said to appear before the judge, when his council appears for him; so he may be said to have come to Jesus, when he sent his messengers. Or it may be that he first sent his messengers, and afterwards went himself. As to the second difficulty, it may be said the messengers added that of their own accord, as appears from the text of St. Luke. (Menochius) --- St. Augustine is of opinion that he did not go himself in person, for he thought himself unworthy, but that he sent first the ancients of the Jews, and then his friends, which last were to address Jesus in his name and with his words. ( lib. ii de cons. Evang. ch. XX.) Thus we see that the request of the two sons of Zebedee was made by themselves to Jesus Christ, according to St. Mark 10:35, and by the mouth of their mother, according to St. Matthew, 20:20.
Matthew 8:6 And saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grieviously tormented.

Matthew 8:7 And Jesus saith to him: I will come, and heal him.

On this occasion our Saviour does what he never did before: every where indeed he meets the will of his supplicants, but here he runs before his request, saying: "I will come;" and this he does to teach us to imitate the virtue of the centurion.
Matthew 8:8 And the centurion making answer, said: *Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

Luke 7:6.
Origen says, when thou eatest and drinkest the body and blood of our Lord, he entereth under thy roof. Thou also, therefore, humbling thyself, say: Domine, non sum dignus; Lord, I am not worth, etc. So said St. Chrysostom in his mass, Litturg. Groec. sub finem; and so doth the Catholic Church say at this day in every mass. (See St. Augustine, Ep. cxviii. ad Janu.) (Bristow) --- See Luke 7:6.
Matthew 8:9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth: and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doth it.

Matthew 8:10 And Jesus hearing this, marvelled, and said to them that followed him: Amen, I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.

Christ here compares the faith of the centurion with that of the people in general, and not with that of his blessed mother and the apostles, whose faith was beyond a doubt much greater. (Menochius) --- The Greek says, "neither in Israel." --- Jesus hearing this, marvelled. That is, by his outward carriage, says St. Augustine seemed to admire: but knowing all things, he could not properly admire any thing. --- I have not found so great faith in Israel. This need not be understood of every one, but of those whom he had cured. (Witham)
Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the *East, and the West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven:

Malachias 1:11.
In consequence of the faith of this Gentile, Jesus Christ takes occasion to declare that many Gentiles would be called to sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven, which is frequently represented under the figure of a feast. See Matthew 22:2; Luke 13:29.; Luke 14:16; Apocalypse 19:9. In ancient times, the guests were reclined on beds when they took their meals. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Whilst the Jews, who glory in descending from the patriarchs, and who, on this title, are children and heirs of the celestial kingdom which had been promised them, shall be excluded for having rendered themselves unworthy by their unbelief. (Bible de Vence) --- Shall be cast out into exterior darkness. This is spoken so as to imply a comparison to a supper in a great room, with a number of lights, when they who are turned out in the night, stand without, starving, weeping, and gnashing their teeth. (Witham)
Matthew 8:13 And Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And the servant was healed at the same hour.

Matthew 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying, and sick of a fever:

Into Peter's house. That is, which had been Peter's house; for now he had quitted house, and all things to follow Christ. (Witham) --- According to St. Mark 1:29, and St. Luke 4:38, the cure of Peter's mother-in-law seems to have been performed previously to the sermon on the mount, of which St. Luke makes mention (Luke 6.) We may suppose that St. Matthew mentions it in this order, on occasion of the miracle performed in the same place on the centurion's servant. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 8:15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she arose and ministered to them.

Matthew 8:16 *And when evening was come, they brought to him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word: and all that were sick he healed:

Mark 1:32.
Matthew 8:17 That it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the prophet *Isaias, saying: He took our infirmities, and bore our diseases.

Isaias 53:4.; 1 Peter 2:24.
In the Greek of the seventy-two interpreters, for infirmities we have amartias, sins; but the evangelist refers this to our bodily infirmities, because, as St. Chrysostom observes, diseases are the punishment of sins, and frequently arrive from the diseases of the soul. (Menochius) --- The text of Isaias here quoted, regards the Messias literally. (Bible de Vence) --- He took our infirmities. The words signify both the distempers of the body and the infirmities of the soul, for Christ cured both. (Witham)
Matthew 8:18 And Jesus seeing great multitudes about him, gave orders to pass over the water.

Matthew 8:19 And a certain scribe came and said to him: Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou shalt go.

Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith to him: *The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests: but the son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Luke 9:58.
By the fox is meant craft and cunning, by the birds pride. Thus then our blessed Lord answered him; pride and deceit dwell in your heart, but you have left no place for the Son of Man to rest his head, who can rest only in the meek and humble. (St. Augustine) --- Jesus Christ rejected this scribe, because he wished to follow Jesus rather through the desire of glory and wealth, hoping to be great in his kingdom, than with the design of perfecting himself in virtue; so that our Saviour answers him: You cannot expect riches from me; who am poorer than the beasts of the field, or birds of the air; they have a place of rest, whereas I have none. (Menochius)
Matthew 8:21 And another of his disciples said to him: Lord, permit me first to go, and bury my father.

Matthew 8:22 But Jesus said to him: Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.

Let the dead bury their dead. The first words, let the dead, cannot mean those that were dead by a corporal death; and therefore must needs be understood of those who were spiritually dead in sin. (Witham) --- Two similar answers are mentioned in Luke 9:57, 60. Jesus Christ may have given the same answers on two different occasions. (Bible de Vence) --- God will not suffer us to go and bury a deceased parent, when he calls us to other employments. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 8:23 *And when he entered into the boat, his disciples followed him.

Mark 4:36.; Luke 8:22.
This bark is the Catholic Church. The sea denotes the world, the winds and tempests shew the attempts of the wicked spirits to overturn the Church. The Lord seems to sleep, when he permits his Church to suffer persecution and other trials, which he permits, that he may prove her faith, and reward her virtue and merits. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiii. in Mat. viii.) The apostles had followed their divine Master. They were with him, and executing his orders, and it is under these circumstances they are overtaken with a storm. If their obedience to Jesus Christ, if his presence did not free them from danger, to what frightful storms do those persons expose themselves, who undertake the voyage of the present life without him? What can they expect but to be tossed to and fro for a time, and at last miserably to founder? Faithful souls ought, from the example here offered them, to rise superior to every storm and tempest, by invoking the all-powerful and ever ready assistance of heaven, and by always calling in God to their help before they undertake any thing of moment. (Haydock)
Matthew 8:24 And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep.

Matthew 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish.

Should God appear to sleep, with the apostles, we should approach nearer to him, and awaken him with our repeated prayers, saying: "Lord, save us, or we perish." (Haydock) --- Had our Saviour been awake, the disciples would have been less afraid, or less sensible of the want of his assistance: he therefore slept, that they might be better prepared for the miracle he was about to work. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxviii.)
Matthew 8:26 And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up, he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

Why are you fearful, having me with you? Do you suppose that sleep can take from me the knowledge of your danger, or the power of relieving you? (Haydock) --- He commanded the winds. Christ shewed himself Lord and Master of the sea and winds. His words in St. Mark 4:39, demonstrate his authority: Rising up he rebuked the wind, and said to the sea: Peace, be still. (Witham) --- As before our Lord restored Peter's mother-in-law on the spot, not only to health, but to her former strength; so here he shews himself supreme Lord of all things, not only by commanding the winds to cease, but, moreover, by commanding a perfect calm to succeed. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxix.) How many times has he preserved his Catholic Church, when (to all human appearance, and abstracting from his infallible promises) she has been in the most imminent danger of perishing? How many times by a miracle, or interposition of his omnipotence, less sensible indeed, but not less real, has he rescued our souls, on the point of being swallowed up in the infernal abyss? (Haydock) --- He commands the mute elements to be subservient to his wish. He commands the sea, and it obeys him; he speaks to the winds and tempests, and they are hushed; he commands every creature, and they obey. Man, and man only, man honoured in a special manner by being made after the image and likeness of his Creator, to whom speech and reason are given, dares to disobey and despise his Creator. (St. Augustine, hom. in Mat.) From this allegory of the ship and the storm, we may take occasion to speak of the various senses in which the words of Scripture may be occasionally taken. ... The sense of Scripture is twofold, literal and spiritual. The literal is that which the words immediately signify. The spiritual or mystic sense is that which things expressed by words mean, as in Genesis xxii, what is literally said of the immolation of Isaac, is spiritually understood of Christ; and in Colossians 2:12, by the baptism of Christ, St. Paul means his burial. The spiritual sense in its various acceptations, is briefly and accurately given in the following distich: Littera gesta docet, quid credas allegoria, Moralis quid agas, quo tendas anagogia. [The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith; The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.]
Matthew 8:27 But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds, and the sea obey him?

Matthew 8:28 *And when he was come on the other side of the water, into the country of the Gerasens, there met him two that were possessed with devils, coming out of the sepulchres, exceeding fierce, so that no one could pass by that way.

Mark 5:1.; Luke 8:26.
Two that were possessed with devils. St. Mark (Mark 5.) and St. Luke (Luke 8.), in the same passage, mentions but one man, who is also said to be possessed with a legion of devils. Those evangelists seem to make mention only of one of them, because he might be much more fierce and famous than the other. (Witham) --- These sepulchres were caverns excavated in the rocks, which served them as places of retreat. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 8:29 And behold they cried out, saying: What have we to do with thee, Jesus, Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Before the time which God has marked to drive us from the world, and to bury us for ever in the prison of hell. (Bible de Vence) --- What have we to do with thee? Or what hast thou to do with us? what harm have we done thee? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? That is, before the time and day of judgment, after which the torments and punishments of the devils will be increased. (Witham)
Matthew 8:30 *And not far from them, there was a herd of many swine feeding.

Mark 5:11.; Luke 8:32.
And not far from them.{ Ver. 30. Erat non longè, but now in all Greek copies, erat longè, en de makran. Beza says the reading in the Latin is to be followed, repugnante fide omnium Graecorum Codicum, sed rectiùs.|} In all Greek copies at present we read, There was afar off. Beza himself here owns, that the Latin Vulgate is to be preferred before all Greek copies and manuscripts. (Witham) --- The Greco-Latin manuscript of Cambridge has not the word non in the Latin; but in the Latin of the ancient Vulgate it occurs. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 8:31 And the devils besought him, saying: If thou cast us out hence, send us into the herd of swine.

"Send us into the herd of swine." According to St. Luke, they begged of him two things; the first, that they might not be sent into hell, there to be tormented with more grievous torments, as they will be at the end of the world; the second, that they might be permitted to go into the herd of swine, that these being destroyed, the inhabitants of that country might be ill affected towards our Saviour, and refuse to receive him. The event seems to confirm this opinion. (Menochius)
Matthew 8:32 And he said to them: Go. But they going out went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Many reasons might be brought why our Saviour suffered the devils to enter into the swine: 1. To shew that the devils had no power even over swine without his permission. 2. That such as were freed from their power, might acknowledge the greatness of the favour done them, by seeing from how great a multitude they were liberated. 3. To punish those Jewish citizens, who fed upon swine's flesh contrary to their law. And, 4. To shew how willingly the devils dwell in the hearts of those who are addicted to the voluptuous and carnal life, aptly designated by the swine. (Menochius) --- St. Chrysostom says that our Saviour permitted the devils to enter the swine, not for their own sakes, but for our instruction. 1. That we might know how very desirous the enemy of our salvation is to bring upon us the greatest evils. 2. That the devil has not any power, even over swine, without the permission of God. And, 3. That these cruel fiends would, if the Almighty allowed them, inflict still more grievous torments on their unhappy slaves. (Hom. xxix.) Jesus Christ here confutes the Sadducean doctrine, which denies the existence of spirits, good or bad. (Haydock)
Matthew 8:33 And they that kept them, fled: and coming into the city, told every thing, and concerning them that had been possessed by the devils.

Matthew 8:34 And behold the whole city went out to meet Jesus, *and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart from their coasts.

Mark 5:17.; Luke 8:37.
That he would depart from their coasts. St. Jerome thinks these people did this out of a motive of humility, looking upon themselves unworthy of his presence: others judge that the loss of the swine made them apprehend lest Christ, being a Jew, might do them greater damages. (Witham) --- The fear lest his presence might cause them some fresh loss, seems to have overbalanced, in their estimation, the advantages they might have expected from his visit. (Bible de Vence) --- How often has our good Lord wished to visit us, to honour us with his sacred presence, to enrich us with his divine inspirations; and how often, like these Gerasens, have we desired him to depart from our territories? Some worldly interest, sensual enjoyment, or supine listlessness on our part, has occasioned us to neglect the proffered advantages. Oh! can there be more marked ingratitude than this! Oh! how shall we one day grieve for having lost, by our culpable indifference, immense spiritual treasures, which have been made over to others far more deserving than ourselves! Yes, the day will certainly arrive, when we shall value a single additional degree of the divine favor and grace, infinitely more than all the united honours, riches, and pleasures of this world. (Haydock)
Matthew 9:0 Christ heals one sick of the palsy; calls Matthew; cures the issue of blood; raises to life the daughter of Jairus; gives sight to two blind, and heals a dumb man possessed by the devil. Harvest, and workmen.

Matthew 9:1 And entering into a boat, *he passed over the water, and came into his own city.

about the year A.D. 31. The cure of the paralytic (ver. 2), is generally supposed to have been anterior in point of time, to the cure of two possessed persons, Matthew 8. Carrieres supposes the contrary. (Bible de Vence) --- Into his own city. Not of Bethlehem, where he was born, nor of Nazareth, where he was brought up, but of Capharnaum, says St. Chrysostom, where he is said to have dwelt since he began to preach. See Matthew 4:13. (Witham) --- St. Jerome understands this city to be Nazareth, which was Christ's own, because he was conceived there. St. Augustine, St. Chrysostom, Euthymius, Theophylactus, think it was Capharnaum, because this miracle was performed at the last mentioned place, according to St. Mark's relation; and St. Matthew calls it Christ's own city, because after leaving Nazareth, he chose Capharnaum for the chief place of his abode. If St. Jerome's interpretation be admitted, we must suppose that St. Matthew having told us that Christ came to his own city, Nazareth, and omitting to relate what happened there, passed immediately to the history of the cure of the paralytic, which took place at Capharnaum. Such omissions and change of place without the reader's being informed of the transition, are not unfrequent in the evangelists. We must likewise observe that they frequently invert the order of facts, as to the time of their happening. (Jansenius) --- Christ may be said to have had three cities: Bethlehem, in which he was born; Nazareth, in which he was educated; and Capharnaum, in which he most frequently resided, during his sacred ministry. It is most probable, and most generally understood, that in this place of the Scripture Capharnaum is meant; though several understand it of Nazareth, and some few with Sedulius, lib. 3. carm. Intravit natale solum, quo corpore nasci Se voluit, patriamque sibi pater ipse dicavit.
Matthew 9:2 *And behold they brought to him a man sick of the palsy lying on a bed. And Jesus seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Son, be of good heart, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Mark 2:3, and 22.; Luke 5:18.
Thy sins are forgiven thee. We do not find that the sick man asked this; but it was the much greater benefit, and which every one ought to prefer before the health of the body. (Witham) --- He says this, because he wished to declare the cause of the disease, and to remove it, before he removed the disease itself. He might also desire to shew the paralytic, what he ought to have prayed for in the first place. (Menochius) --- The sick man begs for corporal health, but Christ first restores to him the health of his soul, for two reasons: 1st. That be might insinuate to the beholders, that the principal intent of his coming into the world was to cure the evils of the soul, and to let them know that the spiritual cure ought most to be desired and petitioned for. Corporal infirmities, as we learn in many places of the sacred text, are only the consequences of the sins of the patient. In St. John (John 5:14.), Christ bids the man whom he had healed, to sin no more, lest something worse should befall him; and St. Paul says, that many of the Corinthians were afflicted with various diseases, and with death, on account of their unworthily receiving the body of the Lord. A second reason why Christ forgave the sick man his sins, was, that he might take occasion from the murmurs of the Pharisees, to speak more plainly of his power and divinity, which he proved not only by restoring the man instantaneously to health, but by another miracle equally great and conclusive, which consisted in seeing the thoughts they had never expressed; for the evangelist observes, that they murmured in their hearts. He afterwards cures the sick man to shew, says he, that the Son of man has power to forgive sins. (Jansenius) --- We may here observe likewise, that when Christ afterwards gave his apostles their mission, and empowered them to preach to the whole world, he communicates this same power to them, and seems to refer to the miracles which he had wrought, to prove that he himself had the power which he gave to them. All power, says he, is given to me in heaven and on earth. As the Father sent me, so I send you. ... Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven. (Haydock) --- Seeing their faith. It does not follow from hence, as Calvin would have it, that faith alone will save us. For St. Chrysostom says, "Faith indeed is a great and salutary thing, and without it there is no gaining salvation." But this will not of itself suffice without good works; for St. Paul admonishes us, who have made ourselves deserving a participation of the mysteries of Christ, thus, (Hebrew 4.) "Let us hasten, therefore, to enter into that rest." He tells us to hasten, that is, faith alone will not suffice, but we must also strive all our life by good works to render ourselves worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven: for if those Israelites, who murmured and would not bear the calamities of the desert, were not, on that account, permitted to enter the land of promise, how can we think ourselves worthy of the kingdom of heaven, (figured by the land of promise) if we will not in this world undergo the labours of good works. (St. Chrysostom) --- From hence St. Ambrose concludes, that our Saviour is moved to grant our petitions through the invocation of saints, as he even forgave this man his sins through the faith of those that brought him. Of how much greater efficacy then will not the prayers of the saints be? (Barardius.) --- Christ does not always require faith in the sick who desire to be cured, but seems to have dispensed with it on many occasions; for example, in the cases of those he cured possessed by the devil. (St. Chrysostom) --- Son, etc. O the wonderful humility of the God-man! Jesus looks with complacence on this miserable wretch, whom the Jewish priests disdain to look upon, and in the midst of all his miseries calls him his son. (St. Aquinas) --- They had read what Isaias had said: I am, I am he who destroyeth thy sins: ego sum, ego sum ipse, qui deleo iniquitates tuas, 43:25.: but they had not read, or, at least they had not understood what the same prophet says, 53:6. The Lord hath heaped upon him the iniquity of us all: posuit Dominus in eo iniquitatem omnium nostrum. Nor had they remembered the testimony of the Baptist: behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sins of the world. (John 1:29.) (Maldonatus)
Matthew 9:3 And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: This man blasphemeth.

This man blasphemeth, by pretending to have a power to forgive sins, which none but God can do; and they looked upon Jesus as a man only. It is true, and what all Catholics teach, that God alone hath power of himself to forgive sins. But Christ, who was both God and man, could, and did communicate this power of forgiving sins in his name, to bishops and priests, as his ministers and instruments in the sacraments of baptism and penance. We have Christ's clear words for it, (John 20:23.) whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, etc. (Witham) --- And behold some of the scribes. The Jewish rulers wished to defame the character of our divine Redeemer, but by this means they rendered the miracle much more famous, and Christ turned their wicked designs to their own confusion. (St. Chrysostom) --- For Christ says, Why do you think evil in your hearts? in which words Jesus plainly evinces to them the reality of his divinity; for who knows the secrets of man's heart, but God alone? (St. Jerome)
Matthew 9:4 And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts?

Jesus seeing their thoughts. By shewing that he knew their hidden thoughts, as well as by healing the man, to confirm his words and doctrine, he gave them a proof of his divine power. (Witham) --- Not because they betrayed them by any exterior sign, but, as St. Mark says, knowing in his spirit that they so thought within themselves, because he was God, in whose hands are our hearts, (Proverbs 15.; Proverbs 21.) and to whose eyes all things are naked and open. (Tostatus.) --- Had not our Saviour been truly God, and equal to his Father, he would have rebuked the scribes, for attributing that to God only which he exercised. But so far from denying their assertion, he immediately admits the truth of it, and answers them by another no less wonderful act of his almighty power. He tells them publicly the evil they had thought in their hearts, whilst the Scriptures repeatedly affirm that God alone can know the secrets of hearts. Thou alone knowest the hearts of the children of men, 3 Kings 8.; 2 Paralipomenon 6:30. And man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart. And 1 Kings 16:7, The searcher of reins and hearts is God. (Psalm 7:10.) The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable. Who can know it? I am the Lord that search the heart and prove the reins. (Jeremias 17:9-10.); and innumerable other texts of Scripture might be brought to prove that God only can know the minds and thoughts of men. Our Saviour, therefore, shews himself to be equal to his Father, by thus revealing to all, the malicious murmurs of his enemies, who for fear of the multitude, dared not to publish themselves what their wicked hearts devised. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxx.) --- Said: Why do you think, etc. Here St. Cyril exclaims, Oh! thou Pharisee, who sayest, who is able to forgive sins, except God alone! I will answer thee; who is able to search into the secrets of the heart but God alone, who calls himself, by his prophet, the searcher of the hearts and the reins of men! (St. Cyril) --- If thou art incredulous about my power of remitting sin, behold I exercise another, whilst I lay open thy interior. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 9:5 Which is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

The power of working miracles, and of forgiving sins, is proper to God, but can be communicated by God to man equally in the sacraments of baptism and penance. (Haydock) --- Which is easier. It is more difficult to remit sins than restore the health of the body. St. Augustine remarks, (tract. lxxii in Joannem) it is more difficult to justify a man than to create the heavens and the earth; but Christ speaks thus, because the Pharisees might otherwise have said, that as he could not confer visible health upon the body, he had recourse to the invisible remission of sins, and that it was easy to grant in words, what no one could discern whether it was really granted or not. In this sense, therefore, the word, "Be thou healed," is more difficult than simply to say, "Thy sins are forgiven thee;" which any one could say, though he might not effect what his word implied. (Menochius) --- Doubtless the healing of the body was easier, for as much as the soul is more excellent than the body, so much is the healing of the soul more difficult and more excellent than that of the body. But since the one is visible, the other invisible, therefore he performs the less, but more evident miracle, in testimony of the performance of the other more excellent, but less evident exertion of his power. Thus he truly verifies what the Baptist said of him, "This is he that taketh away the sins of the world." (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxx.)
Matthew 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, then saith he to the man sick of the palsy, Arise, take thy bed, and go into thy house.

But that you may know. This may be understood differently, either as spoken by Christ to the Jews present, or by the evangelist to the people to whom he wrote his gospel. (St. Thomas Aquinas) --- Thus Christ proves that he had the power of remitting sins; as a falsity cannot be confirmed by a miracle, since in this case God would bear testimony to a falsity. (Menochius) --- Take thy bed, etc. This doubtless was commanded him, to convince the whole world that this was no phantom, and to add still greater credibility to the fact, and he rose, etc. --- He who was pleased to become man, is truly the Son of God; and, in this quality, he possesses all power. This he proves by the double exercise of his power over both soul and body. (Haydock) --- Surge, tolle, and vade, Christ added these words for the greater evidence of the cure. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 9:7 And he arose, and went into his house.

Matthew 9:8 And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God, who had given such power to men.

Feared, and glorified God. Here it may be observed, that the people, before they praised, feared God, for the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. And St. Basil says, that fear, as a good guide, necessarily leads us to piety; and charity takes us, after having been exercised a little in fear, makes us perfect men. (St. Basil)
Matthew 9:9 *And when Jesus passed on from thence, he saw a man sitting in the custom-house, named Matthew: and he saith to him: Follow me. And he rose up, and followed him.

Mark 2:14.; Luke 5:27.
Named Matthew. 'Tis remarked by St. Jerome, that the other evangelist, out of respect to this apostle, did not call him Matthew, (the name he generally went by) but Levi; whereas he, in his own gospel, to shew the goodness of God who from a publican had made him an apostle, styles himself Matthew the publican. (St. Thomas Aquinas) --- (St. Augustine, de Concor. Evan.) It is most probable, says St. Augustine, that St. Matthew does not mention what had happened to him, before he began to follow Jesus; for it is supposed that this evangelist was called antecedent to the sermon on the mount; for St. Luke named the 12 that were chosen, and calls them apostles. St. Matthew mentions his vocation to the apostleship as one of the miracles that Jesus performed, for certainly it was a great miracle for a publican to become an apostle. --- Rose up, and followed him. When we hear the voice of God calling us to virtue, we must not delay. The devil, says St. Basil, does not advise us to turn entirely from God, but only to put off our conversion to a future time. He steals away our present time, and gives us hopes of the future. But when that comes, he steals that also in the same manner; and thus by giving us present pleasure, he robs us of our whole life. (St. Basil) --- Sitting in the custom-house. Jesus called St. Matthew with two words only, follow me; and presently he left all, and became his disciple; doubtless by a particular inspiration and motion of divine grace. (Witham)
Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass as he was sitting at table in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.

Matthew 9:11 And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples: Why doth your master eat with publicans, and sinners?

Matthew 9:12 But Jesus hearing it, said: They that are in health, need not a physician, but they that are ill.

They that are in health. The explication of which is, I converse with sinners, that I may heal their souls from incredulity. (Menochius)
Matthew 9:13 Go then and learn what this meaneth, *I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, **but sinners.

Osee 6:6.; Matthew 12:7. --- ** 1 Timothy 1:15.
I am not come. The just appear to be mentioned ironically, as it is said in Genesis, Behold Adam is become as one of us: and if I hunger, I will not tell thee. (Psalm xlix.) For St. Paul asserts, that none on earth were just: all have sinned, and need the glory of God. (Romans iii.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxi.) --- Christ came to call all men, both just and unjust, since he called Nathanael, who was a just man. But the meaning of these words is, I came not to call you, Scribes and Pharisees, who esteem yourselves just, and despise others, and who think you have no need of a physician; but I came to call those who acknowledge themselves sinners. (Theophylactus) --- Or the meaning may be, "I came not to call the just to penance, of which they have no need;" thus in St. Luke, (Luke 5.) I came not to call the just, but sinners to repentance. Or again, the meaning may be, I came not to call the just, because there are none just of themselves, and who stand not in need of my coming. St. Paul says, All have sinned, as above. (Menochius) --- Mercy, and not sacrifice. Christ here prefers mercy to sacrifice; for, as St. Ambrose says, there is no virtue so becoming a Christian as mercy, but chiefly mercy to the poor. For if we give money to the poor, we at the same time give him life: if we clothe the naked, we adorn our souls with the robe of justice: if we receive the poor harbourless under our roof, we shall at the same time make friends with the saints in heaven, and shall afterwards be received by them into their eternal habitations. (St. Ambrose) --- I will have mercy and not sacrifice: these words occur in the prophet Osee (Osee 6.) The Pharisees thought they were making a great sacrifice, and acceptable to God, by breaking off all commerce with sinners; but God prefers the mercy of the charitable physician, who frequents the company of sinners; but merely to cure them. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, *Why do we, and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples do not fast?

Mark 2:18.; Luke 5:33.
Then came. When the Pharisees in the prior question had been discomfited. By St. Mark, (Mark 2:18.) we learn that the Pharisees joined with the disciples of the Baptist, and thus is reconciled what we read in St. Luke 5:33, who only mentions the Pharisees. (Bible de Vence) --- Why do we, and the Pharisees fast. It is not without reason that the disciples of St. John should ask this question, fasting being always esteemed a great virtue, witness Moses and Elias; the fasts which Samuel made the people observe in Masphat, the tears, prayers, and fasting of Ezechias, of Judith, of Achab, of the Ninivites, of Anna, the wife of Eleana, of Daniel, of David, after he had fallen into the sin of adultery. Aaron, and the other priests, also fasted before they entered into the temple. Witness also the fasts of Anna, the prophetess, of St. John the Baptist, of Christ himself, of Cornelius the centurion, etc. etc. etc. (St. Jerome) --- This haughty interrogation of St. John's disciples was highly blameable, not only for uniting with the Pharisees, whom they knew their master so much condemned, but also for calumniating him, who, they knew was foretold by John's own testimony. (St. Jerome) --- St. Augustine is likewise of opinion, that John's disciples were not the only persons that said this, since St. Mark rather indicates that it was spoken by others. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said to them: Can the children of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they shall fast.

Can the children of the bridegroom.{ Ver. 15. Filii sponsi, uioi tou numphonos, so filius pacis, filius mortis, etc.|} This, by a Hebraism, signifies the friends or companions of the bridegroom, as a lover of peace, is called a child of peace: he that deserves death, the son of death, etc. (Witham) --- the disciples had not yet ascended to the higher degrees of perfection, they had not yet been renewed in spirit; therefore they required to be treated with lenity; for had the higher and more sublime mysteries been delivered to them without previous preparation, they would never, not even in the natural course of things, have been able to comprehend them. I have many things to say to you, said our Saviour, but you cannot bear them now. (St. John xvi.) Thus did he condescend to their weakness. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxi.)
Matthew 9:16 And no one putteth a piece of raw cloth to an old garment: for it taketh away what was whole from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

A piece of raw cloth.{ Ver. 16. Panni rudis, agnaphou.|} By the Greek is signified new-woven cloth, that has not yet passed the hands of the fuller. (Witham) --- And no one putteth, etc. Christ, by these similitudes, justifies the manner of life which he taught his disciples, which at first was adapted to their understandings; lest, if in the beginning, he had required them to fast contrary to what they had been accustomed, they might have been frightened at the austerity of his institute, and deserted him. He compares, therefore, his disciples to an old garment, and to old bottles; and an austere mode of life to new clothes and new wine. And he argues, that if we do not put new cloth to an old garment, because it tears the garment the more, nor put new wine into old bottles, because by its fermentation it would easily break them, so in like manner his disciples, who had been accustomed to a less rigid mode of life, were not at once to be initiated into an austere discipline, lest they should sink under the difficulty, and relinquish the pursuit of a more perfect life. (Menochius)
Matthew 9:17 Neither do they put new wine into old bottles: otherwise the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles are lost. But new wine they put into new bottles: and both are preserved.

New wine into old bottles.{ Ver. 17. In uteres, eis askous, uteres ex corio.|} These vessels were made of skins, or were leather bottles, in which wine used to be carried and kept. (Witham) --- They were made of goat-skins prepared and sewed together, as is common in Spain and other southern countries to this day. (Haydock) --- They were to wait till they were renewed by the Holy Ghost, before they could enter with advantage on the hard ways of penance. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 9:18 *While he was speaking these things to them, behold a certain ruler came up, and adored him, saying: Lord, my daughter is just now dead: but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

Mark 5:22.; Luke 8:41.
A certain ruler.{ Ver. 18. Modo defuncta est. arti eteleutesen. Mark 5:23. In extremis est, eschatos echei. (Luke 8:42.) moriebatur, apethnesken.|} Literally, a prince of a synagogue. He is called Jairus. (Mark 5. Luke 8.) --- My daughter is just now dead: or, as the other evangelists express it, is at the point of death; and her father having left her dying, he might think and say she was already dead. (Witham) --- In effect, news was shortly after brought him that she was dead. It is thus that some commentators explain the apparent difference found in Mark 5:22, and Luke 8:41. --- But come, lay thy hand, etc. Let us admire and imitate the humility and kindness of our Redeemer; no sooner had he heard the request of the ruler, but rising up, he followed him. Though, says St. Chrysostom, he saw his earthly disposition, requesting him to come and lay his hand upon her.
Matthew 9:19 And Jesus rising up, followed him, with his disciples.

Matthew 9:20 *And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.

Mark 5:25.; Luke 8:43.
And behold a woman. This woman, according to Eusebius, came from Caesarea Philippi, who, in honour of her miraculous cure, afterwards erected a brazen monument, descriptive of this event, before the door of her house in Caesarea Philippi. (Eusebius)
Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself: If I shall only touch his garment, I shall be healed.

Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turning about, and seeing her, said: Take courage, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Epistrapseis kai idon, turning about and seeing, as if he were ignorant, and wished to see who it was that had touched him, as the other evangelists relate. In St. Mark 5:29, we see she was cured on touching the garment; and Jesus only confirms the cure by what he says in verse 34. --- But Jesus turning about. Our divine Saviour, fearing lest he might alarm the woman by his words, says immediately to her, Take courage; and at the same time calls her his daughter, because her faith had rendered her such. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 9:23 And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels and the multitude in an uproar, he said:

And when Jesus ... saw the minstrels. It was a custom among the Jews at funerals to hire persons to make some doleful music, and great lamentations. (Witham) --- Ovid also mentions the lugubrious music attendant on funerals. --- Cantabat moestis tibia funeribus. (4. Fast.)
Matthew 9:24 Give place: for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed scornfully at him.

The girl is not dead. Christ, by saying so, insinuated that she was not dead in such a manner as they imagined; that is, so as to remain dead, but presently to return to life, as if she had been only asleep. (Witham) --- But sleepeth. In the xi. chapter of St. John, Christ again calls death a sleep. Our friend Lazarus sleepeth. Thus he teaches us to be no longer in dread of death, since it was reduced to the condition of a sleep. If you believe this, why do you vainly weep? why do you afflict yourself? this the Gentiles do, who have not faith. Your child is asleep, not dead, is gone to a place of rest, not to destruction. Therefore the royal prophet says, "Turn, O my soul, into thy rest, for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee." (Psalm cxiv.) If then it is a kindness, why should you weep? what else could you do at the death of an adversary, an enemy, the object of your greatest aversion? (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxii.) --- Christ here asserts that the girl is only asleep, to shew that it was as easy for him to raise her from death as from sleep. (Theophylactus)
Matthew 9:25 And when the crowd was turned out, he went in, and took her by the hand: and the girl arose.

He took her by the hand, and as in his hands is the key both of life and death, (Apocalypse 1:18,) so he commanded the soul to return and the girl to arise. (Haydock) --- And when the crowd, etc. That is, if after a sinful and worldly life we wish to rise again, and be cleansed from the miserable condition of moral sin, denoted by the girl who was dead, we must cast out of our minds the great multitude of worldly concerns; for whilst these have possession, the mind is unable to recollect itself and apply seriously to consideration. (St. Gregory)
Matthew 9:26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.

Matthew 9:27 And as Jesus passed from thence, there followed him two blind men, crying out, and saying: Son of David, have mercy on us.

Son of David, have mercy on us. The blind men style our Saviour Son of David, to shew the great respect they had for him. Thus the prophets also did, when they addressed those kings to whom they wished to testify particular respect and esteem. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.)
Matthew 9:28 And when he was come to the house, the blind men came to him. And Jesus saith to them: Do you believe that I can do this unto you? They say to him: Yea, Lord.

Matthew 9:29 Then he touched their eyes, saying: According to your faith be it done unto you.

Matthew 9:30 And their eyes were opened: and Jesus strictly charged them, saying: See that no man know it.

And Jesus strictly charged them. Although our Saviour strictly charged them to keep the miracle silent, they nevertheless published it throughout all that country; not being able to contain themselves, they became the evangelists and publishers of what they were commanded to conceal. Thus we are admonished not only to keep silent ourselves whatever is to our own commendation, but likewise to endeavour to hinder others from publishing it; to act otherwise would be to render ourselves odious to men, and abominable in the sight of God. But if we are silent, we shall obtain greater glory in the sight both of God and men. On the other hand, whatever redounds to the glory of the Almighty, we must ourselves publish, and exhort others to make it known to the whole world. Therefore it is said, Go and relate the glory of God. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.)
Matthew 9:31 But they going out, spread his fame abroad in all that country.

Spread his fame abroad. Unable to confine their gratitude within the narrow limits of humility prescribed them by Jesus Christ. (Haydock)
Matthew 9:32 And when they were gone out, *behold they brought to him a dumb man, possessed with a devil.

Matthew 12:22.; Luke 11:14.
A dumb man. The Greek rather signifies a deaf man: but these defects generally go together, because he that is deaf cannot learn to speak. (Witham)
Matthew 9:33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb man spoke, and the multitude wondered, saying: The like was never seen in Israel.

Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said: He casteth out devils by the prince of the devils.

By the prince of the devils. What more foolish ever entered the mind of man. Is it possible, as he afterwards says, that devils should be expelled by devils? They assist and strengthen, not weaken and destroy one another. Moreover, he did not only cast out devils, but he cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, appeased the storm, forgave sins by his own power, preached the eternal felicity of heaven, and brought back man to God: all which the devil never could, never would bestow upon mankind. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.)
Matthew 9:35 *And Jesus went about all the cities, and towns, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease, and every infirmity.

Mark 6:6.
Matthew 9:36 And seeing the multitudes, he had compassion on them: because they were distressed, and lying as sheep having no shepherd.

He had compassion on them. The bowels of his compassion yearned to see multitudes cast down and oppressed, like sheep that are without a shepherd. The Pharisees indeed were their shepherds; but they acted the part of ravenous wolves, not only neglecting to lead the people to virtue, but even hindering, as much as they could, their advancement in good; for when the admiring multitude cried out, "Never did the like appear in Israel," they immediately decried it, saying, "By the prince of devils he casteth out devils." (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.)
Matthew 9:37 Then he saith to his disciples:* The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few.

Luke 10:2.
Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 10:0 Christ sends out his twelve apostles, with the power of miracles. The lessons he gives them.

Matthew 10:1 And, *having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities.

Mark 6:7.; Mark 6:13.; Luke 9:1.; Luke 9:6.
about the year A.D. 32. Before this time the 12 were called disciples, and not apostles. But now he selects these from the disciples, and makes them, as it were, masters and interpreters of the ways of God to man. He sent afterwards 72 other disciples, (Luke 10:1,) but these 12 only to the whole world. (Haydock) --- His twelve, etc. Christ chose 12 apostles, that they might correspond to the number of the Jewish patriarchs, by whom they may be said to have been prefigured; and that as the whole Jewish people were descended according to the flesh from the 12 patriarchs, so the whole Christian people might be descended according to the spirit from the 12 apostles. (Menochius) --- Others say he chose 12, neither more nor less, to correspond with the 12 prophets of the old law, with the 12 fountains in Elim; and the 12 stones selected from the river Jordan, and preserved in the ark of the testament. Others compare the 12 apostles to the 12 months of the year, and the four evangelists to the four seasons: thus Sedulius, lib. 1:carm. Quatuor hi proceres una te voce canentes, Tempora ceu totidem latum sparguntur in orbem. Sic et apostolici semper duodenus honoris Fulget apex numero menses imitatus, et horas, Omnibus ut rebus semper tibi militet annus.
Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, his brother,

First, Simon.{ Ver. 2. Primus Simon, protos Simon. See St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, etc.|} Simon was the first of the apostles, not in the time of his vocation, as his brother Andrew was called to the apostleship before him, but in dignity, in as much as he was constituted the vicar of Christ, and the head of the Church. (Menochius) ---Who is called Peter. When he first came to our Saviour, (John 1:42,) he said, Thou art Simon, son of Jonas, (or John) thou shalt be called Peter; in Chaldaic, Cephas; that is to say, a rock, designing to make him the first fundamental stone or head of his whole Church. See also Matthew 16:18. Beza, without any grounds, would have the word first to be an addition. But it is found in all Greek manuscripts as well as in the ancient fathers. (Witham)
Matthew 10:3 James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, Philip, and Bartholomew, Thomas, and Matthew, the publican, and James, the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus.

James, the son of Zebedee, called James the greater, put to death by Herod. (Acts 12:2.) He was brother to John the Evangelist. The other James was called the less, also James of Alpheus, and the brother of the Lord, bishop of Jerusalem, martyred there about the year 61. (Witham) --- Some take Bartholomew to be the same as Nathaniel. Bartholomew signifies son of Tholmew; and he might have been called Nathaniel, son of Thalmew. (Bible de Vence).
Matthew 10:4 Simon, the Chananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent; and commanded them, saying: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the cities of the Samaritans enter not:

Go not into the way of the Gentiles, or among the Gentiles. In this first mission, the apostles were ordered to preach to the Jews only, or to the children of the kingdom. (Matthew vii.[viii.?] 12.) See also Matthew 15:24.; Acts 13:46. (Witham) --- These twelve Jesus sent. In this mission of the apostles we may observe three things: first, whither Jesus sent them; secondly, what he ordered them to teach; and thirdly, what they were to do. As to the first, he tells them not to go in the way of the Gentiles, nor enter into the city of the Samaritans; but to go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. We must here take notice that this commandment, given by Christ to the apostles, of confining their preaching to the house of Israel, does not contradict one related in Matthew, (chap. 28.) Go teach all nations, etc. We observe that these two commandments were given at two very different times; the first indeed, (the subject of our present annotation) the apostles received before the resurrection of Christ; the other after. It was necessary first to warn the Jews of the arrival of the Messias amongst them; otherwise they might have excused themselves for having rejected him, by saying, "He had sent his apostles to preach, not to them but to the Gentiles and Samaritans." (St. Jerome) --- St. Chrysostom assigns another reason why the apostles were sent first to preach in Judea, viz. that having withstood the opposition of one nation, they might be more prepared to hold out against the attacks, which they would no doubt have afterwards to sustain, in their endeavours to convert the whole world. (St. Chrysostom) --- He forbids them to preach to the Gentiles, because it was proper that the word of God should first be announced to the Jews, children of the kingdom. See (Acts 13:46.) (Menochius)
Matthew 10:6 But go rather *to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Acts 13:46.
Matthew 10:7 And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

And going, etc. What the apostles were to preach, is the second thing to be taken notice of in their mission. We here learn what it is, viz. that The kingdom of heaven is at hand. We here behold the great dignity to which the apostles were raised, when sent to preach. For, says St. Chrysostom, they are not sent to announce sensible things, like Moses and the prophets, but something wholly new, and before unheard of. They are not like the prophets, to confine themselves to the preaching of temporal things, their doctrine is wholly heavenly; they are sent to announce the good things of eternity. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: gratis you have received, gratis give.

Heal the sick, etc. This verse contains the third observation respecting the mission of the apostles: Christ not only gave them power to preach, but also to work miracles, in order, says St. Gregory, that works might give force and efficacy to their words, that as their doctrine was new, so their works might be new, and such as were before unheard of. St. Jerome also says, men would never have given any credit to the apostles, unlearned and illiterate as they were, had they not been able to work miracles in proof of the great promises they made to them of heaven. It was necessary that the greatness of their work should confirm the greatness of their promises. (St. Jerome) --- Gratis you have received. Here our Saviour admonishes his apostles not to work for the sake of lucre; but having themselves received gratuitously the light of faith, they should in the same manner communicate it to others. (St. Jerome) --- St. Aquinas also observes on this passage, that our Saviour probably wished to repress the avarice of Judas, who as he kept the common purse, might be tempted to increase their stock, by receiving pecuniary rewards for their labours. (St. Thomas Aquinas) --- St. Chrysostom says, that the apostles were warned by this admonition of our Saviour against two vices, to which they might be tempted on account of the great favours and graces they had received from heaven, viz. pride and avarice: 1st. Against pride, gratis you have received; that is whatever you have received is the gift of God, without any merit of yours: 2ndly. Against avarice, gratis give; that is, since every thing you have received has been given you gratuitously; so if you make use of the same gifts for the good of others, act also gratuitously, without expecting any temporal reward from them. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.)
Matthew 10:9 *Do not possess gold, nor silver, nor money in your purses:

Mark 6:8.; Luke 9:3.; Luke 10:4.
Matthew 10:10 Nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff; for the workman is worthy of his meat.

Nor two coats, nor shoes;{ Ver. 10. Neque virgam, mede rabdon, and in divers manuscripts both here and in St. Luke, 9:3. mete rabdous, neque Virgas. But in St. Mark 6:8., nisi Virgam tantum ei me rabdon monon, in all manuscripts.|} that is provide not yourselves with another coat for a reserve, but go like poor people, who have but just what is necessary. They were not to wear shoes, but they were allowed sandals, or soles with tops tied to their feet. (Mark 6:9.) --- Nor a staff. So Luke, (Luke 9:3.): yet St. Mark says, but a staff only. To reconcile these expressions, some distinguish betwixt a staff necessary to walk with (which even the poorest people had) and another staff for their defence, which at least they were not to seek for. And the meaning of these admonitions is that they were to go on their mission, not regarding whether they had a staff or not, unless it were necessary for them to walk with. (Witham) --- In many Greek manuscripts we read staffs in the plural, so that Jesus Christ orders them not to take any other than the one in their hand.
Matthew 10:11 And into whatsoever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy: and there abide till you go thence.

And there abide, etc. That is, stay in the same house as long as you remain in the same city; remove not from house to house, as it is said Luke 10:7, but be content with what you meet with. (Witham) --- St. Chrysostom gives three reasons for this precept: 1st. that they might not afflict those whom they left; 2ndly. that the apostles might avoid the accusation of inconstancy; 3rdly. of gluttony also. (Baradicet.) Into whatsoever, etc. Lest the apostles should be induced to think, by what our Saviour had said in the preceding verse, viz. the workman is worthy, etc. that every door would be open for their entrance, he here tells them to inquire at their entry into any city, who amongst the inhabitants were worthy. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.) --- And since they could not be expected to know who in every city were worthy, they were to be informed of this by the report and opinion of the people, that so their dignity and great character of apostles might not be defamed by the bad characters of any who might receive them. (St. Jerome, in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- But, if such was the rule given by Christ to the apostles, some one will perhaps ask, why did not Christ also follow the same maxim, since we read in Scripture, he entered into the house of Zacheus, the publican? St. Chrysostom answers, Zacheus was made worthy by his conversion to Christ. (St. Chrysostom, in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 10:12 And when you come into a house, salute it, saying: Peace be to this house.

Peace be to, etc. Heb. shalom, "peace be to you." The custom of salutation here recommended by our Saviour to his disciples, as St. Jerome informs us, was very prevalent among the Hebrews and Syrians. --- This was an ordinary salutation among the Jews, by which they wished happiness and prosperity. (Witham)
Matthew 10:13 And if that house be worthy, your peace shall come upon it: but if it be not worthy, your peace shall return to you.

And if that house, etc. that is if it be worthy to receive your peace. In St. Luke (Luke 10:6.) it is written, And if the son of peace be there: that is, a lover of peace, or one worthy of peace and prosperity. Thus a son of death means one deserving of death. (Menochius) --- Your peace shall come upon it. If men will not hearken to your instructions, you have this comfort and peace of mind, that you have discharged your duty. (Witham)
Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house, or city, shake off the dust from your feet.

Shake off the dust from your feet. It was common enough with the Jews, or at least with the preachers and prophets, to use some extraordinary outward actions, to make what they said more taken notice of by the people, as here the shaking off the dust from their feet was to denote to the obstinate unbelievers, that the very dust which their feet had contracted, in coming to preach to them the gospel, should hereafter rise in judgment against them. (Witham) By this, the apostles were to testify that they took nothing away with them belonging to these reprobate cities. They likewise shewed the long and painful journeys they had undertaken for their salvation. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiii.) --- He orders them to do this, to shew that they would have nothing in common with them, since they left them even their dust. Or it may be to shew, that the dust which they had gathered in their journey, would be a testimony against them in the day of judgment, because they had refused to receive them, as the Jews were accustomed to perform some remarkable action, for some great crime committed; thus, when they heard blasphemy, they tore their garments. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:15 Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Matthew 10:16 *Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and simple as doves.

Luke 10:3.
Wise as serpents, etc. It is a proverbial way of speaking; and an admonition to be circumspect and discreet, but harmless, innocent, sincere in all our actions and dealings. (Witham) --- Simple. That is, harmless, plain, sincere, and without guile. (Challoner) --- In the midst of wolves. Although Christ sent his apostles not only against wolves, but even into the very midst of wolves, still he commands them to behave with the meekness of sheep, and simplicity of doves. Thus he evinces the greatness of his power, in overcoming the wolves by the sheep, which were continually exposed to be devoured and torn in pieces by them, still never failing to change the fierce nature of the ravenous wolf into their own nature, in mildness and innocence. As long as we retain the nature of sheep, we easily overcome our adversaries; but no sooner are we changed into wolves, than we become the derision of our enemies: the supreme Pastor, who superintends the sheep, not the wolves, withdrawing from us the powerful protection of his grace, and leaving us to the misery of our own weakness. --- Our Saviour, in his infinite wisdom, knew full well the nature of things; passion was not to be overcome by passion, but by meekness only. Thus the apostles did, when the Jews having apprehended them, said, Have we not again and again commanded you not to teach in this name? (Acts 4.) Though they had the power of working the greatest miracles, yet they let nothing harsh, nothing severe, escape them, either in words or actions. With simplicity they made answer, Judge ye, if it be just to hear you rather than God; and at the same time shewed their prudence, saying, We cannot but speak what we have heard and seen. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxiv.) --- As sheep, etc. He compares them to sheep, not only because of their innocence, but also because they were sent unarmed and destitute of all human support. (Menochius) --- Wise, etc. That you may guard against the snares of your enemies. The prudence of the serpent is celebrated, because when it cannot escape, it strives at least to preserve its head free from hurt, whilst it leaves the rest of its body exposed. Thus Christians, who have Christ for their head, must preserve his faith and religion, though with the loss of every thing else. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:17 But beware of men. For they will deliver you up in councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues.

They will deliver you up in councils. Christ, in this and the following verse, warns his apostles of the many troubles and persecutions to which the preaching of the faith would expose them. St. Chrysostom assigns several reasons for him choosing to foretell them such sufferings: 1st. that he might shew that he had the gift of prophecy; 2nd. that they might not think such evils came upon them on account of his weakness; 3rd. that knowing beforehand the great trials to which they would be exposed, they might not be discouraged when they happened. (St. Chrysostom, in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 10:18 And you shall be brought before governors, and before kings, for my sake, for a testimony to them, and to the Gentiles.

For a testimony to them, etc. That is, that by suffering with fortitude and constancy, you may bear testimony of me, as men must know, that it is not any vain thing for which they see you are prepared to die. Or the sense may be, that this may be for you a testimony against them in the day of judgment, and may render them inexcusable, since they will be unable to say that they have not heard the gospel. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:19 But when they shall deliver you up, *be not thoughtful how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak.

Luke 12:11.
Be not thoughtful, with too great a concern of mind. (Witham) --- That the apostles might not be discouraged at the description, which our Saviour gave them in the two preceding verses, of the troubles which they would have to sustain in their ministry, he now endeavours to console them. When you are called before councils, says he, do not think how or what to speak, for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak. A truly comfortable thought for all who should afterwards engage in the ministry of Christ. Whatever troubles, whatever persecutions may fall to your lot, if even you should be cited before kings and councils to answer for your faith, do not be troubled. You engage in the conflict, I will fight: you speak, but I will tell you what you ought to say. (Haydock)
Matthew 10:20 For it is not you that speak, but the spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.

Matthew 10:21 The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death.

Matthew 10:22 And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.

He that shall persevere, etc. We are here told, that to be saved it is not sufficient that we were once virtuous, we must persevere to the end. We are also assured of the same truth in Ezechiel. If the just man shall turn away from his justice, and shall commit iniquity, he shall die in his sins, and his justice which he hath done shall not be remembered. (Ezekiel 3:20.) (Haydock) --- Some, says St. Chrysostom, are accustomed to be fervent at the beginning of their conversion, but afterwards grow remiss; of what advantage are seeds that flourish in the beginning, but afterwards wither and die? (St. Chrysostom in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 10:23 And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come.

Flee into another. Tertullian, with some others, held it never lawful to fly in the time of persecutions, against both the doctrine and example of our Saviour, Christ. --- You shall not finish, etc. St. Chrysostom thinks the sense of these words is, you shall not go through, and have finished your preaching in all the cities of Israel, till I, who follow you, shall come, and join you again. Others expound it, till the coming of me, your Messias, shall be published, and owned after my resurrection. (Witham)
Matthew 10:24 *The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Luke 6:40.; John 13:16.; John 15:20.
The disciple is not above, etc. If we therefore are disciples of Christ, we ought to embrace with joy, opprobrious and evil language, willingly receive and bear with patience all those things which our noble Lord and Master underwent for us. But if we will not bear these things with patience, how shall we dare to call ourselves his followers, his disciples, his servants, his children, or his domestics. (St. Augustine)
Matthew 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?

Beelzebub. In the Greek Beelzeboul. It was the name the Jews gave to the greatest of the devils, and also to the idol of Accaron. The word signifies the lord of flies; either because of the multitude of flies that were in the temple of that idol, or because the people used to sacrifice to this idol, when they were molested with flies. (Witham)
Matthew 10:26 Therefore fear them not: *for there is nothing hid, that shall not be revealed: nor secret that shall not be known.

Mark 4:22.; Luke 8:17.; Luke 12:2.
For there is nothing hid, etc. Even in this life, for truth, however much oppressed, is yet accustomed at length to rise superior to oppression. What Christ therefore says here is, although the wicked persecute you, yet your virtue shall at length be known. (Menochius) --- Patience for a while, and soon your charity, which is now unknown, shall be renowned throughout the whole earth. You shall be blessed by all as the greatest benefactors, and the cultivators of virtue, while the words of your adversaries shall be heard with the greatest contempt. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxv.)
Matthew 10:27 That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the house-tops.

That which I tell you, etc. We must not suppose that our Saviour was accustomed to deliver his instructions to his apostles in the secret of the night, or teach them in private by whispers. But here he uses a figure of speech, to convey to the minds of his apostles the insignificancy of Judea, where he was speaking in comparison of the whole world, which they were to instruct; and the low whisper of his voice, compared to the sound which they shall send forth to the ends of the earth. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxv.) --- Upon the house-tops. The tops of the houses in Palestine were flat, and the inhabitants were accustomed to assemble on them and discourse together in great numbers. To preach, therefore, on the top of a house, is the same as to preach where there is a great concourse of people. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them that kill the body, and cannot kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Fear not those that, etc. Men are afraid of a prison, yet they are not afraid of hell fire. They fear temporal punishments, but dread not the torments of eternal fire. (St. Augustine in Baradius) --- He who continually fears hell, will never fall into it; but he who is negligent, will undoubtedly fall. (St. Chrysostom in Baradius)
Matthew 10:29 *Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing: and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.

2 Kings 14:11.; Acts 27:35.
Are not two sparrows? The sense is, sparrows are of very small value, and yet divine Providence defends and feeds them; how much more, therefore, will not God take care of you, who so far excel them? No one, therefore, will be able to rob you of life without God's permission. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

The very hairs, etc. God numbers not the hairs of our heads after the manner of men: but by this our Saviour shews the infinite knowledge the Almighty has of all things, and the goodness of his Providence, watching over every, even the most minute part of the creation. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxv.)
Matthew 10:31 Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.

Fear not therefore, etc. Here Christ admonishes us, in our greatest undertakings, to put our trust in God. (St. Bernard)
Matthew 10:32 *Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father, who is in heaven.

Mark 8:38.; Luke 9:36.; Luke 12:8.; 2 Timothy 2:12.
Matthew 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father, who is in heaven.

Matthew 10:34 *Do not think that I am come to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.

Luke 12:51.
I came not to send, etc. That is, dissension and war, in order that the false peace of sinners may be destroyed, and that those who follow me, may differ in morals and affections from the followers of this world. The sword, therefore, is the gospel, which separates those parents who remain in infidelity, etc. etc. etc. (Menochius) --- It must be observed, that the gospel does not necessarily of itself produce dissensions amongst men, but that Christ foresaw, from the depravity of man's heart, that dissensions would follow the propagation of the gospel. The blame of this, however, does not attach to the gospel itself, since those who embrace it, after their conversion sought more than ever to keep peace with all men, even with their most bitter persecutors; whilst those who rejected the gospel, forgetting even the ties of kindred, persecuted even to death the followers of Christ. (Haydock) --- Send peace, etc. Indeed before Christ became man, there was no sword upon the earth; that is, the spirit had not to fight with so much violence against the flesh; but when he became man, he shewed us what things were of the flesh, and what of the spirit, and taught us to set these two at variance, by renouncing always those of the flesh, which constantly endeavour to get master over us, and follow the dictates of the spirit. (Origen)
Matthew 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

I am come to set a man at variance, etc. Not that this was the end or design of the coming of our Saviour; but that his coming, and his doctrine would have this effect, by reason of the obstinate resistance that many would make, and of their persecuting all such as should adhere to him. (Challoner) --- Not that Christ came for this end, to cause divisions between father and son, etc. On the contrary, the Scriptures teach us to love every one without exception, and especially our kindred; but this is to shew, and foretell what would happen in the same families, when some of them were Christians. We have divers instances of the truth of this in the Lives of the Saints. (Witham) --- No one can be connected with the earth and joined to heaven. Those who wish to enjoy the peace of heaven, must not be united to the lovers of this world by any connection. (Baradius)
Matthew 10:36 *And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household.

Micheas 7:6.
And a man's enemies, etc. He here alludes to our own passions of love, hatred, anger, envy, etc. which are our greatest enemies; and it is against these that we must make use of the sword our Saviour came to send amongst men. (Baradius)
Matthew 10:37 *He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.

Luke 14:26.
Is not worthy of me, etc. That is, is not worthy to be my disciple, and to enjoy my kingdom. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:38 *And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me.

Matthew 16:24.; Mark 8:34.
He that, etc. There are two kinds of crosses which our Saviour here commands us to take up: one corporal, and the other spiritual. By the former, he commands us to restrain the unruly appetites of the touch, taste, sight, etc. By the other, which is far more worthy our notice, he teaches us to govern the affections of the mind, and restrain all its irregular motions, by humility, tranquillity, modesty, peace, etc. Precious indeed in the sight of God, and glorious is that cross, which governs and brings under proper rule the lawless passions of the mind. (St. Augustine)
Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: *and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.

Luke 14:27.
He that findeth, etc. Behold the great losses that befall such as love their souls above measure; and on the contrary, the advantages that follow from hating them as they ought. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxvi.) --- That is, he that findeth in this life pleasures and comforts, and places his affections upon them, will certainly soon lose them. For Isaias says, (Isaias 40:6.) All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof as the flower of the field. The grass is withered, and the flower is fallen. So man's glory seems to flourish and appears great, but falls away and dies before it has come to its full bloom; for what duration is there in the flesh? and what stability in the pleasures of this world? To-day you may behold a young man, strong, beautiful, healthy, admired, and flourishing in virtue; and to-morrow you will find him quite changed, oppressed with either sin, labour, want, or sickness. (St. Ambrose) --- But if he continues moderately happy as to temporal concerns till death, and places his affections on them, he hath found life here, but shall lose it in the next world. But he that shall, for the sake of Christ, deprive himself of the pleasures of this life, shall receive the reward of a hundred fold in the next. (Haydock)
Matthew 10:40 *He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.

Luke 9:24.; Luke 17:33.; John 13:20.
Matthew 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet: and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man, shall receive the reward of a just man.

The reward of a prophet. That is, shall be partaker of the reward of a prophet, or shall receive the same reward as a prophet; as, according to the law of David, (1 Kings 30:24.) He who descended to the battle, and he who remained with the baggage, shared equally. So Saul, whilst he kept the clothes of those who stoned Stephen, stoned him by the hands of them all, as St. Augustine observes. (Menochius)
Matthew 10:42 *And whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones, a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple: Amen, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

Luke 10:16.; Mark 9:40.
Matthew 11:0 John sends his disciples to Christ, who upbraids the Jews with their incredulity, and calls to him such as are sensible of their burdens.

Matthew 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, that he passed from thence, to teach and preach in their cities.

Matthew 11:2 *Now when John had heard, in prison, the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to him:

Luke 7:18.
The order of time is not here observed by the evangelist. St. John's deputation to Jesus Christ took place some time before; and the text of Luke 7, gives it soon after the cure of the centurion's servant; hence all that follows, in Matthew 11., is placed by persons who have drawn up evangelical harmonies, immediately after the first 17 verses of Matthew 8. (Haydock)
Matthew 11:3 Art thou he that is to come, or do we look for another?

Art thou he that is to come?{ Ver. 3. Qui venturus es, o erchomenos, qui venit, who cometh.|} (Greek, who cometh?) that is the Messias. John the Baptist had already, on several occasions, declared that Jesus was the Messias. (John i). He could not then doubt of it himself, but sent his disciples to take away their doubt. (Witham) --- St. John the Baptist sent his disciples not to satisfy his own doubts, but for the sake of his disciples, who, blinded by the love they bore their Master, and by some emulation, would not acknowledge Christ to be the Messias. (St. Chrysostom in Baradius) --- This expression of St. John is much taken notice of, as conveying with it a very particular question. "Tell me, says St. John, now that I am departing out of this world, whether thou art coming to redeem the patriarchs and holy fathers; or wilt thou send another?" (St. Thomas Aquinas) --- And St. Chrysostom also explains it thus, Art thou he that art to come to limbo? but the Baptist omitting this last word, sufficiently indicated to our Saviour what was the purport of this question. St. Jerome and St. Gregory say, that by his death, he was going to preach to the holy fathers that Christ, the Messias, was come. John does not here propose this question as ignorant of the real case, but in the same manner as Christ asked where Lazarus was laid. So John sends his disciples to Jesus, that seeing the signs and miracles he performed, they might believe in him. As long, therefore, as John remained with his disciples, he constantly exhorted them to follow Jesus; but now that he is going to leave them, he is more earnest for their belief in him. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 11:4 And Jesus making answer, said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen.

Go, and relate, etc. St. Luke here relates that Christ wrought more miracles when the disciple of St. John came than usual, by which he proved in a much stronger manner than he could have done by words, that he was the Messias. For the prophets only wrought miracles by invoking the name of God, whereas he did it by his own authority. (St. Cyril) --- The reason why our Saviour did not return a plain answer in words to St. John's disciples is, because as the Jews expected the Messias to be a great and powerful king, had he acknowledged himself to be the Messias in the presence of the multitude, he might have given umbrage to the secular power, or afforded a pretext to the Scribes and Pharisees of calumniating him, and putting him to death before the time preordained for his passion. (Baradius)
Matthew 11:5 *The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, **the poor have the gospel preached to them.

Isaias 35:5. --- ** Isaias 61:1.
The blind see, etc.{ Ver. 5. Pauperes Evangelizantur, ptochoi euaggelizontai. In the prophet Isaias, euaggelizesthai ptochois epestalke me.|} Christ shews them who he was by the miracles, which were foretold concerning the Messias. --- The poor have the gospel preached to them. This is the sense held forth by the prophet Isaias. (Isaias 61:1) (Witham) --- That is, they are declared to have the kingdom of heaven, and are styled blessed. Here also he fulfils the prophecy of Isaias, (Isaias 61.) which in the Septuagint version is rendered, He sent me to preach the gospel to the poor. (Nicholas of Lyra.)
Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me.

Scandalized in me. That is, who shall not take occasion of scandal or offence from my humility, and the disgraceful death of the cross which I shall endure: (Challoner) or on my account, that is, at the doctrine of the cross; or when I shall die on an infamous cross. (Witham) --- Blessed is he, etc. That is, who shall not be offended by my doctrine or manners; for Christ was a stumbling block to many, but this was entirely their own fault. He seems indeed directly to mark the disciples of St. John, and at the same time to shew that he knew their hearts. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:7 *And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitude, concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? a reed shaken with the wind?

Luke 7:24.
Matthew 11:8 But what went you out to see? a man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments, are in the houses of kings.

Clothed in soft, etc. That the Baptist was not like the reeds, changeable by nature, the respect that the whole Jewish people paid him sufficiently evinced. Our Redeemer, therefore, proceeds to shew that St. John was not changeable by his manner of life. Delicacies and effeminacy (the ordinary sources of fickleness of behaviour,) being found in the houses of kings, and the great ones of this earth, were far from being desired by the precursor. This he shewed to the world by his garments of camels' hair, his habitation in the wilderness, his slender and insipid food of wild honey and locusts, and the prisons to which his constancy brought him. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxviii).
Matthew 11:9 But what went you out to see? a prophet? yea, I tell you, and more than a prophet.

More than a prophet. John was a prophet, because he foretold the coming of Christ; and he was more than a prophet, because he saw him, which was a privilege that none of the ancient prophets enjoyed; and not only did he see him, but pointed him out, before he was acknowledged in that character. Again, he was more than a prophet, in as much as he was the precursor of the Messias, who even deigned to receive baptism at his hands. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:10 For this is he of whom it is written: *Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.

Malachias 3:1.; Mark 1:2.; Luke 7:27.
Matthew 11:11 Amen I say to you, there hath not risen among them that are born of women a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is the lesser in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.

He that is the lesser, etc. Many understand this of Christ, who is less in as much as he is more humble, younger in age, and according to the erroneous opinion of men, of less sanctity than John. Maldonatus and Tolletus suppose the meaning to be, that he who is the least in sanctity in the Church of Christ is greater than John; not that John did not excel in sanctity many, nay even most of the children of the Church of Christ, but that those who belong to the Church, on account of this circumstance of their being under the new law, which is the law of children, are greater than those under the old law, which was the law of bondsmen, as the least among the children is greater than the greatest among the bondsmen. Now John in this respect did not belong to the Church of Christ, as he was slain before Christ's death, before which time the gospel was not fully established. (Menochius) --- There hath not risen ... a greater, etc. This comparison, by what we find, Luke 7:28, is only betwixt John and the ancient prophets, to signify that John was greater than any of the prophets, at least by his office of being the immediate precursor of the Messias. The comparison cannot be extended to Christ himself, who was both God and man, nor to his blessed Virgin Mother; nor need we understand it of his apostles. (Witham)
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.

Suffereth violence, etc. It is not to be obtained but by main force, by using violence upon ourselves, by mortification and penance, and resisting our perverse inclinations. (Challoner) --- Certainly it is great violence for a man to look for a seat in heaven, and to obtain that by his virtue which was refused him by his nature. (St. Jerome in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- The kingdom of heaven, etc. That is, the kingdom of heaven is to be obtained by mortification, penance, poverty, and those practices of austerity which John, both by word and example, pointed out. According to this interpretation, the kingdom of heaven means eternal life. Or the meaning may be, the kingdom of heaven is taken by the violent, because it is not now confined, as in the old law, to one people, but open to all, that whoever will may enter in and take possession of it. The kingdom of heaven, in this interpretation, is taken for the Church of Christ, for the gospel, and also for eternal life. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John:

All the prophets and the law prophesied until John: as if he had said, all they who prophesied before, foretold the coming of the Messias; but now John points him out present with you, so that now all the types and figures of the ancient law will be fulfilled, and are at an end. (Witham)
Matthew 11:14 And if you will receive it, *he is Elias that is to come.

Malachias 4:5.
He is Elias, etc. Not in person, but in spirit. (Luke 1:17) (Challoner) --- John is here styled Elias, not in the same manner as those who taught the transmigration of souls; but the meaning is, that the precursor came in the spirit and virtue of Elias, and had the same fulness of the Holy Ghost. The Baptist is not undeservedly styled Elias, both for the austerity of his life, and for his sufferings. Elias upbraided Achab and Jezabel for their impieties, and was obliged to flee. John blamed the unlawful marriage of Herod and Herodias, and died for his virtue. (St. Jerome in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 11:16 But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like to children sitting in the market-place, who crying out to their companions,

Is like to children, etc. This similtude signifies that there was nothing necessary for their salvation, which God had not abundantly provided for; but they had pertinaciously continued in their incredulity. To explain this, he uses a similitude taken from morose children, whom nothing can please; he appears to refer to some custom of that time with which we are little acquainted. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:17 Say: We have piped to you, and you have not danced: we have lamented, and you have not mourned.

We have piped. Christ, says, St. Jerome on this place, was represented by the children that piped, or played on pipes, and St. John by those that mourned; because Christ refused not upon occasions, to eat and converse with sinners. (Witham) --- Jesus shews the Jews by this simile, that he had endeavoured to induce them, by the common life he led, to an imitation of his virtues; and they had not complied with his desire. --- We have lamented. This part is to be understood of St. John, who led a most austere life, and notwithstanding was despised by the Jews. (St. Jerome in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- Similar to this is the complaint of the Almighty, by the mouth of the prophet Isaias: What is there that I should have done to my vineyard, and have not done? Our Redeemer and the Baptist imitated skilful huntsmen, who made use of various and opposite stratagems, that if the nimble animal escape one, he may fall into another. As men are commonly more engaged by fasting and austerities, therefore did the Baptist practise them in the highest degree, that they thus might be prevailed upon to believe his words. Christ, condescending more to their weakness, did not embrace this rigid manner of life, though at the same time he sanctified and approved it by his fast of forty days, and extreme poverty, not having where to recline his head. It was better that our Saviour's doctrine should be approved of by one who practiced austerity, than that he himself should fast and live rigidly. If the Jews admired fasting and penance, whose words should have led them to the Son of God? If fasting appeared sorrowful and forbidding, why did they not join themselves to Jesus, who came eating and drinking, and compassionating their infirmities? which way soever they chose they might have arrived at salvation? (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxviii.)
Matthew 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking; and they say: He hath a devil.

He hath a devil. Those possessed by devils, were often accustomed to pass their time in the open air, to use unusual food, and sometimes to refrain a considerable time from meat and drink. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:19 The son of man came eating and drinking, and they say: Behold a man that is a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified by her children.

Come eating and drinking. Whereas John came living in the wilderness on locusts, wild honey, etc. Yet most part of the Jews neither regarded Christ nor St. John: nay the Pharisees here (ver. 18) say of John, that he is possessed with a devil. --- Wisdom is justified by her children. That is, by such as are truly wise; and the sense seems to be, that the divine wisdom and Providence hath been justified, that is approved, owned, and declared just and equitable by those that being truly wise, have made good use of the favours and graces offered them at this time of their redemption, when others have remained obstinate in their blindness, and refused to believe in Christ. (Witham) --- That is, the multitude of believers by their faith justify the providence and justice of God, against the calumnies of the wicked; for as these believed, what hindered others also from believing? where it appears that Divine Providence omitted nothing of those things, which were necessary to procure and promote the salvation of men. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities, wherein were done the most of his mighty works, because they had not done penance.

Matthew 11:21 *Wo to thee, Corozain, wo to thee, Bethsaida: for if in Tyre and Sidon the mighty works had been done that have been done in you, they would long ago have done penance in sack-cloth and ashes.

Luke 10:13.
Woe to thee, Corozain, etc. These four verses shew us how dangerous it is to resist the divine graces, and not to make good use of those favourable opportunities which the divine Providence hath placed us in, of working our salvation and of improving ourselves in virtue and sanctity. (Witham) --- Sack-cloth and ashes, etc. It was the custom for those who were in mourning, to be clothed with sack-cloth, and sit in ashes. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:22 But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment, than for you.

More tolerable, etc. For as the fault of him who never had the truth announced to him, was less than of him who rejected it when offered, so also his punishment would be less. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capharnaum, shalt thou be exalted up to heaven? thou shalt go down even unto hell. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom that have been done in thee, perhaps it would have remained unto this day.

If we compare this with Luke 10:15, it will appear that Jesus Christ made twice this reproach to these two impenitent cities. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 11:24 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered, and said: I give thanks to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them to little ones.

Jesus answered, etc. lit. Jesus answering, said: where we may take notice, that answering, in the style of the Scripture, is often put when it is no answer to any thing that was said before. (Witham) --- Because thou hast hid, etc. Jesus gives thanks to his heavenly Father, because he had revealed the secret of his coming to his disciples, who, according to the false opinion of men, are called children and fools, and had hid it from the Scribes and Pharisees, whom he in ridicule calls the wise and prudent. By this prayer, he also begs that his heavenly Father would complete what he had begun in his apostles. (St. Jerome) --- Christ does not rejoice that it was not revealed to the wise and prudent, but because it was revealed to his little ones. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 11:26 Yea, Father; for so hath it seemed good in thy sight.

Yea, Father, etc. St. Chrysostom interprets this passage as if Christ would say, Go on, Father, as you have begun; or the sense may be, I give thee thanks, O Father, that it has pleased thee to act thus, that since the wise men of this world have rejected the gospel, thou hast deigned to manifest it to little ones. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to me by my Father. *And no one knoweth the Son, but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.

John 6:46.; John 7:28. 8:19. and 10:15.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you.

All you that, etc. That is, you who are wearied with the heavy load of your sins, and the grievous yoke of the old law. (Menochius)
Matthew 11:29 Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: *and you shall find rest to your souls.

Jeremias 6:16.
Take up my yoke, etc. Fear not the yoke of Christ, for it is a yoke of the greatest sweetness. Be not disheartened when he mentions a burden, because it is a burden exceeding light. If then our Saviour says, that the way of virtue is exceeding narrow, and replete with difficulties and dangers, we must call to mind that it is so to the slothful only. Perform therefore with alacrity what is required, and then will all things be easy; the burden will be light, and the yoke sweet. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxix.)
Matthew 11:30 *For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

John 6:3.
For my yoke is sweet, etc. For though, in regard of our weak nature, it be a very heavy yoke, yet the grace of God renders it easy and light, because our Lord himself helps us to bear it, according to that of the prophet Osee, (Osee 11:4.) I will be unto them as he that takes the yoke from off their heads. St. Bernard says, that our Saviour sweetens by the spiritual unction of his grace, all the crosses, penances, and mortifications of religious souls. St. Augustine owns, that before he knew the power of grace, he could never comprehend what chastity was, nor believe that any one was able to practice it; but the grace of God renders all things easy. (Rodriguez, On Mortification. ch. XIX.)
Matthew 12:0 Christ reproves the blindness of the Pharisees, and confutes their attributing his miracles to Satan.

Matthew 12:1 At *that time Jesus went through the cornfields on the sabbath-day: and his disciples being hungry, began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

Mark 2:23.; Luke 6:1.
about the year A.D. 31. And his disciples being hungry. How truly admirable is the conduct of the apostles, who would not depart from the company of Jesus, though pressed by the greatest hunger and fatigue, not even to take a little refreshment for the body. (St. Chrysostom) --- It is remarked by St. Jerome, that the Pharisees did not accuse the disciples of theft, but of a breach of the sabbath. St. Luke calls this sabbath, Sabbatum secundo primum, which is differently explained by interpreters. Ribeira, following St. Chrysostom and Theophilactus, thinks that every sabbath was so called, which followed immediately any feast. Maldonatus is of opinion that some particular sabbath is pointed out by this name, and conjectures that it was the sabbath of Pentecost, because it is the second of the great feasts, viz. the Passover, Pentecost, Scenopegia, or of the Tabernacles. --- In the Greek, sabbath is in the plural, and means the days of the sabbath or rest, which were a part of the feast. The three great feasts lasted a whole week each. They were all three called prota, that is great, solemn feasts. The first was that of the Passover, with the seven days of unleavened bread, called protoproton, the first-first sabbath by excellence: the second was the great feast of Pentecost, deteroproton, the second-first sabbath, (which seems to have been the feast meant by the evangelist in this place, as at this season the corn was ripe in Palestine) and the third was the feast of tabernacles, tritoproton, the third-first great sabbath. Many, however, are of opinion, that by the second-first sabbath is meant the octave day of the feast, which was ordered to be equally solemnized with the first day of the feast. (Leviticus 23:36, 39. and Numbers 29:35.)
Matthew 12:2 And the Pharisees seeing them, said to him: Behold thy disciples do that which it is not lawful to do on the sabbath-days.

That which is not lawful to do on the sabbath-days. The Pharisees blame not the disciples for plucking the ears of corn, as they passed by, (this being allowed, Deuteronomy 23:25.) but for doing it on a sabbath-day, as if it had been a breach of the sabbath. (Witham) --- Behold, etc. The Pharisees here mildly rebuked our Lord; but afterwards, when he restored the withered hand, they rose up against him with such rage, that they formed upon the spot designs of killing him, as in ver. 14. When there is nothing great or sublime, they are more quiet, but when with his word only he restores health to the infirm, like furious beasts, they grow enraged. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xl.)
Matthew 12:3 But he said to them: Have you not read *what David did when he was hungry, and they that were with him:

1 Kings 21:6.
What David, etc.{ Ver. 3. Panes Propositionis. tous artous protheseos. They are also elsewhere called, panes faciales, artous enopious, (Deuteronomy 25:30.) and faciei, tou prosopou. (2 Esdras 10:33.)|} Christ shews them that the law need not always be taken according to the bare letter. --- Into the house of God; that is where the tabernacle was then kept: not into the temple, which at that time was not built. --- Eat the loaves, etc. Christ speaks of those loaves which were ordered to be placed on a table within the tabernacle, and changed from time to time. This translation seems as literal as may be, and more intelligible than loaves of proposition, or shew-bread. (Witham) --- To refute this calumny of the Jewish leaders, Jesus reminds them of the conduct of David when pursued by Saul, who, reduced to the like extremity, eat of that bread which the priests alone were allowed to touch. Achimelec, the high priest, thinking it a more pleasing sacrifice to God to preserve the life of man, than to make an offering of bread. (St. Jerome) --- And they that were with him. In the place alluded to, (1 Kings xxi.) it is said, that he was alone. It may be answered, that no one was with him when he received the loaves. (Menochius)
Matthew 12:4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the loaves of proposition, which it was not lawful for him to eat, nor for them that were with him, *but for the priests only?

Leviticus 24:9.
How he entered, etc. The house of God was then at Nobe. In St. Mark, the high priest is called Abiathar. See Matthew 2:26. To this difficulty some answer, that the father and son bore these two names, Achimelec and Abiathar. This they attempt to prove from 2 Kings 8:19, and 1 Paralipomenon 24:3. Others say that Abiathar, son of Achimelec, was present, and sanctioned the action of his father, thus making it his own. Others again contend, that it ought to have been translated, in the chapter called Abiathar, instead of under Abiathar: for the Jews divided the Scripture into parts, and called them by the names of the most remarkable person or thing spoken of in them. Thus Romans, 2:2. In Elias, means in the part called Elias. --- The loaves of proposition. So were called the twelve loaves which were placed before the sanctuary, in the temple of God. (Challoner) --- These were exposed every sabbath, on the golden table, before the Lord. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, *how that on the sabbath-days the priests in the temple break the sabbath, and are without blame?

Numbers 28:9.
Break the sabbath; that is they do that, which if the divine worship did not require, would not be allowed on the sabbath, as the work they do, of its own nature, is servile.
Matthew 12:6 But I tell you that there is here a greater than the temple.

A greater than the temple: so what can be done for the temple without a sin, may be done for him without a crime. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 12:7 And if you knew what this meaneth: *I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: you would never have condemned the innocent.

1 Kings 15:22.; Ecclesiastes 4:17.; Osee 6:6.; Matthew 9:13.
Mercy, and not sacrifice. (Osee 6:6.) The meaning of this is, if you then approve of the mercy of the high priest, who refreshed the famished fugitive David, why do you condemn my disciples? (St. Jerome)
Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath.

Lord ... of the sabbath. He proves that he can dispense with the observation of the feast, because he is master of the feast. In St. Mark (2:27.) it is written, the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath; that is man's salvation is to be preferred to the observation of the sabbath. (Menochius) --- In the concurrence of two incompatible precepts, we must give the preference to that which is the end and object of the other; thus we must prefer the preservation of life to the observance of the sabbath. (Haydock) --- These loaves were twelve, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. They were set six and six, one upon another, at each end of the table. Upon the uppermost loaf of each heap stood a vessel, smoking with the sweetest incense. These loaves at the week's end were, according to God's order, eaten by the priests only, when they were replaced by twelve fresh ones, made like them, with the finest flour, tempered with oil. This offering of the shew-bread before the Lord, was a continual sacrifice, as the holy Fathers observe, and a figure of a more excellent kind of shew-bread, viz. Jesus Christ himself in the holy eucharist. (Haydock)
Matthew 12:9 And when he had departed from thence, he came into their synagogue.

He came into the synagogue. This happened some days later, but again on a sabbath. (Menochius)
Matthew 12:10 *And behold there was a man who had a withered hand, and they asked him, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath-days? that they might accuse him.

Mark 3:1.; Luke 6:6.
Is it lawful? His enemies perceiving in what manner he excused his disciples, have recourse to a fresh stratagem. (St. Jerome) --- By this question they did not seek learning or improvement, but merely an occasion to ensnare Jesus in his words. If he answered in the affirmative, they would accuse him of violating the repose of the sabbath, enjoined by the law of Moses; if in the negative, of cruelty and want of feeling, and would infallibly have objected his own practice against him, as he had before justified his disciples for plucking corn on the sabbath. Jesus seeing their malice, avoids their captious question by proposing one to them, as we read in St. Mark. Is it lawful to do good or ill on the sabbath? As if he had said, whether is it better to assist your neighbor on the sabbath, or to abandon him in his distress, when you are able to afford him relief? Unable to give an answer, that would not be a justification of his actions, they remain silent; but he still presses the subject, by retorting their own actions upon themselves. They afforded relief to brute animals that stood in need of it on the sabbath. It was therefore cruelty, or mere malice, to cavil at his relieving the sick man on the sabbath. (Jansenius)
Matthew 12:11 But he said to them: *What man shall there be among you, that hath one sheep: and if the same fall into a pit on the sabbath-day, will he not take hold on it and lift it up?

Deuteronomy 22:4.
Matthew 12:12 How much better is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do a good deed on the sabbath-days.

Matthew 12:13 Then he saith to the man: Stretch forth thy hand. And he stretched it forth, and it was restored to health like the other.

Stretch forth. Our Saviour places the man that had the withered hand in the midst of the Jews, and looking round upon the multitude, (according to St. Mark) he ordered him to stretch out his hand, that by these several ways, he might excite the pity of the stiff-necked people; but no sooner had he performed this act of charity, than they, swelling with anger, went out, meditating destruction. So ruinous and pestiferous is the vice of envy! (St. Chrysostom, hom. xli). --- St. Matthew having mentioned this miracle, takes occasion to narrate others which Christ performed on his second return from Judea. We have frequently to mention that the particle tunc, then, and such like, do not always relate to what immediately goes before. A soul in sin may be said to resemble the withered hand, but obedience with faith to God's commands can and will restore it to its pristine state. Jesus bids him stretch out his hand, and power accompanies the command; he stretches it forth, and it is made whole like the other. (Haydock)
Matthew 12:14 And the Pharisees going out, made a consultation against him, how they might destroy him.

Matthew 12:15 But Jesus knowing it, retired from thence: and many followed him, and he healed them all.

Matthew 12:16 And he charged them that they should not make him known.

Matthew 12:17 That the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaias, the prophet, saying:

Matthew 12:18 *Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul hath been well pleased. I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

Isaias 42:1.
Behold my servant, etc. The words are out of the prophet Isaias, (Isaias 12.) 1. And it is observed that the Jews, before the coming of Jesus, used to expound them of their Messias. (Witham) --- Our Lord Jesus Christ may be called the Servant of the Almighty, because, as himself assures us, he came down not to be served, but to serve; or, as St. Remigius says, not on account of his divinity, but on account of his humanity, which he received from the pure flesh and blood of the immaculate Virgin. (in St. Thomas Aquinas) There is some difference in the text of Isaias, whence this is taken. The apostles and evangelists did not confine themselves to cite the very words of the text, but only the sense. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 12:19 He shall not contend, nor cry out, neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

He shall not contend. These words do not occur in the prophet, but are added by St. Matthew to express more fully the sense, because he offered himself up to the will of his heavenly Father, and delivered himself into the hands of those who persecuted him. (St. Aquinas) Nor cry out; because, like a lamb, in the hands of the shearer, he opened not his mouth.
Matthew 12:20 The bruised reed he shall not break, and smoking flax he shall not extinguish: till he send forth judgment unto victory.

The bruised reed. The prophet here shews the mildness of our Saviour, who, though he could have broken them like a reed, and as a bruised reed, yet would not do it; and though he could have easily extinguished their rage and anger, yet he bore with it for a while, with singular clemency, till he should send forth judgment unto victory, that is till justice shall have appeared triumphant, till Christ shall have fulfilled all things, and raised his most illustrious trophy: till the Gentiles shall have placed their confidence in his most adorable name, and the Jews have no plea, notwithstanding their unparalleled obduracy, to make in reply. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xli). --- Judgment unto victory. St. Jerome and St. Hilary expound these words in conformity with their interpretation of the two foregoing verses, as follows: "The Lord will cherish and support the infirm and weak in this time of penance and probation, inviting them to greater strength, and light, and perfect charity, till the power of death be taken away, till he return to judge the world, when his judgment shall be victorious; though, in the mean while, it often may appear suppressed, and even subdued by the obstinate will of man." But the exposition, most conformable to the literal sense of the prophet, is: he will support the weak by his mildness, until it come to pass that his judgment, which he came to announce to the Gentiles, be led to victory, by his truth becoming universally triumphant over the world, and in his name all nations shall hope. (Jansenius). --- Thus will he bear with the little light and virtue of his enemies, till the bright light of his faith, and the warmth and strength of his grace, obtain in their hearts, and triumph over every opposition. (Haydock)
Matthew 12:21 And in his name the Gentiles shall hope.

In his name the Gentiles. Here are two words differing from those used by the prophet: in the Hebrew text we have, in his law the islands shall hope: probably the oversight of the amanuensis substituting onoma for nomo; the latter variation is of still less moment, as the prophets understand by islands, countries far removed; and also the poet, Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos. And, Mittam ad insulas longe ad eos, qui non audierunt de me. (Isaias, 60:9, and 66:19)
Matthew 12:22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, so that he both spoke and saw.

Matthew 12:23 And all the multitudes were amazed, and said: Is not this the son of David?

Matthew 12:24 *But the Pharisees hearing it, said: This man casteth not out the devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils.

Matthew 9:34.; Mark 3:22.; Luke 11:15.
Matthew 12:25 And Jesus knowing their thoughts, said to them: *Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.

Luke 11:17.
Every kingdom. Strong as a kingdom may appear, it is easily overturned by divisions; and lest it should be objected, that ruin was brought upon it by a multiplicity of clashing affairs, it is added that cities and families share the same fate, if subject to similar divisions. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlii). --- The Pharisees, on a former occasion, had laid a similar accusation against him. Then indeed he did not correct them, wishing them to discover his virtue from the miracles he performed, and the dignity of his character from the doctrines he delivered; but as they still continue the old accusation, he now wishes to convince them of their error. Envy does not so much seek how to speak, as what to speak. Yet Christ does not despise them, but answers them in the most meek and humble manner, teaching us to be charitable to our enemies, though they behave to us in the most inimical manner. By this also, our divine Saviour evidently demonstrates the falsity of the accusation; for it is never in the power of a possessed person to know another's thoughts, nor give so mild an answer. And as his enemies did not dare, from fear of the people, openly to broach this base calumny, seeing their thoughts, he answered them; still he does not expose to public infamy the malice of their hearts, but gives them a private solution of their difficulty. (St. Chrysostom in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 12:26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: how then shall his kingdom stand?

Matthew 12:27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.

Your children, etc. Some by their children understand, exorcists, that were among the Jews, that sometimes cast out devils; but it is more commonly taken for Christ's disciples and apostles, who were of the Jewish nation, to whom he had given power to cast out devils: as if he had said, If you allow them to cast out devils by divine power, why do not you also believe this of me, their master? (Witham) --- St. Chrysostom says the apostles and disciples of Christ are here meant, for they had already cast out devils in virtue of the power conferred upon them by their divine Master, without ever having it said of them, that in the prince of devils they cast out devils. Thus he shews that envy was the origin and cause of their persecuting spirit, and that not his actions but his person gave them such great umbrage. (hom. xlii). --- If Christ alludes here to their own exorcists, who drove out devils by the invocation of the adorable name of God, he confounds the unjust malice and prevention of the Pharisees; if to the apostles, he constitutes them his umpires. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 12:28 But if I by the spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you.

Kingdom of God. Christ either calls himself and his coming the kingdom of God, because it was the beginning of the kingdom of God, and laid open the way to us: or the sense may be, If I, as proved in an argument above, cast out devils by the spirit of God, therefore what I, my apostles, and John preach, is true, viz. that the kingdom of God is at hand; because the Holy Ghost, who worketh miracles by us, proveth that our preaching is true. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 12:29 Or how can any one enter into the house of the strong man, and rifle his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? and then he will rifle his house.

How can any one enter; how can I drive Satan from his possession? that is cast him out from the bodies of men, unless I am stronger than he, and first unarm him. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth.

He that is not with me. This sentence is not to be understood as directly spoken of heretics and schismatics, although at first sight it may appear so, but of the devil, who wishes to lead the souls of men captive, whilst Christ wishes to free them. He entices men to wickedness, Jesus Christ draws them to virtue: how therefore can the works of Christ be compared with those of Satan! (St. Jerome) --- There is no medium. We must either be with Christ, or against Christ: if we are not of Christ, whose then must we be, when nothing but sin can separate us from Christ and God? Oh, where will the generality of Christians, who shew themselves so indifferent with regard to salvation, find themselves at the last day? Can they say they are with Christ?
Matthew 12:31 *Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

Mark 2:28- 29.; Luke 12:10.
The blasphemy{ Ver. 31. Spiritus blasphemia, e de tou pneumatos blasphemia. St. Augustine (serm. LXXI. de verbis Evang. Matt. ch. V. p. 388. tom. v.) says of this place: Forte in omnibus Scripturis Sanctis, nulla major quaestio, nulla difficilior. And again, (ch. XII. page. 394) he give this interpretation: ipsa ergo impoenitentia, est Spiritus blasphemia. See also St. Jerome on this place. St. Chrysostom's exposition is more easy, when he thinks the sense is, that such a sin shall scarcely be forgiven. uper part e amartia asuggnostos dm. ma. p. 274.|} against the Spirit, or against the Spirit and the Holy Ghost. St. Augustine takes notice, that this is one of the most difficult places in the Scriptures. According to the common exposition, here is not meant a sin committed by speaking against the third person of the blessed Trinity, the Holy Ghost, but that sin by which the obstinate Jews wilfully opposed Christ, and attributed those miracles to Beelzebub, which he performed by the Spirit of God, of which they could not be ignorant, but by a wilful blindness. (Witham) --- The sin here spoken of is that blasphemy, by which the Pharisees attributed the miracles of Christ, wrought by the Spirit of God, to Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Now this kind of sin is usually accompanied with so much obstinacy, and such wilful opposing the Spirit of God, and the known truth, that men who are guilty of it are seldom or ever converted; and therefore are never forgiven, because they will not repent. Otherwise there is no sin which God cannot, or will not forgive to such as sincerely repent, and have recourse to the keys of the Church. (Challoner) --- Therefore I say: this therefore is not referred to what immediately precedes, but to what is said in verse 24. (Maldonatus) --- Whosoever he be, says St. Augustine, that believeth not man's sins to be remitted in the Church of God, and therefore despiseth the bounteous mercies of God, in so mighty a work, if he continue in his obstinate mind till death, he is guilty of sin against the Holy Ghost. (Enchir. lxxxiii. ep. 50. in fine.)
Matthew 12:32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

Whosoever, etc. It was their duty to have a knowledge of the Holy Ghost, and they obstinately refused to admit what was clear and manifest. Though they were ignorant of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and might take him to be merely the son of a poor artizan, they could not be ignorant that the expelling of demons, and miraculous healing of all diseases, were the works of the Holy Ghost. If, therefore, they refused to do penance for the insult offered to the Spirit of God, in the person of Christ, they could not hope to escape condign punishment. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlii). --- Against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; that is they who for want of sufficient instruction, were invincibly ignorant that Christ was God, might more easily be brought to the true knowledge and faith of Christ, and so receive forgiveness of their sins: but if he shall speak against the Holy Ghost, that is against the Spirit of God in Christ, and shall oppose the known truth, by attributing to the devil that doctrine, and those miracles, which evidently were from the Spirit and the hand of God, that sin shall never be forgiven him. But how is this consistent with the Catholic doctrine and belief, that there is no sin any man commits of which he may not obtain pardon in this life? To this I answer, that in what manner soever we expound this place, it is an undoubted point of Christian faith, that there is no sin which our merciful God is not ready to pardon; no sin, for the remission of which, God hath not left a power in his Church, as it is clearly proved by those words, Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them, etc. St. Chrysostom therefore expounds these words, shall not be forgiven them, to imply no more, than shall scarcely, or seldom be forgiven; that is, it is very hard for such sinners to return to God, by a true and sincere repentance and conversion; so that this sentence is like to that (Matthew 19:26.) where Christ seems to call it an impossible thing for a rich man to be saved. In the same place St. Chrysostom tells us, that some of those who had blasphemed against the Holy Ghost, repented, and had their sins forgiven them. St. Augustine, by this blasphemy against the Spirit, understands the sin of final impenitence, by which an obstinate sinner refuseth to be converted, and therefore lives and dies hardened in his sins. (Witham) --- Nor in the world to come. From these words St. Augustine (De Civ. lib. xxi. Matthew 13.) and St. Gregory (Dial. iv, Matthew 39.) gather, that some sins may be remitted in the world to come; and consequently that there is a purgatory, or a middle place. (Challoner) --- St. Augustine says these words would not be true, if some sins were not forgiven in the world to come; and St. Gregory says, we are to believe from these words in the existence of the fire of purgatory, to expiate our smaller offences, before the day of judgment. St. Isidore and Ven. Bede say the same. St. Bernard, speaking of heretics, says, they do not believe in purgatory: let them then inquire of our Saviour, what he meant by these words. --- It is well known that Ven. Bede, on his death-bed, bestowed several small tokens to the monks who were present, that they might remember to pray for his soul in the holy sacrifice of the mass. (Haydock)
Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good: or make the tree evil, and its fruit evil: for by the fruit the tree is known.

Either make the tree good, etc. This is connected with what had been said of their attributing his works to Beelzebub. He condemns them for blaspheming him on all occasions, when at the same time they were not able to find fault with his life and doctrine. Christ therefore tells them, that the tree is known by its fruit; and that if they cannot blame his actions, and his doctrine, they ought to allow him to be good, to be like the good tree; and that if they continue to blame him, they ought consequently to condemn his doctrine, yet this they were not able to do. (Witham)
Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, whereas you are evil?* for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Luke 6:45.
As the Pharisees were ever boasting of, and glorying in their ancestry, Christ here shews, that they have not much reason to boast, since their ancestors were but vipers. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 12:35 A good man out of a good treasure bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of an evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment.

That every idle word.{ Ver. 36. De omni verbo otioso, pan rema argon. Some manuscripts have, poneron. St. Jerome says, Otiosum verbum est, quod sine utilitate et loquentis dicitur, et audientis. In like manner, St. Gregory, hom. VI. in Evang. St. Bernard etc. But St. Chrysostom adds, to pseudes, to sukophantian echon.|} By idle words, St. Jerome, etc. expound words that are neither profitable to the speaker nor the hearer: but St. Chrysostom says, false and abusive language. (Witham) --- If, of every idle word, how much more of blasphemy, as when you say in Beelzebub I cast out devils. (Menochius) --- This shews there must be a place of temporal punishment hereafter, where these slighter faults shall be punished. (Challoner) --- If of every idle word we must make account before God in judgment, and yet shall not for every such idle word be damned eternally, there must necessarily be some temporal punishment in the next life. (Bristow)
Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Matthew 12:38 Then some of the Scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying: Master, we would see a sign from thee.

We would see a sign. They wanted to see some new and unusual miracles. They wished, says St. Jerome, either that he would call down fire from heaven, like Elias; or, like Samuel, cause it to rain, to thunder and lighten in summer, contrary to the nature of the country. (Menochius) --- That they might be assured he was sent by God, and acted by his Spirit.
Matthew 12:39 But he answering, said to them: *An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, **but the sign of Jonas, the prophet.

Matthew 16:4.; Luke 11:29.; 1 Corinthians 1:22.; Jonas 4:1.
Sign of Jonas. I will give no other sign than my death and resurrection, as then, though unwillingly, they will acknowledge me, and people will believe and be converted: so in John (John 8.) it is said, When you shall have exalted the Son of man, then you shall know that I am he. (Menochius)
Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.

In the whale's belly.{ Ver. 40. In ventre Ceti, tou ketous. By Cete, is signified, any very large fish, and so it is said in the prophet Jonas to have been, piscem grandem.|} The word signifies a great fish, and was not perhaps that which we commonly call a whale. In the prophet Jonas, it is called, a great fish. --- Three days and three nights; not three whole days and three nights, but part of three natural days, from which, in common computation, the nights used not to be separated. We have an instance of this, Esther 4:16, where the Jews were ordered to fast with her three days, and three nights: and yet (Esther 5:1) Esther, after part of three days, went to the king. --- In the heart of the earth: by which is signified, Christ's descent into hell; as St. Paul says (Ephesians 4:9.) that he descended into the inferior parts of the earth, and this cannot be understood of the grave only. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ expired on the cross about the ninth hour, or 3 p.m. when the general and supernatural darkness that covered the earth, may be counted for the first night, and the light which again appeared, for the term of the first day. (Bible de Vence) --- As Jonas was a sign to the Ninivites, so is Christ to the Jews; for as he by the prodigy of remaining so long in the fish's belly, and afterwards coming forth alive, gave such authority to his preaching, that the Ninivites were converted; so Christ, by his death and resurrection on the third day, shall shew that he is the true Christ, and this generation shall acknowledge him for the Messias. (Menochius)
Matthew 12:41 *The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas is here.

Jonas 3:5.
Matthew 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: *because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon is here.

3 Kings 10:1.; 2 Paralipomenon 9:1.
Queen of Saba, a province of Arabia, situated to the south of Judea. (3 Kings 10:1.; and seq.)
Matthew 12:43 *And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

Luke 11:24.
Matthew 12:44 Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

Matthew 12:45 Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: *and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation.

2 Peter 2:20.
Seven is taken frequently, in Scripture, for an indefinite number; for several. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 12:46 *As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him.

Mark 3:31.; Luke 8:19.
His mother and his brethren; that is his mother and relations. (Witham) --- See verse 55 of the next chapter. (Challoner)
Matthew 12:47 And one said to him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee.

Matthew 12:48 But he, answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?

Matthew 12:49 And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren.

Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Matthew 13:0 The parables of the sower of the cockle: of the mustard seed, etc.

Matthew 13:1 The same day Jesus going out of the house, sat by the sea-side.

On the same day Jesus left the house, in which he had performed the miracle, and delivered the preceding discourse, and sat himself down on the shore of the sea of Galilee, where multitudes crowded unto him.
Matthew 13:2 *And great multitudes were gathered unto him, so that he went up into a boat and sat: and all the multitudes stood on the shore.

Mark 4:1.; Luke 8:4.
about the year A.D. 31.
Matthew 13:3 And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold the sower went forth to sow;

To them he spoke many things, from a ship, in parables; probably many more than are here recorded. By familiar and well-known objects, Jesus Christ would thus convey more pleasingly his divine instructions, and teach them to spiritualize their daily labours, and by natural things, which meet the senses, lead them to the knowledge of things divine, which we cannot naturally comprehend. (Haydock) --- Several reasons may be assigned why our Lord made use of parables: 1st. The lively imagination of the Orientals made them relish these figurative expressions, which awaken the attention, and exercise the understanding. 2d. The indisposition of his hearers made him frequently veil his instructions under similitudes or parables; but in private, he expounded the meaning to his disciples, who were better disposed, and was ever ready to give every necessary and satisfactory explanation to as many as sincerely wished for it. --- A third motive, given by St. Matthew, was the accomplishment of the prophecies; for one of the characteristics of the Messias was, that he would express himself in this parabolical manner; and Jesus Christ was pleased that the most minute circumstances should be fulfilled in his person, in order that the resemblance between him and the ancient prophets, in the mode of instructing, might induce the Jews to consider him as the great prophet, foretold by Moses. There are few Christians that do not dwell with delight and improvement on our Lord's parables. Their imagination, warmed with the singular beauty of the imagery, more easily retains them; and the greatest geniuses have ever esteemed them as very superior and striking lessons of morality and religion. --- In his sermon on the mount, Jesus Christ does not make use of parables to convey his instructions to the Jews, for then his auditors were composed of a mixed multitude, and the major part of them illiterate people; but here, on the contrary, they are the Scribes and Pharisees, the doctors of the law. (St. Chrysostom) --- Jesus Christ speaks sometimes in plain, and sometimes in obscure terms, that, by what they understand, they may be led to the search of what they do not understand. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 13:4 And whilst he soweth, some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up.

And whilst he soweth. St. Matthew and St. Mark subjoin the following parables to what goes before, but St. Luke places the parable of the sower immediately after the second journey through Galilee, which he anticipates. Jesus Christ successively proposed four parables to the people, and then dismissed them; and being now retired with his disciples, he unfolded to them the meaning of the parables when in the house. (ver. 36) St. Matthew, however, interrupts the course of the parables, and after the first, anticipates the request of the disciples to have it explained; but from St. Mark, we learn that this did not take place till Christ was alone in the house. Of the eight parables, all spoken by Jesus on the same day, the first five were addressed to the people assembled on the sea-shore, the other three were added by him when alone with the apostles in the house, and are in some measure explanations of the former. In the first, we see the different success of the word of God from the different dispositions of the hearers. And as we find that only one-fourth part of the seed produced fruit, we may thence infer how many and great are the obstacles in the way of salvation, and how few will be the number of the elect. (Haydock)
Matthew 13:5 And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.

Had no deepness of earth; and therefore the seed, not able to shoot downwards, shot upwards, and for want of necessary moisture and nutriment, was burned by the scorching heat of the sun.
Matthew 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away.

Matthew 13:7 And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choaked them.

Matthew 13:8 And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some a hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, and some thirty-fold.

Some a hundred-fold. This difference of fruits is the difference of merits here, and of the rewards hereafter, according to the diversity of states, etc. St. Augustine, in his work, (de Virginitate, ch. XLIV, and seq.) saith, that the hundred-fold agreeth with professed virgins; the sixty-fold with religious widows; the thirty-fold with married persons. This old heretic, Jovinian, and many of modern date, deny, affirming that there is no difference of merits or rewards. (St. Jerome, lib. 2:adv. Jovin.; St. Ambrose, ep. lxxxii.; St. Augustine, ep. lxxxii.) (Bristow)
Matthew 13:9 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

He that hath ears to hear. By these words, we are exhorted to examine the meaning of the parables. (St. Jerome) See Matthew 11:15. --- We are also taught that not all, but only such as have had the sense of the Scriptures opened to their understanding from above, can properly understand them. The apostles themselves were in ignorance till Jesus Christ gave them the true meaning: aperuit illis sensum, ut intelligerent Scripturas: "he opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures." (St. Luke 24:45.) It is God who speaketh in the Scripture, and it is God who giveth us to understand what is therein delivered. His truths he conceals from the proud, while he reveals them to the little and humble. How can any persons pretend that the most mysterious, as well as the most sacred book in the world, is open to every understanding? St. Paul (Acts 13:26.) tells the Jews, that although the Scriptures were read to them every sabbath-day, their very rulers did not understand them; and St. Peter, in his 2d Epistle (2 Peter 3:17.) assures us, that there are many passage hard to be understood. --- All comes from God. It is He who openeth our ears to hear, our heart to believe, and our mind to understand. Agar was near a well, and yet she wept, because she had no water to give her son to drink. God opened her eyes, and she saw the well that was close to her. Thus, says Origen, we may read the Scripture, and find no nourishment for the soul, unless God opens our mind, to see therein on what we are to nourish it. It contains salutary waters, but only those can be benefited by them, who see how to drink of the heavenly source. It is the Holy Ghost alone who can effectually open our eyes, to see these waters that spring up to life eternal; and this special grace we are to obtain by humble and fervent prayer. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
Matthew 13:10 And his disciples came and said to him: Why speakest thou to them in parables?

And his disciples came. How great was the concern of the apostles for the welfare of their countrymen. They did not say to Jesus, Why speakest thou thus to us; but, why speakest thou to them in parables? (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them: Because to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: but to them it is not given.

To you it is given. The mysteries of the kingdom of God are not disclosed to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were unwilling to believe in him, (though it was the duty and occupation of the Scribes to expound the sacred oracles to others) but to those who adhered closely to Christ, and believed in him: let us therefore run in company with the apostles to Jesus Christ, that he may disclose to us the mysteries of his gospel. (St. Thomas Aquinas) --- Can we then suppose, for a single moment, that the mere putting of a Bible into every man's hand, will convert the world. The command given to the apostles and their successors in the ministry is, Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, etc. teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world. (St. Matthew 28:20). There is not a single word to them about writing. During 2,500 years, from Adam to Moses, were the patriarchal families and other servants of God in a state of ignorance, concerning either the positive instructions of the Almighty respecting the sabbath-day, the rites of sacrifice, or their moral duties? Yet there was no Scripture during all that period. For more than 400 years after Jesus Christ, the canon of Scripture, as now generally received by Protestants, remained unsettled. Had the apostles and evangelists done nothing more than publish their writings, and disseminate them to every pagan country, not a single nation, not a single pagan, would have abandoned their gods to believe in a crucified Jesus. --- To them it is not given; that is to such as are unworthy, and by hardening their hearts, have made themselves unworthy. (Witham)
Matthew 13:12 *For he that hath, to him shall be given, and he shall abound, but he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.

Matthew 25:29.
But he that hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath. We read again, (Matthew 25:29.) That also which he seemeth to have, shall be taken away; and in St. Luke, (Chap. 8:18.) That also which he thinketh he hath. One passage helps to expound another: so that each of these texts, with a little reflection, will be found true; and such a truth, as ought to be a subject of fear and apprehension to all that are negligent and indolent in the service of God. For, as St. Augustine observes, they who have received graces and favours from God, and have not made good use and profited by them, they may be said not to have them, although they are not yet take from them. And why? but because they make no more use of them, than if they had them not. See the parables of the talents, Matthew xxv, and Luke xix. (Witham) --- He that hath, to him shall be given the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God. But such as are incredulous, and resist my words, like the Pharisees and other Jews, so far from being enriched with my spiritual gifts in my kingdom, shall even be deprived of the benefits they now possess. Thus the Jews were deprived of their temple, priesthood, kingdom, and even the true worship of God. (St. Jerome) --- They rejected Jesus Christ, the fountain and corner-stone of virtue; all therefore they had acquired, or possessed, shall be taken from them, and given to the apostles. (St. Jerome) --- Whoever has a desire of complying with the divine precepts, that desire shall not only be increased, but all other virtues shall be added unto him; but if he be devoid of this desire, the virtues he already possesses, or seems to possess, shall be taken from him, not that God will deprive him of these without cause, but he will render himself unworthy of them. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 13:13 Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

Because seeing they see not, etc. that is they see not as they might, and ought to do, by shutting their eyes against the lights given them. --- Therefore do I speak to them in parables: because seeing they see not, etc. This passage, by which the prophet Isaias 6:9. was ordered to foretell the obstinate blindness of the Jews, in refusing to receive and believe in their Messias, is cited six times in the New Testament; to wit, here in St. Matthew, also Mark 4:14[12?]; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26; and Romans 11:8. In all these places we must detest the false interpretation of those who, not without heresy and blasphemy, would have God to be the author and cause of sin. When it is said, (Isaias 6:9.) blind the heart of this people, etc. the prophet is only commanded to foretell their blindness, of which, by their wilful obstinacy, they were the true cause. And when we read in St. Mark, that to those that are without, all things are done in parables, that seeing they may see, and not see, etc. the word that does not signify the cause, nor the end, but only the event, and the consequence of what would happen by the wilful blindness of the Jews, and by the just permission of God. St. Matthew here expounds to us the words of the prophet, by which it clearly appears that they were the cause of their own blindness; and that, by their obstinacy, they had made themselves unworthy of particular lights from God. For the heart of this people (ver. 18.[15.?]) is grown gross ... and their eyes they have shut, etc. The Jews therefore shut their own eyes, hardened their own hearts, which God only permitted. See Romans 9:18. etc. (Witham) --- If this blindness were natural, then indeed I would have opened their eyes to see and understand, but since this blindness is voluntary, he says, that seeing they see not, and hearing, they hear not; that is they have seen me cast out devils, and they said, in Beelzebub he casteth out devils; they heard I drew all to God, and they say, this man cometh not from God. Since, therefore, they assert the very contrary to what they both see and hear, the gift of seeing and hearing me shall be taken away from them.
Matthew 13:14 And the prophecy of Isaias is fulfilled in them, who saith: *By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand: and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive.

Isaias 6:9.; Mark 4:12.; Luke 8:10.; John 12:40.; Acts 28:26.; Romans 11:8.
Matthew 13:15 For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

And should be converted. In this the prophet shews the atrocity of the Jewish wickedness, and the malice of their hearts, but that he may attach them to God, their Father, he immediately subjoins, lest being converted, I should heal them; and this he says, in order to manifest to them the goodness of God, if they would repent. (St. Chrysostom in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- There is some difference between the text of Isaias, given by St. Matthew, and the original. But we have elsewhere observed, that the evangelists attend more to the sense than the words. The Septuagint have translated this text in the same manner. The prophecy here mentioned regarded the Jews in the time of Isaias, according to the strict letter, but still more particularly the Jews in the time of Christ. (Bible de Vence) --- They were authors of their own blindness, sin, damnation, and not Jesus Christ, as Calvin teaches. See also Acts xxviii. and Romans 1:and 9:18. etc. God is not the author of evil. (Bristow)
Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear.

But blessed are your eyes. As the eyes of such as see and will not believe are miserable, so, he says, blessed are your eyes; you see my miracles, you hear my heavenly doctrines, etc. (St. Aquinas) --- Had we not read in a preceding part, that Christ exhorted his auditors to search after the knowledge of his words, we might perhaps have thought that Jesus here spoke of corporal eyes and ears; but the eyes here mentioned, seem to me to be those which can discern the mysteries of Christ. (St. Jerome in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 13:17 *For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them: and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them.

Luke 10:24.
Amen, I say to you. St. Jerome remarks, that these words of our Saviour seem to contradict another part of Scripture, where it is said, Abraham desired to see my days; he saw them, and rejoiced. But St. Jerome answers his own objection thus: Abraham indeed saw my days, but only in a dark manner, in enigma, but not in reality, whilst you have your Lord with you; you speak to him, and interrogate him at pleasure. (St. Aquinas) --- Christ declares his disciples more blessed than the ancient patriarchs and prophets. ... They saw him only by faith, but the disciples with their corporal eyes. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 13:18 Hear you therefore the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, there cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart: this is he that received the seed by the way side.

When any one heareth. This seed falleth upon four different kinds of soil, which represent four different sorts of persons. The 1st, such as continue obdurate in vice; the 2d, such as are unsteady and inconstant in their good resolutions; the 3d, such as are absorbed in the cares and pleasures of life; the 4th, such as have every proper disposition for receiving the word of God with fruit. --- There cometh the wicked one, o poneros, the devil, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts, lest believing they should be saved. (Haydock)
Matthew 13:20 And he who received the seed upon stony ground, is he that heareth the word, and immediately receiveth it with joy.

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but is only for a time: and when there arise tribulation and persecution because of the word, he is presently scandalized.

And suffers shipwreck in his faith. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 13:22 And he who received the seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choak up the word, and he becometh fruitless.

Matthew 13:23 But he who received the seed into good ground, is he that heareth the word, and understandeth and beareth fruit, and yieldeth one a hundred-fold, and another sixty, and another thirty.

Matthew 13:24 *Another parable he proposed to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seeds in his field.

Mark 4:26.
Another parable he proposed. As in the preceding parable our Lord spoke of those who did not receive the word, so in this he speaks of those who receive the corrupted word; for it is a diabolical machination to confound error with truth. (St. Chrysostom in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- There are three things worthy of observation in this parable. 1st. That the Church of God on earth consists of both good and bad; the 2d. that God is not the author of evil; the 3d. that God does not always punish the wicked on the spot, but patiently bears with them. (Menochius)
Matthew 13:25 But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way.

Were asleep. When the superiors or pastors of the Church were lulled asleep or negligent, or, when the apostles were dead, as St. Augustine expounds it, the devil spread the tares or error and sin amongst a great number of Christians. These falling from the state of grace, or becoming heretics, are yet mingled with the rest of the faithful in the same outward profession of Christianity, not unlike the good corn and cockle in the same field.
Matthew 13:26 And when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle.

Matthew 13:27 Then the servants of the master of the house came and said to him: Master, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it cockle?

Then the servants. St. Chrysostom observes, there are many circumstances in the parables that have no connexion with the instruction designed to be conveyed in the parables, and which are merely added to connect the different parts together.
Matthew 13:28 And he said to them: An enemy hath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up?

Matthew 13:29 And he said: No, lest perhaps while ye gather up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it.

No, lest, etc. The prayers of repenting sinners are never despised. We are taught also by this example not to cut off too hastily a fallen brother; for, whatever he may be to-day, to-morrow perhaps he may see his error and embrace the truth. (St. Jerome). --- Jesus Christ exhorts us to bear with infidels and heretics, not on our own account only, as wicked men are frequently of use to the virtuous, but also on their account; for sometimes the persons who have been corrupted and perverted, will return to the paths of virtue and truth. Let, therefore, both grow until the harvest, that is to the day of judgment, when the power of rectifying another's error shall be no more. (St. Augustine in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- When many are implicated in one misfortune, what remains but to bewail their condition. Let us then be willing to correct our brethren to the utmost of our power, but let it be always with mercy, charity and compassion; what we cannot correct, let us bear with patience, permitting what God permits, and interceding with him to move and convert their hearts. But when an opportunity offers, let us publicly advocate the truth, and condemn error. (St. Jerome) --- St. Augustine affirms, that no one should be compelled by force to an unity of religious tenets: such as dissent for us must be persuaded by words, overcome by argumentation, and convinced by reason. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 13:30 Let both grow until the harvest, and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but gather the wheat into my barn.

Matthew 13:31 *Another parable he proposed to them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field.

Mark 4:31.; Luke 13:19.
Matthew 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown up, it is greater than any herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof.

The least of all seeds. That is, it is one of the least seeds; but in hot countries it is observed to grow to a considerable height, and to become a bush or a little tree. (Witham) --- The gospel of Christ, compared in this verse to the grain of mustard seed, has indeed little show of grandeur and human greatness. St. Paul calls it a scandal to the Jew, and a stumbling block to the Gentile. But Jesus Christ here assures us, that when it has been spread and promulgated by his ambassadors, viz. the apostles, it shall surpass every other mode of instruction both in fame and extent. (St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, St. Augustine)
Matthew 13:33 Another parable he spoke to them: *The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened.

Luke 13:21.
In three measures. Sata, the word here used, was a particular Hebrew measure, which corresponds not to any particular measure that we make use of, and therefore I have put measures, as it is in other English translations. See Walton de Ponderibus et mensuris, before his first tome, p. 42. (Witham) --- It was the Seah of the Jews, the third part of the Epha, and contained about ten pints, and appears to be the ordinary quantity they baked at a time. (Bible de Vence) --- By the woman here mentioned, St. Jerome understands the Church gathered from all nations; or the power and wisdom of God, according to St. Augustine.
Matthew 13:34 All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitudes: and without parables he did not speak to them.

Matthew 13:35 That the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: *I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

Psalm 77:2.
By the prophet. It is taken from Psalm 77:2. St. Jerome remarks that many copies have, Isaias, the prophet, but supposes that the evangelist wrote, Asaph, the prophet, to whom the title of this psalm seems to attribute it; but it was probably chanted by Asaph, and composed by David, who is simply characterized under the name of prophet, because he prophesied in composing his canticles. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 13:36 *Then having sent away the multitudes, he came into the house, and his disciples came to him, saying: Explain to us the parable of the cockle in the field.

Mark 4:34.
Matthew 13:37 He made answer, and said to them: He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man.

Matthew 13:38 And the field is the world. And the good seed are the children of the kingdom. And the cockle are the children of the wicked one.

Matthew 13:39 And the enemy that sowed them, is the devil. *But the harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers are the angels.

Apocalypse 14:15.
Matthew 13:40 Even as cockle therefore is gathered up, and burnt with fire, so shall it be at the end of the world.

Matthew 13:41 The Son of man shall send his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all scandals, and them that work iniquity.

Matthew 13:42 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:43 *Then shall the just shine as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Wisdom 3:7.; Daniel 12:3.
Matthew 13:44 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field: which, when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Like unto a treasure. This hidden treasure is the gospel of Christ, which conducts to the kingdom of heaven. Thus he who by the knowledge which the gospel affords, has found the kingdom of heaven, should purchase it at the expense of every thing most near and dear to him: he cannot pay too great a price for his purchase.
Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.

Matthew 13:46 Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.

This eternal kingdom faith opens to your view, but it does not put you in possession without good works. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes.

Matthew 13:48 Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth.

Matthew 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world, the angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.

Matthew 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:51 Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yea.

Matthew 13:52 He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a master of a house, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.

Every scribe; that is master or teacher. (Witham) --- Because you know how invaluable is the treasure, the pearl, the kingdom, here mentioned; you, who are scribes and teachers, should cultivate it yourselves, and communicate the same blessing to others. Thus imitating a father of a family, who draws from his treasure both new and old things, and distributes them to his children, according to their several wants and necessities. This was a proverbial expression with the Jews, to signify every thing useful or necessary for the provision of a family. (St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Chrysostom, Ven. Bede, and Tirinus.) --- Thus also a pastor of souls throws light upon the mysteries of the New Testament, by the figures of the Old, and explains the workings of grace, by the operations of nature.
Matthew 13:53 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed from thence.

Matthew 13:54 *And coming into his own country he taught them in their synagogues, so that they wondered, and said: How came this man by this wisdom, and miracles?

Mark 6:1.; Luke 4:16.
Matthew 13:55 *Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary; and his brethren James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Jude?

John 6:42.
Is not this the carpenter's son?{ Ver. 55. Fabri filius. tou tektonos, artificis. St. Hilary (Can. or cap. xiv. in Matt. p. 678. Ed. Ben.) thought that St. Joseph wrought with fire and iron. We find in a manner the same in St. Ambrose, Lib. iii. in Luc. in initio. p. 52. See also St. Chrysologus, Serm. xlviii. St. Justin (Dialogo cum Tryphone, p.69) says, Christ made aratra and juga; and in the Greek edition, (Parisiis, an. 1551, p. 93) arotra kai zuga. Theodoret, (lib. III. Hist. ch. XVIII, p. 656) Sandalipam fabricat, glossokomon ... kataskeuazei.|} I find carpenter in all translations, though the Greek word signifies, in general, a workman or craftsman. The Latin is also a general word, which of itself signifies no more a carpenter than a smith. But the common belief of the faithful is, that St. Joseph was a carpenter, which may be confirmed by what Theodoret relates (lib. 3:Hist. ch. XVIII.) of one Libanius, under Julian the apostate, who asking scornfully of a holy man, what the carpenter's son was doing at that time? the holy man made him this smart reply, that he was making a coffin for Julian; who was killed not long after. (Witham) --- O! how truly astonishing is the stupidity of the Nazareans! They wonder whence wisdom itself possesses wisdom, and virtue itself virtue. The reason is evident: they only considered him as the son of a carpenter. (St. Jerome) --- Was not David the son of an husbandman, and Amos a shepherd? They should then have honoured our Lord, when they heard him speak in this manner. What wonderful mildness in Christ! Though calumniated and reviled, he still answers with the greatest humility and charity, a prophet is not without honour, save in his own country. (ver. 57.) (St. Chrysostom in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- His brethren. These were the children of Mary, the wife of Cleophas, sister of our blessed Lady; (Matthew 28:56.; John 19:25.) and therefore, according to the usual style of the Scripture, they were called brethren, that is, near relations to our Saviour. (Challoner)
Matthew 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath he all these things?

Matthew 13:57 And they were scandalized in his regard. But Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Matthew 13:58 And he wrought not many miracles there, because of their unbelief.

Matthew 14:0 Herod puts John to death. Christ feeds five thousand in the desert. He walks upon the sea, and heals all the diseased with the touch of his garment.

Matthew 14:1 At *the time Herod, the tetrarch, heard of the fame of Jesus:

Mark 6:14. 30.; Luke 9:7.
about the year A.D. 32. Tetrarch. This word, derived from the Greek, signifies one that rules over the fourth part of a kingdom: as Herod then ruled over Galilee, which was but the fourth part of the kingdom of his father. (Challoner) --- St. John had been now imprisoned in the castle of Machaerus about a year, at the instigation of Herodias. It is very probable that before this he would have fallen a sacrifice to her vindictive temper, had it not been for the great personal respect in which (on account of the singular holiness of his life) he was held, not only by the people, but by Herod himself. --- Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, gives the following account: This Herod, who was also called Antipas, was the son of Herod the great, by his sixth wife, Cleopatra, of Jerusalem. A general opinion obtained among the Jews, that Herod's discomfiture by the Parthians, was the effect of divine vengeance upon himself and his army, for the blood of John, surnamed the Baptist. He was a man of immaculate character, whose object was to exhort the Jews to the practice of virtue and piety, point out the necessity of repentance, and hold forth by baptism the import of regeneration to a new life, which he made to consist, not in abstaining from a particular sin, but in an habitual purity of both mind and body. Such was the influence of this great and good man, as appeared from the multitude of his disciples, and the veneration of his life and doctrines, that Herod was apprehensive of a revolt. He therefore sent him bound to prison, where by the malice of Herodias, his brother's wife, he was afterwards put to death, which inhuman act was shortly followed by the marked vengeance of heaven on its execrable author, as the Jews were firmly convinced. (Book XVIII, ch. vii.) --- For Herod going to Rome, at the instigation of Herodias, expecting to be made king, was severely reproved by the emperor Caius, (Caligula) who transferred his tetrarchy to Agrippa, in consequence of which, Herod retired with his wife to Spain, and died in exile. (Wars of the Jews. Book II, ch. VIII.) In the 18th book, and 9th chapter, Josephus says, the place of his exile was Lyons, in Gaul; that his goods were also confiscated, and that both himself and Herodias died in great misery.
Matthew 14:2 And he said to his servants: This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works shew forth themselves in him.

Risen from the dead. St. Jerome thinks these words are spoken by Herod ironically; but they are generally supposed to be his real sentiments, the dictates of a guilty conscience. For he respected John, as appears from ver. 9, and was afraid he was returned to avenge his unjust murder. (Jansenius) --- Mighty works shew forth themselves in him,{ Ver. 2. Operantur in eo, energousin en anto; which shews that operantur is taken actively, not passively, as in some places.|} or work in him. (Witham)
Matthew 14:3 *For Herod had apprehended John, and bound him, and put him in prison, because of Herodias, his brother's wife.

Mark 6:17.; Luke 3:19.
Because of Herodias, his brother's wife. In the common Greek copies we read, his brother Philip's wife, as it is in the Latin in St. Mark, 6:17. (Witham) --- He is a different person from Philip the tetrarch, mentioned in St. Luke. 3:1. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 14:4 For John said to him: It is not lawful for thee to have her.

Matthew 14:5 And wishing to put him to death, he feared the people: *because they esteemed him as a prophet.

Matthew 21:26.
He feared the people. The fear of God corrects us, the fear of man restrains us, but removeth not the desire of evil. Hence it renders such as have been restrained by it for a time, more eager afterwards to indulge their evil propensities. (Glossa.)
Matthew 14:6 But on Herod's birth-day, the daughter of Herodias danced before them: and pleased Herod.

Matthew 14:7 Whereupon he promised, with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask of him.

He promised. Wicked promises and wicked oaths are not binding. That promise is wicked, in which the thing promised is wicked, and that oath is not binding, by which impiety is promoted. (St. Isidore)
Matthew 14:8 But she being instructed before by her mother, said: Give me here in a dish the head of John the Baptist.

Matthew 14:9 And the king was struck sad: yet because of his oath, and for them that sat with him at table, he commanded it to be given.

Yet because of his oath, which could not bind him, being unjust. (Witham) --- See the preposterous religion of this wicked prince. He feels no remorse for his impious conduct to his brother and his own wife; murder, adultery, and incest do not appal him; and yet he is terrified with the thought of violating a vain and wicked oath on no occasion and in no circumstances obligatory. Herod did wrong in taking such a rash oath, but he did worse in fulfilling it. (Jansenius) --- David swore to kill Nabal. He swore rashly; but with greater piety, he refused to keep his oath. Perhaps it is because Catholics inculcate this principle, that they have been accused by their adversaries of teaching that faith is not to be kept, and also the doctrine of expediency. (Haydock)
Matthew 14:10 And he sent and beheaded John in the prison.

Matthew 14:11 And his head was brought in a dish: and it was given to the damsel, and she brought it to her mother.

His head was brought. How wonderful are the ways of the Almighty towards his servants! He permits them in this life to be afflicted, and to be given up to the will of the impious, because he knows this is good for them, and beneficial to their eternal salvation. We behold here St. John, the precursor of the Messias, who is declared by our Saviour to be the most distinguished personage ever born of woman, cast into prison, and, after a year's confinement, slain at the request of an impious vile adulteress. How can any one be heard to complain of the small trials to which he may be exposed for the faith of Christ, when he beholds so eminent a servant of God suffering so much in the same cause. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 14:12 And his disciples came and took the body, and buried it, and came and told Jesus.

Matthew 14:13 *Which, when Jesus had heard, he retired from thence in a boat into a desert place apart: and the multitudes having heard of it, followed him on foot out of the cities.

Mark 6:31.; Luke 9:10.; John 6:3.
Which, when Jesus had heard. Our Saviour did not retire till he was informed of the death of the Baptist, by message; and this he did, not because he was ignorant of it before, but that he might shew to the world, not only by his appearance, but also by his manner of acting, the reality of the mystery of his incarnation. (St. Chrysostom, hom. 1.) --- He did not retire through fear, as some may think. Hence the evangelist does not say, he fled, but he retired, to shew us that he did not fear his enemies. (St. Jerome) --- The desert was called of Bethsaida, not because it was on the same side of the town, but opposite it. Wherefore those who wished to join Jesus, not able to pass the lake, went round by the northern extremity, which they passed either by means of a bridge or in boats, and made such haste as to arrive at the desert before Jesus Christ, as St. Mark 6:33. relates; whilst others, not equally expeditious, followed after, according to Sts. Matthew, Luke, and John; so that there is no contradiction in the evangelists. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 14:14 And he coming forth saw a great multitude, and had compassion on them, and healed their sick.

Matthew 14:15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying: This is a desert place, and the hour is now past: send away the multitudes, that going into the towns, they may buy themselves victuals.

And when it was evening.{ Ver. 15. Vespere facto, opsias genomenes. See Matthew xxvi. 20.|} To understand this, and other places, we may take notice that the Hebrews counted two evenings: the first began when the sun was declining, about three in the afternoon; and such was the evening here mentioned. The second evening was after sunset, or the night-time, as it is taken here in this chapter, Matthew 14:23. (Witham) --- That ... they may buy. Jesus Christ does not always anticipate the intentions of his supplicants: on this occasion, he waited for the multitude to ask of him to feed them; but they, though their great respect for him, did not dare to request the favour. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 14:16 But Jesus said to them: They have no need to go: give you them to eat.

But Jesus said. It may perhaps be asked here, if then our Lord, as St. John relates, looking upon the multitude, inquired of Philip how so great a multitude could be fed in the desert, how can this be true, which St. Matthew relates, that the disciples first desired Jesus to send away the multitude? But we are to understand, that after these words our Lord looked upon the multitude, and said to Philip what St. John mentions, which St. Matthew and the other evangelists omit. (St. Augustine, de concord. evang.) --- They have no need to go: give you them to eat. This he says for our instruction, that when the poor ask us alms, we send them not to other persons and other places, if we are able to relieve them ourselves. (Estius) --- This happened when the Passover was near at hand, (being the third since the commencement of our Saviour's ministry.) St. John does not usually relate what is mentioned by the other evangelists, especially what happened in Galilee. If he does it on this occasion, it is in order to introduce the subject of the heavenly bread, 6:37.[31.?] He seems also to have had in view to describe the different Passovers during Christ's preaching. As he, therefore, staid in Galilee during the third Passover, he relates pretty fully his transactions during that time.
Matthew 14:17 They answered him: *We have here but five loaves and two fishes.

John 6:9.
Matthew 14:18 He said to them: Bring them hither to me.

Matthew 14:19 And when he had commanded the multitudes to sit down upon the grass, he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.

Commanded the multitude to sit down.{ Ver. 19. Benedixit. St. Luke, 9:16. benedixit illis, eulogese autous, which is not the same as eucharistein.|} Lit. to lie down, as it was then the custom of the Jews, and of other nations, at meat. See Mark vi, and John vi. etc. --- He blessed. St. Luke 9:16. says, he blessed them. St. John 6:11, says when he had given thanks: some take this blessing and giving thanks, for the same; but blessing them, must be referred to the loaves, and giving thanks, must be to God. The loaves miraculously increased partly in the hands of Christ, when he broke them, partly in the hands of the disciples, when they distributed them about. (Witham) --- He blessed and brake. From this let Christians learn to give thanks at their meals, begging of God that his gifts may be sanctified for their use. From this miracle it appears, that it is no impossibility for bodies, even in their natural state, to be in many places at the same time; since, supposing these loaves to have been sufficient for 50 persons, as there were a hundred such companies, the loaves must have been in a hundred different places at one and the same time. It cannot be said, as some pretend, that other loaves were invisibly put into the apostles' hands, since it is said that they filled 12 baskets of fragments of the five barley loaves; and again, he divided the two fishes among them all. If God could cause bodies, in their natural state, to be in many places at one and the same time, how much more easy would it be to do the same with spiritual bodies, with the properties of which we are entirely unacquainted; so that from this it appears, that the objection that Christ's body cannot be in many different places in the holy Eucharist, is nugatory. But, who are we, to ask such a question of the Almighty, who know not what is possible, and what is not possible for him to do! (Bp. Hay, Sincere Christian.)
Matthew 14:20 And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up what remained, twelve baskets full of fragments.

And they did all eat, and were filled. This miraculous multiplication of the loaves was effected on a Thursday evening --- an excellent figure of the blessed Eucharist. On the next morning, Friday, he cured the sick at Genesareth, and arrived at Capharnaum for the first vespers of the sabbath; where, in the Synagogue, he made his promise of the holy Eucharist, which he instituted on a Thursday evening, the eve of his death. See Evangile medite. Tom. iii, p. 425.
Matthew 14:21 And the number of them that had eaten, was five thousand men, besides women and children.

Matthew 14:22 *And forthwith Jesus obliged his disciples to get up into the boat, and to go before him over the water, while he sent the multitude away.

Mark 6:45.
And forthwith Jesus, etc. In this we have the genuine picture of a Christian life. After eating of the miraculous bread, we must like the disciples, prepare ourselves for labour. As bread was given Elias, to enable him to walk 40 days to the mountain of God, Horeb, so the blessed Eucharist, the true heavenly bread, is given us that we may be able to support the hardships to which we are exposed. (Paulus de Palacio.) --- We here also see the ardent love of the disciples for their Lord, since they were unwilling to be separated from him even for a moment. Theophylactus also adds that they were unwilling for him to go, ignorant how he could return to them.
Matthew 14:23 And having dismissed the multitude, *he went into a mountain alone to pray. And when the evening was come he was there alone.

John 6:15.; Mark 6:46.
Alone to pray. By our Saviour's conduct on this occasion, we are taught to leave occasionally the society of men, and to retire into solitude, as a more proper place to commune with heaven in earnest and fervent prayer. The company of mortals is often a great distraction to the fervent Christian. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 14:24 But the boat in the midst of the sea was tossed with the waves: for the wind was contrary.

Matthew 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking upon the sea.

And in the fourth watch of the night. The Jews, under the Romans, divided the night, or the time from sunset to sunrise, into four watches, each of them lasting for three hours. And the hours were longer or shorter, according as the nights were at different seasons of the year. At the equinox, the first watch was from six in the evening till nine; the second, from nine till twelve; the third, from twelve till three in the morning; and the fourth, from three till six, or till sunrise. (Witham) --- They had been tossed by the tempest almost the whole night. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 14:26 And they seeing him walking on the sea, were troubled, saying: It is an apparition. And they cried out for fear.

Matthew 14:27 And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good heart: It is I, be not afraid.

Matthew 14:28 And Peter making answer, said: Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters.

And Peter ... said. Everywhere Peter appears full of faith and love. He now with his usual ardour believes he can do at the command of his Master, what by nature he is unable to perform. He desires to be with his Lord, and cannot bear delay; and, in reward of his eagerness, Christ works a miracle in his favour. (Jansenius) --- Lord, if it be thou. Peter, by saying if, did not doubt in faith, as Calvin pretends; nor was he guilty of any arrogance, as others conjecture; for our Lord granted his request. Peter knew that his request would be pleasing to Christ, who had shewn himself so very considerate for his apostles. Peter had also worked miracles himself in the name of Christ, and observing that he wished to pass by, Peter hastened to be with him, to embrace him, and serve him. (Tirinus)
Matthew 14:29 And he said: Come. And Peter, going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus.

Let those who argue that the body of our Saviour was not a real but an aerial body, or phantom, because he walked upon the waters, explain to us how St. Peter, whom they will not deny to be a true man, walked on the waters. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 14:30 But seeing the wind strong he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me.

He was afraid. As long as Peter had his eye and faith fixed on Christ, the liquid element yielded not to his steps; but the moment he turns his thoughts on himself, his own weakness, and the violence of the winds and waves, he begins to lose confidence, and on that account to sink. Again his faith saves him; he calls upon the Lord, who stretcheth forth his arm, and takes hold of him. (Jansenius) --- By his confidence in God, we learn what we can do by the divine assistance; and by his fear, what we are of ourselves: also, that no one receives from God the strength he stands in need of, but he who feels that of himself he can do nothing. (St. Augustine, serm. 76.)
Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretching forth his hand, took hold of him, and said to him: O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?

And immediately Jesus. Five miracles are here wrought: 1. Christ walks upon the water; 2. enables Peter to do the same; 3. when Peter begins to sink, preserves him; 4. suddenly stills the tempest; 5. the ship is immediately in port, which may be mystically explained thus: a Christian is with Jesus Christ, to tread under foot the whole world, with the whirlpools of earthly distractions, whilst God calms all tempestuous passions, temptations, and persecutions, and leads him with faithful and continued support to the harbour of eternal rest and life. (Tirinus)
Matthew 14:32 And when they were come up into the boat, the wind ceased.

And when they were come up into the boat. St. Mark 6:51. tells us, Christ went up with St. Peter into the boat. Nor is this denied by St. John 6:21. when he says, They were willing therefore to take him into the boat: and presently the boat was at the land. They not only would, but did also take him into the boat, which was presently at the shore. (Witham)
Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the boat came and worshipped him saying: Thou art truly the Son of God.

It may be doubted, whether the mystery of the blessed Trinity had been at this time explicitly revealed to the Jews. Most probably not. By "thou art the Son of God," they only mean to bear testimony of his sanctity, and shewed themselves willing to acknowledge him for their Messias, as formerly prophets and holy men were styled, sons of God. Or we may suppose that the Almighty enlightened their understanding by an interior ray of his light, to know a truth which was obscure to others, and therefore they come and adore him. (Jansenius)
Matthew 14:34 *And having passed over, they came into the country of Genesar.

Mark 6:53.
Matthew 14:35 And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country, and brought to him all that were diseased.

Matthew 14:36 And they besought him that they might touch but the hem of his garment. And as many as touched, were made whole.

Hence the veneration Catholics pay to holy relics is vindicated. Not only Christ's words, but his very garments had a virtue and power communicated to them. (Bristow)
Matthew 15:0 Christ reproves the Scribes. He cures the daughter of the woman of Chanaan: and many others: and feeds four thousand with seven loaves.

Matthew 15:1 Then *came to him from Jerusalem Scribes and Pharisees, saying:

Mark 7:1.
about the year A.D. 32. The Pharisees observed a rigid and simple mode life, disdaining all luxurious delicacies. They scrupulously followed the dicta of reason, and paid the greatest veneration and implicit obedience to the opinions and traditions of their seniors. All contingencies they ascribe to fate, but not to the exclusion of free-will. The immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments, were favourite tenets with them, and their fame for wisdom, temperance, and integrity was proverbial. (Josephus, Antiq. Book XVIII, ch. II.)
Matthew 15:2 *Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Mark 7:5.
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition. The Pharisees had various traditions delivered down from their ancestors, called deuterseis, of which some were works of supererogation, others were contrary to the law. (Estius) --- It is a great proof of malice in the Pharisees, and of irreproachable character in our Lord, that they should be reduce to notice triffles, no ways connected with either piety or religion. ... They moreover betrayed their superstition, by insisting on the observance of these outward ceremonies, as essential parts of piety, which were not commanded by any law, (were certainly of no divine origin) and which, at most, were duties of civility, or emblems of interior purity. (Jansenius) --- The tradition of the ancients? They do not say the written law, which did not prescribe these washings of hands, cups, pots, beds, etc. These traditions came only from the doctors of their law, who are called elders, which is a name of dignity, as was that of senator among the Romans, and so, in English, are the names of major, alderman, etc. See Acts v.[xv.?] 6. etc. (Witham)
Matthew 15:3 But he answering said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said:

Why do you also. The Jews understanding the saying of the prophets, "wash yourselves and be clean," in a carnal manner, they made a precept of not eating without first washing their hands. (Ven. Bede) --- The traditions here alluded to, and which they call the oral law, were respected equally with the written law, by all the Jews, except the sect of Caraites; they were collected in seventy-two books, and composed the cabbala, and were kept by Gamaliel and other heads of the sanhedrim, till the destruction of Jerusalem. About 120 years after this, Rabbi Judas composed a book of them, called Mishna, or second law; afterwards two supplements and explanations were given, viz. the Talmud of Jerusalem, and the Talmud of Babylon. By these the Jews are still governed in ecclesiastical matters.
Matthew 15:4 *Honour thy father and mother: **And he that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death.

Exodus 20:12.; Deuteronomy 5:16.; Ephesians 6:2. --- ** Exodus 21:17.; Leviticus 20:9.; Proverbs 20:20.
Matthew 15:5 But you say: Whosoever shall say to his father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.

The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.{ Ver. 5. Mark 7:11. Quodcunque ex me, tibi profuerit. In the Greek, both in St. Matthew and St. Mark, doron, o ean ex emou, ophelethes, tibi prosit.|} This gift is called Corban, Mark 7:11. Now, as to the sense of this obscure place, I shall mention two expositions that seem preferable to others. The first is, as if a son said to his father or mother, Whatsoever was mine, (with which indeed I might have assisted you, my parents) I have given, that is promised to give to the temple: and being to keep this promise, I need not, or I cannot now assist you. The second interpretation is, as if the son said to his father or mother, Whatsoever gift I have made to God will be profitable to you, as well as to me; or, let it be profitable to you, (which is more according to the Greek text, both here and in St. Mark) and therefore I am no further obliged to assist you. (Witham) --- That is, the offering that I shall make to God, shall be instead of that which should be expended for thy profit. This tradition of the Pharisees was calculated to enrich themselves, by exempting children from giving any further assistance to their parents, if they once offered to the temple and the priests that which should have been the support of their parents. But this was a violation of the law of God, and of nature, which our Saviour here condemns. (Challoner) --- They committed a double crime. They neither offered the gift to God, nor succoured their parents in their distress. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lii.)
Matthew 15:6 And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition.

And he shall not honour; that is, assist his father or his mother. It is doubtful whether these may not be the words of the Pharisees; but they rather seem the words of our Saviour Christ, especially seeing that in St. Mark, Christ himself adds: And, farther, you suffer him not to do any thing for his father or mother, making void the word of God by your tradition. (Witham)
Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying:

Matthew 15:8 *This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me.

Isaias 29:13.; Mark 7:6.
Matthew 15:9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.

In vain they worship, or think they worship God, who neglect the divine commandments to observe the commands of men. We must not here suppose that Christ censures the commands of the Church, or the tradition of the apostles, because these are in nowise contrary to the divine law, but rather serve to enforce it, and reduce it to practice; nor are they so much the commands of men, as of God, delivered to us by his ambassadors. Christ censures such as are merely human, such as those mentioned here, which are vain and futile, as the superstitious washing of hands; or erroneous, as that the soul is defiled by meat; or openly contrary to natural and divine law, as the defrauding parents of their just support. (Tirinus) --- It is evidently erroneous to argue from this text against apostolic traditions. St. Paul tells the Thessalonians, to stand fast, and hold the traditions which they had been taught, whether by word of mouth or by epistles. (2 Thessalonians 2:14.) --- Commandments of men. The doctrines and commandments here reprehended, are such as are either contrary to the law of God, (as that of neglecting parents, under pretence of giving to God) or at least are frivolous, unprofitable, and no ways conducing to true piety, as that of often washing hands, etc. without regard to the purity of the heart. But as to the rules and ordinances of the holy Church, touching fasts, festivals, etc. these are no ways repugnant to, but highly agreeable to God's holy word, and all Christian piety; neither are they to be counted among the doctrines and commandments of men, because they proceed not from mere human authority, but from that which Christ has established in his Church; whose pastors he has commanded us to hear and obey, even as himself. (Luke 10:16.; Matthew 18:17) (Challoner)
Matthew 15:10 And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.

Matthew 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth, defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Not that which goeth into the mouth, etc. We must heartily pity and pray to God for those who blindly pretend from hence, that to eat any kind of meats, or as often as a man pleaseth on fasting-days, can defile no man. (Witham) --- No uncleaness in meat, nor any dirt contracted by eating it with unwashed hands, can defile the soul; but sin alone, or a disobedience of the heart to the ordinance and will of God. And thus, when Adam took the forbidden fruit, it was not the apple which entered into his mouth, but the disobedience to the law of God, which defiled him. The same is to be said if a Jew, in the time of the old law, had eaten swine's flesh; or a Christian convert, in the days of the apostles, contrary to their ordinance, had eaten blood; or if any of the faithful, at present, should transgress the ordinance of God's Church, by breaking the fasts: for in all these cases the soul would be defiled, not indeed by that which goeth into the mouth, but by the disobedience of the heart, in wilfully transgressing the ordinance of God, or of those who have their authority from him. (Challoner) --- Jesus Christ by no means prohibits fasting and abstinence from certain food, and at certain times, or he would have been immediately accused of contradicting the law; he only says, that meat which they esteem unclean does not of itself, and by its own nature, defile the soul; which is what the Pharisees (and before them Pythagoras, and after them the Manicheans) maintained, and which St. Paul warmly confutes. (1 Timothy 4:4) (Tirinus) --- If a man gets intoxicated, adducing this same plea, that what entereth by the mouth, etc. is not the answer obvious; that it is not the wine, but the intemperance, contrary to the law of God, which defileth him: for drunkards shall not possess the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10)
Matthew 15:12 Then came his disciples, and said to him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized?

Scandalized. When the Pharisees had received our Lord's answer, they had nothing to reply. His disciples perceiving their indignation, came and asked Jesus if he observed they were scandalized, that is offended. It is probable the disciples were also a little hurt, or afraid lest his words were contrary to the law of Moses or the tradition of the ancients, and took this occasion of having their scruples removed. St. Hilary, St. Chrysostom and Theophylactus understand this answer, Every plant, etc. to signify that every doctrine not proceeding from God, consequently the traditions of the Pharisees here in question, were to be eradicated by the promulgation of the gospel truths, which were not to remain unpublished on account of the scandal some interested or prejudiced persons might choose to take therefrom. (Jansenius) --- It must be here observed, that Christ was not the direct cause of scandal to the Jews, for such scandal would not be allowable; he only caused it indirectly, because it was his doctrine, at which, through their own perversity, they took scandal. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 15:13 But he answering said: *Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

John 15:2.
Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: *they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.

Luke 6:39.
Let them alone. It must not be hence inferred, that he desired not the conversion of the Scribes and Pharisees. He only says: if, through their own perversity, they choose to take scandal, let them do it; we must not neglect to teach the truth, though it displease men. (St. Jerome) --- When, says St. Gregory, we see scandal arise from our preaching truth, we must rather suffer it to take place than desert the truth. Our Lord says they are blind, let us leave them. For the land which has often been watered with the dews of heaven, and still continues barren is deserted. Behold your house shall be left desolate. (Luke 13:35) And Isaias 5:6. says, It shall not be pruned, and it shall not be digged, but briers and thorns shall come upon it; and I will command the clouds to rain no more rain upon it. For, although God never refuses man grace sufficient to enable him to rise, if he pleases, yet he sometimes denies such assistance as would render his rise easy. The state of a sinner is then desperate indeed, when Christ tells his disciples to leave him. For as the Sodomites were destroyed, so soon as Lot, who was just and good in the sight of God, had departed from them, and as Jerusalem was laid waste when Jesus went out of it, (for he suffered without the gates) so the sinner is in a very dangerous state, when he is left by the ministers of religion as one infected with a mortal distemper. (Paulus de Palacio)
Matthew 15:15 *And Peter answering, said to him: Explain to us this parable.

Mark 7:17.
Matthew 15:16 But he said: Are you also yet without understanding?

Matthew 15:17 Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy?

Matthew 15:18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man.

Matthew 15:19 For from the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.

For out of the heart. We must here observe, that our divine Redeemer mentions offences against our neighbour, to shew us that he is even more desirous we should love our neighbour than worship himself. (Idem.)
Matthew 15:20 These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.

Matthew 15:21 *And Jesus went from thence, and retired into the parts of Tyre and Sidon.

Mark 7:24.
Confines of Tyre. It perhaps may be asked, why Jesus went among the Gentiles, when he had commanded his apostles to avoid those countries? One reason may be, that our Saviour was not subject to the same rules he gave his disciples; another reason may be brought, that he did not go then to preach; hence St. Matthew observes that he kept himself retired. (St. Chrysostom) --- Tyre and Sidon were both situated on the Mediterranean sea, about 20 miles distant from each other, and the adjoining country to the west and north of Galilee was called the coast or territories of Tyre and Sidon. The old inhabitants of this tract were descendants of Chanaan, (for Sidon was his eldest son) and continued in possession of it much longer than they did of any other part of the country. The Greeks called it Phoenicia; and when, by right of conquest, it became a province of Syria, it took the name of Syrophoenicia; hence the woman, whom St. Matthew calls a Chanaanite, St. Mark calls a Syrophoenician and Gentile; as being both by religion and language a Greek.
Matthew 15:22 And behold a woman of Chanaan, who came out of those parts, crying out, said to him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil.

It is probable that woman first cried out before the door, and assembled a crowd, and then went into the house. Have mercy on me. The great faith of the Chanaanaean woman is justly extolled. She believed him to be God, whom she calls her Lord, and him a man, whom she styles the Son of David. She lays no stress upon her own merits, but supplicates for the mercy of God; neither does she say, have mercy on my daughter, but have mercy on me. ... To move him to compassion, she lays all her grief and sorrow before him in these afflicting words: my daughter is grievously afflicted by a devil. (Glossa.)
Matthew 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us:

He answered her not. It must not be supposed that our Saviour refused to hear the woman through any contempt, but only to shew that his mission was in the first instance to the Jews; or to induce her to ask with greater earnestness, so as to deserve more ample assistance. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 15:24 And he answering, said: I was not sent *but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:6.; John 10:3.
Matthew 15:25 But she came and worshipped him, saying: Lord, help me.

Matthew 15:26 But he answered, and said: It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs.

\f + \fr 15:26-27\ft And to cast it to the dogs; that is to Gentiles, sometimes so called by the Jews. (Witham) --- The diminutive word Kunarios, or whelp, is used in both these verses in the Septuagint. Our Lord crosses the wishes of the Chanaanaean, not that he intended to reject her, but that he might bring to light the hidden and secret treasure of her virtue. Let us admire not only the greatness of her faith, but likewise the profoundness of her humility; for when our Saviour called the Jews children, so far from being envious of another's praise, she readily answers, and gives them the title of lords; and when Christ likened her to a dog, she presently acknowledges the meanness of her condition. (St. Chrysostom, hom. liii.) He refused at first to listen to her petition, says the same saint, to instruct us with what faith, humility, and perseverance we ought to pray. To make his servants more sensible of his mercy, and more eager to obtain it, he often appears to pay no attention to their prayers, till he had exercised them in the virtues of humility and patience. Ask, and you shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened to you. (Haydock)
Matthew 15:27 But she said: Yea, Lord: for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt. And her daughter was cured from that hour.

Be it done. In the beginning God said, Let there be light, and there was light; here Jesus Christ says, let it be done, etc. and her daughter was healed from that hour. So powerful with God is earnest and fervent prayer. (St. Chrysostom, hom. liii.)
Matthew 15:29 And when Jesus had departed from thence, he came nigh the sea of Galilee: and going up into a mountain, he sat there.

Matthew 15:30 *And there came to him great multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the lame, the maimed, and many others: and they cast them down at his feet, and he healed them:

Isaias 35:5.
And he healed them. The Chanaanaean was long in obtaining her request, and only prevailed by her importunity; whereas the Jews were cured on declaring their infirmities. Thus were they left without excuse, seeing how much greater was the faith of this poor Gentile woman, than that of the descendants of Abraham. (St. Chrysostom, hom. liii.)
Matthew 15:31 So that the multitudes marvelled, seeing the dumb speak, the lame walk, and the blind see: and they glorified the God of Israel.

Matthew 15:32 *Then Jesus called together his disciples, and said: I have compassion on the multitudes, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

Mark 8:1.
They continue with me now three days, eager to hear his divine instructions, and to witness the greatness of his miracles. The disciples, as if not remembering what Jesus had done on a similar emergency, (see Matthew, 14:16,) expressed their solicitude and uneasiness for the hungered multitude. (Haydock)
Matthew 15:33 And the disciples say unto him: Whence then should we have so many loaves in the desert, as to fill so great a multitude?

Matthew 15:34 And Jesus said to them: How many loaves have you? But they said: Seven, and a few little fishes.

Matthew 15:35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.

Matthew 15:36 And taking the seven loaves and the fishes, and giving thanks, he brake, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples gave to the people.

He gave thanks to his heavenly Father, for that providential care with which he supplies our wants, even miraculously, when necessary for us. Everywhere his goodness and attention to the wants of his children are manifested, but not more so in the manna of the desert, than in the fertility of the holy land. (Haydock)
Matthew 15:37 And they did all eat, and had their fill. And they took up seven baskets full, of what remained of the fragments.

Seven baskets full remained, to intimate that God remunerates with a liberal hand all alms given for his sake. Various are the circumstances attending the present multiplication of the loaves with that in the preceding chapter. In the former, there were five loaves and two fishes; here there are seven loaves and a few little fishes: In the former, 5,000 men were filled, here 4,000: in the former case, 12 baskets full of fragments remained, here seven. (Tirinus) --- All which sufficiently prove that these were two distinct miracles, to both of which Jesus Christ refers in Matthew 16:9-10. (Haydock)
Matthew 15:38 And they that did eat, were four thousand men, besides children and women.

Matthew 15:39 And having dismissed the multitude, he went up into a boat, and came into the coasts of Magedan.

Magedan. Some copies read Magdalan, others Magadan, or Magedan: this last is found in the Vulgate, and in the best manuscript copies. (Mat. Polus, T. iv, p. 409.)
Matthew 16:0 Christ refuses to shew the Pharisees a sign from heaven. Peter's confession is rewarded. He is rebuked for opposing Christ's passion. All his followers must deny themselves.

Matthew 16:1 And *there came to him the Pharisees and Sadducees, tempting: and they asked him to shew them a sign from heaven.

Mark 8:11. 26.
about the year A.D. 32. The Pharisees and Sadducees. These were widely opposite in their religious sentiments to each other, but closely united in their design of persecuting Jesus Christ, and they come and ask of him a sign or prodigy from heaven, to convince them that he was the Christ, the Messias. (Bible de Vence) --- The Sadducees deny the immortality of the soul, and affirm that our only obligation is the observance of the law; insomuch, that they prided themselves on their right of disputing the most important points with their teachers. This sect is not numerous, and chiefly composed of men of condition, who, when properly qualified for offices of state, are compelled to conform, at least in appearance, to the principles of the Pharisees; otherwise, they would incur the resentment of the Pharisees. (Josephus, Book XVIII. ch. II.) See also note on Matthew 3:7. above. --- St. Chrysostom is of opinion he would have granted them any sign they wished, had they been willing to believe; but as their object was curiosity and censure, he refused to comply. They mistrusted, it would seem, his other miracles as the effect of some occult quality inherent in him, and wished to see a miracle performed upon distant objects in the heavens or clouds, which would be to them less suspicious and objectionable. (Haydock)
Matthew 16:2 But he answered and said to them: *When it is evening, you say: It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.

Luke 12:54.
Matthew 16:3 And in the morning: To-day there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering.

Matthew 16:4 You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times?* A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, **but the sign of Jonas the prophet. And he left them and went away.

Matthew 12:39. --- ** Jonas 2:1.
You know then how to discern the face of the sky, etc. Jesus Christ does not condemn every observation made upon the weather, from external appearances in the heavens. He only upbraids the Jews for so closely examining these signs, and neglecting at the same time to notice the many signs and predictions which so plainly manifested him to be the promised Messias. (Denis the Carthusian) --- The reasoning of Jesus Christ is this: you know how to judge of the weather from observation, and cannot you then know the certain signs so often promised, and now completed in my coming? The signs of this event were, the taking away the sceptre from the tribe of Juda. (Genesis xxxix.[xlix.?] 10.) The completion of the 70 weeks of years of Daniel 9:25, amounting to 490 years, which were now on the eve of being completed. The miracles of Jesus Christ, as the curing of the blind, the lame, the deaf and dumb, foretold by Isaias 35:5.; Isaias 61:1. To which may be added the apparition of angels to the shepherds at Bethlehem, the miraculous star which appeared to the magi, the testimony of his heavenly Father, the descent of the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove. Besides, the testimony of the Baptist, and so many miracles of every kind wrought to establish this truth, most certainly, clearly, and infallibly demonstrate, that the long expected Messias had already come, and that this Jesus was the Messias. (Tirinus)
Matthew 16:5 And when his disciples were come over the water, they had forgotten to take bread.

Forgotten to take bread. The disciples had just filled seven baskets with fragments, but had forgotten to take any with them into the ship; or, according to others, had distributed all among the poor. (Barrardius) --- They were so taken with the company of Christ, that they even forgot the necessities of life. (St. Anselm) --- The disciples, ever constant attendants on our Redeemer, were retained so strongly by the love of his company, that they would not be absent from him for one moment. We may also remark how far they were from an eager search after delicacies, when they even forgot the daily pittance requisite for their support. (St. Remigius) --- It was the custom of those times, and that country, for persons on a journey to carry their own bread. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 16:6 And he said to them: *Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and Sadducees.

Mark 8:15.; Luke 12:1.
\f + \fr 16:6-7\ft Beware of the leaven, etc. The disciples, not understanding the meaning of Christ's words, supposed he was instructing them not to touch the bread of the Scribes and Pharisees. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 16:7 But they thought within themselves, saying: Because we have taken no bread.

Matthew 16:8 And Jesus knowing it, said: Why do you think within yourselves, O ye of little faith, because you have no bread?

Why do you think? That we might know what effect this discourse of our Saviour had upon his disciples, the evangelist immediately subjoins, then they understood, etc. This exposition of Christ freed them from the accusation of the Jews; it made them who were negligent and inattentive, both diligent and attentive, and confirmed them in their faith. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 16:9 Do you not yet understand, neither do you remember *the five loaves among the five thousand men, and how many baskets you took up?

Matthew 14:17.; John 6:9.
Matthew 16:10 *Nor the seven loaves, among the four thousand men, and how many baskets you took up?

Matthew 15:34.
Matthew 16:11 Why do you not understand that it was not concerning the bread I said to you: Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and Sadducees?

Matthew 16:12 Then they understood that he said not that they should beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees, and Sadducees.

Matthew 16:13 *And Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is?

Mark 8:27.
Caearea Philippi, was first called Paneades, and was afterwards embellished and greatly enlarged by Philip the tetrarch, son of Herod the great, and dedicated in honour of Augustus, hence its name. There was moreover another Caesarea, called Straton, situated on the Mediterranean: and not in this, but in the former, did Christ interrogate his disciples. He first withdrew them from the Jews, that they might with more boldness and freedom deliver their sentiments. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lv.) --- The Caesarea here mentioned continued to be called by heathen writers Panea, from the adjoining spring Paneum, or Panium, which is usually taken for the source of the Jordan.
Matthew 16:14 But they said: *Some John the Baptist, and others Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

Mark 8:28.; Luke 19:9.
Some say, etc. Herod thought that Christ was the Baptist, on account of his prodigies. (Matthew 14:2.) Others that he was Elias: 1st. because they expected he was about to return to them, according to the prophecy of Malachias; behold I will send you Elias; 2nd. on account of the greatness of his miracles; 3rd. on account of his invincible zeal and courage in the cause of truth and justice. Others again said he was Jeremias, either on account of his great sanctity, for he was sanctified in his mother's womb; or, on account of his great charity and love for his brethren, as it was written of Jeremias: he is a lover of his brethren. Or, again, one of the prophets, viz. Isaias, or some other noted for eloquence; for it was the opinion of many of the Jews, as we read in St. Luke, that one of the ancient prophets had arisen again. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 16:15 Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am.

Whom do you say that I am? You, who have been continually with me; you, who have seen me perform so many more miracles; you, who have yourselves worked miracles in my name? From this pointed interrogation, Jesus Christ intimates, that the opinion men had formed of him was very inadequate to the exalted dignity of his person, and that he expects they will have a juster conception of him. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lv.)
Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answering said: *Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.

John 6:70.
Simon Peter answering. As Simon Peter had been constituted the first in the college of apostles, (Matthew 10:2.) and therefore surpasseth the others in dignity as much as in zeal, without hesitation, and in the name of all, he answers: thou art the Christ, the Redeemer promised to the world, not a mere man, not a mere prophet like other prophets, but the true and natural Son of the living God. Thus Sts. Chrysostom, Cyril, Ambrose, Augustine, and Tirinus. When our Saviour inquired the opinion of the vulgar, all the apostles answered; but when he asks their opinion of him, Peter, as the mouth of the rest, and head of the whole college, steps forth, and prevents the others. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lv.) --- Tu es Christus, filius Dei vivi; or, as it is in the Greek, o christos, o uios; The Christ, the Son, the Christ formerly promised by the law and the prophets, expected and desired by all the saints, the anointed and consecrated to God: o uios, the Son, not by grace only, or an adoptive filiation like prophets, to whom Christ is here opposed, but by natural filiation, and in a manner that distinguishes him from all created beings. --- Thou art{ Ver. 16. Tu es Christus, Filius Dei vivi. o christos o uios tou theou. Where the Greek articles seem significant.|} Christ, the Son of the living God, not by grace only, or by adoption, as saints are the sons of God, but by nature, and from all eternity, the true Son of the living God. (Witham)
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father, who is in heaven.

Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona. Simon is undoubtedly Sumeon, as written 2 Peter 1:1. Bariona is son of Jona, or John, an abridgment for Barioanna. Bar, in Chaldaic, is son; hence St. Peter is called, in John xxi, 16. and 17, Simon, son of John. It was customary with the Jews to add to a rather common name, for the sake of discrimination, a patronumikon, or patronymic, as appears from Matthew 10:3.; Matthew 23:35; Mark 2:14; John 6:42. (Pastorini)
Matthew 16:18 *And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

John 12:42.
Kago. And I say to thee, and tell thee why I before declared, (John 1:42.) that thou shouldst be called Peter, for thou art constituted the rock upon which, as a foundation, I will build my Church, and that so firmly, as not to suffer the gates (that is, the powers) of hell to prevail against its foundation; because if they overturn its foundation, (that is, thee and thy successors) they will overturn also the Church that rests upon it. Christ therefore here promises to Peter, that he and his successors should be to the end, as long as the Church should last, its supreme pastors and princes. (Tirinus) --- In the Syriac tongue, which is that which Jesus Christ spoke, there is no difference of genders, as there is in Latin, between petra, a rock, and Petrus, Peter; hence, in the original language, the allusion was both more natural and more simple. (Bible de Vence) --- Thou art Peter;{ Ver. 18. St. Augustine, serm. 13, de Verbis Domini, in the new edit. serm. 76. t. v. p. 415, expounds these words super hanc Petram, that is super hanc Petram, quam confessus es, super meipsum. See also tract. 24. in Joan, t. iii. p. 822. But he elsewhere gave the common interpretation, as he says, lib. i. Retrac. and in Psal. lxix. Petrus, qui paulo ante Christum confessus erat filium Dei, et in illa Confessione appellatus erat Petra, super quam fabrificatur Ecclesia, etc. See St. Jerome on this place, lib. iii. p. 97. aedificabo (inquit Christus) super te Ecclesiam meam. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lv. in Matt. etc.)|} and upon this (that is, upon thee, according to the literal and general exposition of the ancient Fathers) I will build my church. It is true St. Augustine, in one or two places, thus expounds these words, and upon this rock, (that is, upon myself:) or upon this rock, which Peter hath confessed: yet he owns that he had also given the other interpretation, by which Peter himself was the rock. Some Fathers have also expounded it, upon the faith, which Peter confessed; but then they take not faith, as separated from the person of Peter, but on Peter, as holding the true faith. No one questions but that Christ himself is the great foundation-stone, the chief corner-stone, as St. Paul tells the Ephesians; (Ephesians 2:20.) but it is also certain, that all the apostles may be called foundation-stones of the Church, as represented Apocalypse 21:14. In the mean time, St. Peter (called therefore Cephas, a rock) was the first and chief foundation-stone among the apostles, on whom Christ promised to build his Church. (Witham) --- Thou art Peter, etc. As St. Peter, by divine revelation, here made a solemn profession of his faith of the divinity of Christ, so in recompense of this faith and profession, our Lord here declares to him the dignity to which he is pleased to raise him: viz. that he, to whom he had already given the name of Peter, signifying a rock, (John 1:42.) should be a rock indeed, of invincible strength, for the support of the building of the church; in which building he should be next to Christ himself, the chief foundation-stone, in quality of chief pastor, ruler, and governor; and should have accordingly all fulness of ecclesiastical power, signified by the keys of the kingdom of heaven. --- Upon this rock, etc. The words of Christ to Peter, spoken in the vulgar language of the Jews, which our Lord made use of, were the same as if he had said in English, Thou art a rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. So that, by the plain course of the words, Peter is here declared to be the rock, upon which the church was to be built; Christ himself being both the principal foundation and founder of the same. Where also note, that Christ by building his house, that is, his Church, upon a rock, has thereby secured it against all storms and floods, like the wise builder. (Matthew 7:24, 25.) --- The gates of hell, etc. That is, the powers of darkness, and whatever Satan can do, either by himself or his agents. For as the Church is here likened to a house, or fortress, built on a rock; so the adverse powers are likened to a contrary house or fortress, the gates of which, that is the whole strength, and all the efforts it can make, will never be able to prevail over the city or Church of Christ. By this promise we are fully assured, that neither idolatry, heresy, nor any pernicious error whatsoever shall at any time prevail over the Church of Christ. (Challoner) --- The gates, in the Oriental style, signify the powers; thus, to this day, we designate the Ottoman or Turkish empire by the Ottoman port. The princes were wont to hold their courts at the gates of the city. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 16:19 *And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. **And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Isaias 22:22. --- ** John 20:23.
And I will give to thee the keys, etc. This is another metaphor, expressing the supreme power and prerogative of the prince of the apostles. The keys of a city, or of its gates, are presented or given to the person that hath the chief power. We also own a power of the keys, given to the other apostles, but with a subordination to St. Peter and to his successor, as head of the Catholic Church. --- And whatsoever thou shalt bind, etc. All the apostles, and their successors, partake also of this power of binding and loosing, but with a due subordination to one head invested with the supreme power. (Witham) --- Loose on earth. The loosing the bands of temporal punishments due to sins, is called an indulgence: the power of which is here granted. (Challoner) --- Although Peter and his successors are mortal, they are nevertheless endowed with heavenly power, says St. Chrysostom, nor is the sentence of life and death passed by Peter to be attempted to be reversed, but what he declares is to be considered a divine answer from heaven, and what he decrees, a decree of God himself. He that heareth you, heareth me, etc. The power of binding is exercised, 1st. by refusing to absolve; 2nd. by enjoining penance for sins forgiven; 3nd. by excommunication, suspension or interdict; 4th. by making rules and laws for the government of the Church; 5th. by determining what is of faith by the judgments and definitions of the Church. (Tirinus) --- The terms binding and loosing, are equivalent to opening and shutting, because formerly the Jews opened the fastenings of their doors by untying it, and they shut or secured their doors by tying or binding it. (Bible de Vence) --- Dr. Whitby, a learned Protestant divine, thus expounds this and the preceding verse: "As a suitable return to thy confession, I say also to thee, that thou art by name Peter, that is a rock; and upon thee, who art this rock, I will build my Church, and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, the power of making laws to govern my Church." (Tom. i, p. 143.) Dr. Hammond, another Protestant divine, explains it in the same manner. And p. 92, he says: " What is here meant by the keys, is best understand by Isaias 22:22, where they signify ruling the whole family or house of the king: and this being by Christ accommodated to the Church, denotes the power of governing it."
Matthew 16:20 Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

Tell no one that he was Jesus, the Christ. In some manuscripts both Greek and Latin, the name Jesus is not here found, and many interpreters think it superfluous in this place. The Greek expressly says the Christ adjoining the article, which the Latin tongue does not express. (Bible de Vence) --- "In a preceding part of Scripture, Jesus sending his apostles, commanded them to publish his coming; but here he seems to give a contrary mandate, tell no one, etc. but in my opinion it is one thing to preach the Christ, and another to preach Christ Jesus; for Christ is a name of dignity, but Jesus is the particular name of the Redeemer." (St. Jerome) --- He did not forbid them to teach that there was a Messias a Redeemer, but to declare then that he was the person; 2nd. the disciples (Matthew x,) are not sent to preach the gospel, strictly speaking, but only to prepare the minds and hearts of the people for the coming of the Messias, as is evident from Matthew 10:23. See Mark 14:61-62; John 5:18.; John 8:58.; John 10:30.; and 11:27. But why did he lay this injunction? To avoid the envy of the Scribes, and not to appear to raise his own glory. He wished the people to be induced to own him for their Messias, not from the testimony of his retainers, but from his miracles and doctrines; and lastly, because as his time was not yet come, the apostles were not yet fit to deliver, nor the people to receive, this grand tenet. (Mat. Polus.) --- It might moreover have proved a hinderance to his death.
Matthew 16:21 From that time forth Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and the Scribes, and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.

From that time, etc. Now when the apostles firmly believed that Jesus was the Messias, and the true Son of God, he saw it necessary to let them know he was to die an infamous death on the cross, that they might be disposed to believe that mystery; (Witham) and that they might not be too much exalted with the power given to them, and manifestation made to them. (Haydock)
Matthew 16:22 And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee; this shall not be unto thee.

Peter taking him, etc. out of a tender love, respect and zeal for his honour, began to expostulate with him, and as it were to reprehend him,{ Ver. 22. Increpare epitiman, by saying absit a te Domine, ileos soi, propitius sit tibi Deus, etc.|} saying, Lord, far be it from thee, God forbid, etc. (Witham)
Matthew 16:23 But he turning, said to Peter: *Go after me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou dost not relish the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.

Mark 8:33.
Go after me, Satan.{ Ver. 23. Vade post me, upage opiso mou.|} The words may signify, begone from me; but out of respect due to the expositions of the ancient fathers, who would have these words to signify come after me, or follow me, I have put, with the Rheims translation, go after me. Satan is the same as an adversary: (Witham) and is here applied to Peter, because he opposed, out of mistaken zeal, Christ's passion, without which the great work of man's redemption could not be effected. Peter, however, unknowingly or innocently, raised an opposition against the will of God, against the glory of Jesus, against the redemption of mankind, and against the destruction of the devil's kingdom. He did not understand that there was nothing more glorious than to make of one's life a sacrifice to God. (Bible de Vence) --- Thou dost not, that is thy judgment in this particular is not conformable with that of God. Hence our separated brethren conclude that Christ did not, in calling him the rock in the preceding verses, appoint him the solid and permanent foundation of his Church. This conclusion, however, is not true, because, as St. Augustine and theologians affirm, Peter could fall into error in points regarding morals and facts, though not in defining or deciding on points of faith. Moreover, St. Peter was not, as St. Jerome says, appointed the pillar of the Church till after Christ's resurrection. (Tirinus) --- And it was not till the night before Christ suffered that he said to Peter: Behold, Satan hath desired to have thee; but I have prayed for thee, that "thy faith fail not," and thou being once converted confirm thy brethren. (Luke 22:31.) (Haydock)
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples: *If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Matthew 10:38.; Luke 9:23.; Luke 14:27.
If any man will come. St. Chrysostom, Euthymius, and Theophylactus, shew that free will is confirmed by these words. Do not expect, O Peter, that since you have confessed me to be the Son of God, you are immediately to be crowned, as if this were sufficient for salvation, and that the rest of your days may be spent in idleness and pleasure. For, although by my power, as Son of God, I could free you from every danger and trouble, yet this I will not do for your sake, that you may yourself contribute to your glory, and become the more illustrious. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lvi.)
Matthew 16:25 *For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.

Luke 17:33.; John 12:25.
Whosoever will save his life. Literally, his soul. In the style of the Scriptures, the word soul is sometimes put for the life of the body, sometimes for the whole man. (Witham) --- Whosoever acts against duty and conscience to save the life of his body, shall lose eternal life; and whoever makes the sacrifice of his life, or the comforts and conveniences of life for conscience sake, shall be rewarded with life eternal.
Matthew 16:26 For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

And lose his own soul. Christ seems in these words to pass from the life of the body to that of the soul. (Witham)
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels: *and then will he render to every man according to his works.

Acts 17:31.; Romans 2:6.
Shall come in the glory. Jesus Christ wishing to shew his disciples the greatness of his glory at his future coming, reveals to them in this life as much as it was possible for them to comprehend, purposely to strengthen them against the scandal of his ignominious death. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 16:28 Amen, I say to you, *there are some of them standing here, who shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Mark 8:39.; Luke 9:28.
Till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. Some expound this, as fulfilled at his transfiguration, which follows in the next chapter. Others understand it of the glory of Christ, and of his Church, after his resurrection and ascension, when he should be owned for Redeemer of the world: and this state of the Christian Church might be called the kingdom of Christ. (Witham) --- This promise of a transitory view of his glory he makes, to prove that he should one day come in all the glory of his Father, to judge each man according to his works: not according to his mercy, or their faith, but according to their works. (St. Augustine, de verb. apos. serm. 35.) --- Again, asks St. Augustine, how could our Saviour reward every one according to his works, if there were no free will? (lib. 2:chap. 4. 5. 8, de act. cum Foelic. Manich.) (Bristow)
Matthew 17:0 The transfiguration of Christ: He cures the lunatic child, foretells his passion: and pays the didrachma.

Matthew 17:1 And *after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart:

Mark 9:1.; Luke 9:28.
about the year A.D. 32. And after six days. St. Matthew reckons neither the day of the promise, nor the day of the transfiguration; St. Luke, including both, calls the interval about eight days, osei emerai okto. (St. Chrysostom) --- He took Peter, as head of the apostolic college; James, as first to shed his blood for the faith; and John, as he was to survive all the rest, and to transmit to posterity the circumstances of this glorious mystery; or, according to St. Chrysostom on account of their more excellent love, zeal, courage, sufferings and predilection. The mountain is generally believed to be Thabor, and as such is considered by Christians as holy, and was much frequented by pilgrims, as St. Jerome testifies. Ven. Bede tells us that three churches were built upon it; and Mr. Maundrell, in his Journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, p. 112, says there are still three grottoes, made to represent the three tabernacles proposed by St. Peter. According to Le Brun, Thabor is situated about 12 miles from the sea of Galilee, and eight from Nazareth. Others, however, do not think the transfiguration took place on Mount Thabor, which was in the middle of Lower Galilee, because St. Mark 9:29, says, that Christ and his apostles, departing thence, passed through Galilee, and not out of Galilee, and suppose it might be Libanus, because it was near Caesarea Philippi; in the borders of which Christ appears at this time to have been, at least the promise of the transfiguration was made there, and this place is distant about 60 miles from Mount Thabor. (Matthew 16:13.) --- Mount Libanus is the highest in Palestine, according to St. Jerome; and of it Isaias prophesied: "the glory of Libanus is given to it, the beauty of Carmel and Saron; they shall see the glory of our God," 35:2. (Tirinus) --- But, as we said above, Thabor is very generally supposed to have been the mountain.
Matthew 17:2 And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.

Transfigured. Let no one think that he changed his natural form, laying aside his corporeal, and assuming a spiritual form; but when the evangelist says his countenance shone like the sun, and describes the whiteness of his garments, he shews in what the transfiguration consisted. He added to his former appearance splendour and glory, but laid not aside his substance. ... The Lord was transfigured into that glory with which he will appear again at the day of judgment, and in his kingdom. (St. Jerome) --- Calvin translates metamorphousthai, transformed, but contrary to the sentiment of the holy fathers. He did not shew them his divinity, which cannot be seen by the eyes of the body, but a certain glimpse or sign of the same: hence the hymn: Quicunque Christum quaeritis, Oculos in altum tollite; Illìc licebit visere Signum perennis gloriae.
Matthew 17:3 And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias, talking with him.

Moses and Elias. Jesus Christ had been taken by the people for Elias, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He therefore chose the chief of all the prophets to be present, that he might shew his great superiority over them, and verify the illustrious confession of Peter. The Jews had accused Christ of blasphemy, and of breaking the sabbath; the presence of Moses and Elias refuted the calumny; for the founder of the Jewish laws would never have sanctioned him who was a transgressor of those laws; and Elias, so full of zeal for the glory of God, would never have paid homage to one who made himself equal to God, had he not really been the Son of the Most High. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lvii.) --- St. Hilary thinks that Moses and Elias (who represent the law and the prophets, and who here bear witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ,) will be the precursors of his second coming, alluded to in (Apocalypse 11.), though the general opinion of the Fathers is, that the two witnesses there mentioned are Enoch and Elias. (Jansenius) --- It is hence evident, that the saints departed can and do, with the permission of God, take an interest in the affairs of the living. (St. Augustine, de cura pro mort. Matthew 15:16.) --- For as angels elsewhere, so here the saints also, served our Saviour; and as angels, both in the Old and New Testament, were frequently present at the affairs of men, so may saints. (Bristow) --- All interpreters agree, that Elias appeared in his own body, but various are their opinions with regard to the apparition of Moses. (Haydock)
Matthew 17:4 Then Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Matthew 17:5 And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. *And behold a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.

Matthew 3:17.; 2 Peter 1:17.
Matthew 17:6 And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid.

And were very much afraid. There were two causes that might produce this fear in the apostles, the cloud that overshadowed them, or the voice of God the Father, which they heard. Their human weakness could not bear such refulgent beams of glory, and trembling in every limb, they fall prostrate on the ground. (St. Jerome) --- The Almighty, it seems, was pleased to fulfil the wish of Peter, thereby to shew that Himself is the tent or pavilion, under the shade of which the blessed shall live for ever, and to sanction the public and explicit confession of Peter relative to the divinity of Jesus Christ, by his own no less public and explicit confession, joined with an express command to hear and obey him. St. Chrysostom very justly remarks, that this voice was not heard till after the departure of Moses and Elias, that no possible doubt might exist to whom it was referred, and that it was to Christ only and to no other. --- Hear ye Him: that is as the law and the prophets are fulfilled and verified in Jesus Christ, your new legislator and prophet, you are to hear and obey Him in preference to either Moses or Elias, or any other teacher. (Haydock)
Matthew 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them: Arise, and be not afraid.

And Jesus came and touched. The terrified disciples were still prostrate on the ground, and unable to rise, when Jesus, with his usual benevolence, approaches, touches them, expels their fear, and restores them to the use of their limbs. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 17:8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no man but only Jesus.

Matthew 17:9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.

Tell the vision to no man, till the miracle of his resurrection has prepared the minds of men for the belief of this. Expose not an event so wonderful to the rash censure of the envious Pharisees, who calumniate and misrepresent my most evident miracles. Jesus Christ also gave a lesson here to his followers to observe the closest secrecy in all spiritual graces and favors.
Matthew 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying: *Why then do the Scribes say that Elias must come first?

Mark 9:10.
Elias must come first. The prophet Elias will come again in person before my second coming to judgment, and will re-establish all things, by the conversion of the Jews to the Christian faith, according to the common opinion. But John the Baptist who was Elias in spirit, is already come. See Matthew 11:14. (Witham) --- This was a vulgar error spread by the Scribes among the Jewish people. It proceeded from an erroneous interpretation of Scripture. They confounded the two comings of our Saviour. The Baptist was the precursor of Christ at his first coming, and was styled by our Lord Elias, because he performed the office of Elias; and he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias. (Luke 1:17.) --- But this prophet in person will be the precursor of the second coming of Christ. Whereby Malachias, predicting this coming of Christ, says: I will send to you Elias the Thesbite; thus evidently distinguishing him from the Baptist, who was also Elias in spirit and in the dignity of his office. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lviii.) --- Jesus Christ here confirms the literal sense of the prophecy; (Malachias 4:5,) but, in the next verse, he shews a prior, though less perfect accomplishment of the same in the person of John the Baptist, who was raised by God to prepare the ways of the Lord.
Matthew 17:11 But *he answering, said to them: Elias indeed shall come, and restore all things.

Malachias 4:5.
Shall ... restore all things. According to St. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and others, these words signify that Elias shall restore all the Jews to the one true faith towards the end of the world; or, according to St. Augustine, he shall strengthen those that shall be found wavering in the persecution of Antichrist.
Matthew 17:12 But I say to you, *that Elias is already come, and they knew him not, **but have done unto him whatsoever they had a mind. So also the Son of man shall suffer from them.

Matthew 11:14. --- ** Matthew 14:10.
So also shall the Son of man. Jesus in a most beautiful manner takes advantage of this conversation, to remind them of his future passion, and from the recollection of the sufferings of John, affords them comfort in his own. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them of John the Baptist.

Matthew 17:14 *And when he was come to the multitude, there came to him a man falling down on his knees before him, saying: Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic, and suffereth much: for he falleth often into the fire, and often into the water.

Mark 9:16.; Luke 9:38.
And when he was come. Peter, by wishing to remain on the holy mount, preferred his own gratification to the good of many. But true charity seeketh not its own advantage only; what therefore appeared good to Peter, did not appear so to Christ, who descends from the mountain, as from his high throne in heaven, to visit man. (Origen)
Matthew 17:15 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

I brought him to thy disciples. By these words the man here mentioned privately accuses the apostles, though the impossibility of the cure is not always to be attributed to the weakness of God's servants, but sometimes to the want of faith in the afflicted. (St. Jerome) --- Stand astonished at the folly of this man! how he accuses the apostles before Jesus! But Christ frees them from this inculpation, imputing the fault entirely to the man himself. For it is evident, from many circumstances, that he was weak in faith. Our Saviour does not inveigh against this man alone, not to wound his feelings too sensibly, but against the whole people of the Jews. We may infer, that many of the bystanders entertained false notions of his disciples, from these words of deserved reproach: O! unbelieving and incredulous generation, how long shall I be with you? In which words, he shews us how much he wished for his passion, and his departure hence. (St. Chrysostom) --- We must not imagine that our Saviour, who was meekness and mildness itself, uttered on this occasion words of anger and intemperance. Not unlike a feeling and tender physician, observing his patient totally disregarding his prescriptions, he says, How long shall I visit you; how long shall I order one thing, and you do the contrary? Thus Jesus is not angry with the man, but with the vices of the man; and in him he upbraids the Jews, in general, for their incredulity and perversity. (St. Jerome) --- The general sentiment is, that these reproaches are limited to the people; some extend them to the apostles. See below, ver. 19. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 17:16 Then Jesus answered, and said: O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.

Matthew 17:17 And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour.

Matthew 17:18 Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out?

Why could not we? The disciples began to apprehend that they had incurred their Master's displeasure, and had thereby lost their power of working miracles. They come therefore secretly to Jesus Christ, to learn why they could not cast out devils. He answered them, that it was their want of faith, which probably failed them on this occasion, on account of the difficulty of the cure, little reflecting that the virtue of the Lord, which worked in them, was superior to every possible evil of both mind and body. --- St. Hilary is of opinion, that during the absence of Christ on the mountain, the fervour of the apostles had begun to abate. (Jansenius)
Matthew 17:19 Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. *For amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, you shall say to this mountain: Remove from hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Luke 17:6.
If you have faith as a grain of mustard-seed. Christ insinuates to his apostles, as if they had not yet faith enough to work great miracles, which require a firm faith joined with a lively confidence in God. The mustard-seed is brought in with an allusion to its hot and active qualities. (Witham) --- That is, a perfect faith; which, in its properties and its fruits, resembles the grain of mustard-seed in the parable. (chap. 13:31.) (Challoner) --- By faith is here understood, not that virtue by which we assent to all things that are to be believed of Christ, the first, of the theological virtues, in which the apostles were not deficient, but that confidence in the power and goodness of God, that he will on such an occasion exert these, his attributes, in favour of the supplicant. To have a true faith of this kind, and free from all presumption, is a great and high privilege, which the Holy Ghost breathes into such only as he pleases. (Jansenius) --- Examples of this efficacious faith are given by St. Paul. (Hebrews 11.) St. Gregory of Neo-Caesarea is also related, by Eusebius and Ven. Bede, to have removed by the efficacy of his faith a rock, which obstructed the building of a church; thus literally fulfilling the promise of Jesus Christ. (Tirinus) --- The faith of the apostles, especially of those that had not been present at the transfiguration, was not perfect and complete in all its parts, till after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, and the descent of the Holy Ghost. (Haydock) --- St. Jerome understands by mountains, things the most difficult to be effected.
Matthew 17:20 But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.

See here the efficacy of prayer and fasting! What the apostles could not do, prayer accompanied with fasting can effect. How then can that be genuine religion, which makes fasting an object of ridicule? We see also here that the true Church in her exorcisms follows Scripture, when she uses besides the name of Jesus, many prayers and much fasting to drive out the devils, because these, as well as faith, are here required. (Bristow)
Matthew 17:21 And while they abode together in Galilee, Jesus said to them: *The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

Matthew 20:18.; Mark 9:30.; Luke 9:44.
Jesus then taking the road to Jerusalem with his disciples, and whilst they were in Galilee, which they had to pass through, he spake to them of his sufferings, death, and resurrection. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 17:22 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall rise again. And they were troubled exceedingly.

They were troubled exceedingly, not being able to comprehend the mystery of Christ's sufferings and death, which were so opposite to the notions they had of the glorious kingdom of the Messias. (Witham) --- This grief was the consequence of their attachment to their divine Master. They were ignorant, as St. Mark and St. Luke notice, of the word that was spoken. They full well understood that he would be put to death, but did not sufficiently comprehend the shortness of his rest in the grave, the nature of his triumphant resurrection, nor the inestimable benefits which his death would bring on the world. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lix.)
Matthew 17:23 And when they were come to Capharnaum, they that received the didrachmas, came to Peter, and said to him: Doth not your master pay the didrachma?

They that received the didrachmas, (ta didrachma) in value about fifteen-pence of our money. (Witham) --- A tax, according to some, laid on every person who was twenty years of age, for the service of the temple. See Exodus xxx. St. Chrysostom thinks it was paid for the first-born only, whom the Lord would have redeemed for the first-born of the Egyptians, whom he slew. Others think it was a tribute paid to the Romans, as Christ, in ver. 24, seems to insinuate, by mentioning the kings of the earth; and the Jews were tributary to them at this time. In ver. 24, the evangelist uses the word Kensos, taken from the Latin census, or tax.
Matthew 17:24 He said: Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying: What is thy opinion, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth receive tribute or custom? of their own children, or of strangers?

Matthew 17:25 And he said: Of strangers. Jesus said to him: Then the children are free.

Then the children. From these words and the following, that we may not scandalize them, some argue that Christians are exempt from taxes. The fallacy of this deduction is victoriously demonstrated from the express words of St. Paul, (Romans xiii.) commanding us to be subject to the higher powers, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake: Render tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom, etc. The word children then does not mean subjects, but must be understood in its natural limited sense. (Jansenius) --- Jesus Christ argues a minori ad majus thus, if the kings of the earth exact money from their subjects only, and exempt their own children, how much more ought I to be exempt, who do not claim my descent from a temporal prince only, but from the supreme King of heaven. This example our Saviour would never have adduced, says St. Chrysostom had he not really been the Son of God. (hom. lix.) Our Saviour uniformly waved his right to exemptions in temporal things: he declares every where that temporal princes have nothing to fear from him, or his doctrines, since his kingdom is not of this world. (Haydock)
Matthew 17:26 But that we may not scandalize them, go thou to the sea, and cast in a hook: and that fish which shall first come up, take: and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shalt find a stater: take that, and give it to them for me and thee.

But that we may not. Jesus Christ pays the tribute, not as one subject to the law, but as consulting the infirmity of the people; but he first shews himself exempt from the above example, lest his disciples might take occasion of scandal therefrom. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lix.) --- For me and thee. A great mystery this: Jesus Christ paid not only for himself, but for the future representative of Him and his Church, in whom, as chief, the rest were comprised. (St. Augustine, q. ex Nov. Tes. q. lxxv. tom. 4.) Jesus Christ here, as well as on many other occasions, pointedly marks the precedence of Peter, which might give rise to the strife and contention of the disciples, in the commencement of the ensuing chapter, on the subject of superiority. Thus St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, Tirinus, etc.
Matthew 18:0 Christ teaches humility, to beware of scandal, and to flee the occasions of sin: to denounce to the church incorrigible sinners, and to look upon such as refuse to hear the church as heathens. He promises to his disciples the power of binding and loosing: and that he will be in the midst of their assemblies. No forgiveness for them that will not forgive.

Matthew 18:1 At *that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?

about the year AD. 32.; Mark 9:33.; Luke 9:46.
Who, thinkest thou? This altercation for superiority among the apostles, whilst they were upon their road to Judea, might have arisen from another cause besides the precedence given by Jesus Christ to Peter above, as St. Chrysostom (hom. lix. in Mat.) affirms. A report prevailed among the disciples, that Christ would soon die; and they wished to know who would be the first, when he was gone. (Jansenius) --- Or expecting that by his future resurrection he would enter into full possession of his temporal kingdom, they wished to learn which of them should be the greater in this new and glorious state. Calmet supposes that Peter was not with them, but that he had gone before with his Master to Capharnaum. (Calmet)
Matthew 18:2 *And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them,

Matthew 19:14.
And Jesus calling ... a little child. In St. Mark 9:32. we find that Jesus did this in the house, when they were arrived at Capharnaum.
Matthew 18:3 And said: Amen I say unto you, *unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

1 Corinthians 14:20.
You shall not enter, etc. that is you shall have no place in my kingdom of glory, in heaven, where none shall find admittance but they that are truly humble. (Witham) --- Our Lord in this and the next chapter teaches us, 1st, To sit down in the lowest place; 2nd, to bear patiently with our neighbor; 3rd, not to scandalize a weak brother; 4th, mildly to correct him when faulty; and 5thly, to forgive him when repentant.
Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

Greater in the kingdom of heaven, because more conformable to me here on earth. Humble souls, who are little in their own eyes, are so dear and closely united to the Almighty, that Christ declares them to be the most acceptable, the first in merit, not highest in authority or dignity either in church or state, as some idle fanatics pretend. (Jansenius) --- The kingdom of heaven is not the reward of ambition, but the boon of simplicity and humility.
Matthew 18:5 And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.

He that shall receive. To receive, in the style of the Scriptures, is to honour and favour, to be charitable, and kind to any one. (Witham) --- Who does not admire here the great goodness of God! Jesus, knowing that he was soon to leave the world, and that his disciples would no longer have it in their power to manifest their charity for him by their kind services, substitutes the poor in his place, declaring, that if they receive or honour them, they received Christ himself. (Denis the Carthusian) --- What greater proof can we wish for the merit of good works!!!
Matthew 18:6 *But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Mark 9:41.; Luke 17:2.
But he that shall scandalize, shall by their evil doctrine or example draw others into sinful ways. The words scandalize, and scandal, being sufficiently understood, and authorized by use, both in English and French, might I thought be retained. The words offend and offences, in Protestant translation, do not express sufficiently the sense. (Witham) --- That is, shall put a stumbling-block in their way, and cause them to fall into sin. (Challoner) --- By these strong expressions of our Lord, we may judge of the enormity and malice of scandal. Rather than be the cause of scandal to any of the faithful, and occasion the loss of his soul, we must be ready to undergo every torment, yes, and suffer death itself. (Denis the Carthusian) --- The ancient punishment among the Greeks for sacrilege was drowning, with a mill-stone fastened about the neck, according to Diodorus Siculus.
Matthew 18:7 Wo to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless wo to that man by whom the scandal cometh.

It must needs be, not absolutely, but the weakness and wickedness of the world considered that scandals should happen. (Witham) --- Considering the wickedness and corruption of the world, such things always will happen; but the judgments of God, though slow, will be terrible in the extreme. Lento quidem gradu Divina procedit Vindicta, sed tarditatem gravitate compensat. (Val. Max.) --- We must not suppose for a moment that Christ subjects human actions to the control of rigid fatality. It is not the prescience or prediction of Christ, which causes these evils to take place; they do not happen, because Christ foretold them; but, Christ foretold them, because they would infallibly happen. The Almighty permits scandals, because the good are benefited by them, making them more diligent and more watchful: witness the great virtue of Job, of Joseph, and many others perfected in temptation. If the less virtuous receive any detriment from scandals, they owe it to their own sloth and laziness. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lx.) --- Jesus Christ pronounces a double wo to the man who bringeth scandal, and to the world which is punished by it. But why, asks St. Chrysostom does he bewail the miseries of the world, when it depended upon him to stretch forth his hand and remove them? He imitates the conduct of a good physician, who, after prescribing various remedies, feels himself obliged to declare to his patient, that by neglecting the prescriptions, he is increasing his distemper. Jesus Christ had left the throne of his glory, taken upon him the form of a servant, and suffered the greatest extremities, but seeing man so perverse as to reap no advantage from all he had done and suffered for him, he weeps over his miserable state. Nor is this without its particular fruit; for it frequently happens, that whom good counsel cannot move, prayers and tears, and the relation of the dismal consequences attendant on sin, bring to repentance. This also manifests his tenderness and boundless charity, since he weeps over the people, who of all others most contradicted him. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lx.)
Matthew 18:8 *And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.

Matthew 5:30.; Mark 9:42.
And if thy hand, or thy foot, etc. These comparisons are to make us sensible, that we must quit and renounce what is most dear to us, sooner than remain in the occasions of offending God. (Witham) --- These words more properly mean our relatives and friends, who are united to us as closely as the different members of the body. This he had touched upon before, yet he again repeats it, for nothing is so pernicious, nothing so dangerous, as the company and conversation of the dissolute. Connections of friendship and affinity, are sometimes more powerful in inclining us to good or evil, than open compulsion. On this account Christ, with great earnestness, commands us to cut with those most near and dear to us, when they are to us the immediate occasions of scandal. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lx.)
Matthew 18:9 And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Matthew 18:10 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, *that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

Psalm 33:8.
Their angels. The Jews also believed that men had their good angels, or angels appointed to be their guardians. See Genesis 48:16. (Witham) --- Observe the dignity of the humble and little, whom the world despises. They have angels constantly pleading their cause in the divine presence. They are now weak and unable to defend themselves, but they have their advocates in heaven, accusing those who offer them any injury or scandal. It is evident from many parts of Scripture, that angels are appointed guardians of kingdoms, countries, cities, and even individuals, Exodus 23. Daniel 10. Apocalypse 12. et alibi. The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear him, and he shall deliver them. (Psalm xxxiii.) St. Jerome does not hesitate to affirm that every man has an angel assigned him at his birth, which he confirms from Acts 12., where it is related that the girl thought she saw Peter's angel. The thing is so plain, that Calvin, dares not deny it, and yet he will needs doubt of it. (Lib. 1:Inst. ch. XIV. sect. 7.) Origen thinks that only the just have their guardian angels, and these only at their baptism. The opinion of St. Augustine is universal in the Catholic Church. "I esteem it, O my God, an inestimable benefit, that thou hast granted me an angel to guide me from the moment of my birth, to my death." (De dilig. Deo. Medit. ch. 12.) How much are we indebted to the Providence of God, for extending itself also to the wicked. They likewise have their angels, without whose assistance they would fall into many more grievous sins, and the evil spirits would have more power over them. Let us then with gratitude remember our dignity, and fear to commit any thing in their presence, which may make them grieve and withdraw from us their protection and assistance.
Matthew 18:11 *For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Luke 19:10.
Matthew 18:12 *What think you? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them should go astray; doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go to seek that which is gone astray?

Luke 15:4.
If a man have a hundred sheep. This is to shew the goodness and mercy of God towards sinners. By the one sheep, some understand all mankind, and by the ninety-nine, the angels in heaven. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ manifests his tender regard and solicitude for us poor weak creatures, by becoming himself the Son of man, thus abandoning in some measure the angels who are in heaven. He is come down upon earth to save by his death what was lost, imitating thus, with regard to men, the conduct themselves observe with regard to their sheep. (Bible de Vence) --- In the Greek, it is dubious whether the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in the mountains, or, whether he himself goeth into the mountains in quest of the lost sheep.
Matthew 18:13 And if it so be that he find it, amen, I say to you, he rejoiceth more for that than for the ninety-nine that went not astray.

Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father, who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Even so it is not. Here some may perhaps object, that since the Almighty does not wish any of his little ones to perish, he must consequently wish all to be saved, and therefore that all will be saved. Now this is not the case: the will of the Almighty is therefore sometimes frustrated in its effects, which is contrary to Scripture. To this objection, St. John Damascene replies, that in God we must distinguish two distinct wills; the one antecedent, the other consequent. A person wills a thing antecedently, when he wills it merely as considered in itself. For instance, a prince wishes his subjects to live, in as much as they are all his subjects. But a person wills a thing consequently, when he will a thing in consideration of some particular circumstance. Thus, though the king wishes all his subject to live, he nevertheless wills that some should die, if they turn traitors, or disorganize the peace of society. In the same manner, the Almighty wishes none of his little ones to perish, in as much as they are all his creatures, made to his own image, and destined for the kingdom of glory; though it is equally certain that he wills the eternal punishment of many who have turned away from his service, and followed iniquity. If we observe this distinction, it is easy to see what our Saviour meant, when he said that it was not the will of his Father that any of these little ones should perish. (St. John Damascene)
Matthew 18:15 *But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and reprove him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.

Leviticus 19:17.; Ecclesiasticus 19:13.; Luke 17:3.; James 5:19.
Offend against thee. St. Chrysostom, St. Augustine, and St. Jerome understand from this verse, that the injured person is to go and admonish his brother. Other understand against thee, to mean in thy presence, or to thy knowledge, because fraternal correction is a duty, not only when our brother offends us, but likewise when he offends against his neighbour, and much more when he offends God. It is moreover a duty not peculiar to the injured, but common to all. When the offence is not personal, our advice will be less interested. This precept, though positive, is only obligatory, when it is likely to profit your brother, as charity is the only motive for observing it. Therefore, it not only may, but ought to be omitted, when the contrary effect is likely to ensue, whether it be owing to the perversity of the sinner, or the circumstances of the admonisher. (Jansenius)
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more, *that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.

Deuteronomy 19:15.; John 8:17.; 2 Corinthians 13:1.; Hebrews 10:28.
Matthew 18:17 *And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican.

1 Corinthians 5:9.; 2 Thessalonians 3:14.
Tell the church. This not only shews the order of fraternal correction, but also every man's duty in submitting to the judgment of the Church. (Witham) --- There cannot be a plainer condemnation of those who make particular creeds, and will not submit the articles of their belief to the judgment of the authority appointed by Christ. (Haydock)
Matthew 18:18 *Amen, I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.

John 20:23.
Whatsoever you shall bind, etc. The power of binding and loosing, which in a more eminent manner was promised to St. Peter, is here promised to the other apostles and their successors, bishops and priests. (Witham) --- The power of binding and loosing, conferred on St. Peter, excelled that granted to the other apostles, inasmuch as to St. Peter, who was head and pastor of the whole Church, was granted jurisdiction over the other apostles, while these received no power over each other, much less over St. Peter. (Tirinus) --- Priests receive a power not only to loose, but also to bind, as St. Ambrose writeth against the Novatians, who allowed the latter, but denied the former power to priests. (Lib. 1:de poenit. ch. II.) (Bristow)
Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you, that if two of you shall agree upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father, who is in heaven.

That if two of you. From these words, we learn how superior is public to private prayer. The efficacy of the former is attributed to the presence of Christ in those assemblies. The Father, for his Son's sake, will grant petitions thus offered. (Jansenius) --- The fervour of one will supply for the weakness and distractions of the other.
Matthew 18:20 For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

There am I in the midst of them. This is understood of such assemblies only, as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the Church of Christ. (St. Cyprian, de Unitate Ecclesiae.) (Challoner) --- St. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and Euthymius explain the words in his name, thus, assembled by authority received from Christ, in the manner appointed by him, or for his sake, and seeking nothing by his glory. Hence we may see what confidence we may place in an oecumenical council lawfully assembled. (Tirinus) (St. Gregory, lib. vii. Regist. Epist. cxii.)
Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came unto him, and said: *Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?

Luke 17:4.
St. Peter knew the Jews to be much given to revenge; he therefore thought it a great proof of superior virtue to be able to forgive seven times. It was for this reason he proposed this question to our Lord; who, to shew how much he esteemed charity, immediately answered, not only seven times, but seventy times seven times. He does not mean to say that this number must be the bounds of our forgiving; we must forgive to the end, and never take revenge, however often our brother offend against us. There must be no end of forgiving poor culprits that sincerely repent, either in the sacrament of penance, or one man another his offences. (Bristow) --- To recommend this great virtue more forcibly, he subjoins the parable of the king taking his accounts: and, from the great severity there exercised, he intimates how rigid will his heavenly Father be to those who forgive not their enemies. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 18:22 Jesus said to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven:

Till seventy times seven; that is 490 times; but it is put by way of an unlimited number, to signify we must pardon private injuries, though even so often done to us. (Witham) --- When our brother sins against us, we must grieve for his sake over the evil he has committed; but for ourselves we ought greatly to rejoice, because we are thereby made like our heavenly Father, who bids the sun to shine upon the good and the bad. But if the thought of having to imitate God alarm us, though it should not seem difficult to a true lover of God, let us place before our eyes the examples of his favourite servants. Let us imitate Joseph, who though reduced to a state of the most abject servitude, by the hatred of his unnatural brethren, yet in the affliction of his heart, employed all his power to succour them in their afflictions. Let us imitate Moses, who after a thousand injuries, raised his fervent supplications in behalf of his people. Let us imitate the blessed Paul, who, though daily suffering a thousand afflictions from the Jews, still wished to become an anathema for their salvation. Let us imitate Stephen, who, when the stones of his persecutors were covering him with wounds, prayed that the Almighty would pardon their sin. Let us follow these admirable examples, then shall we extinguish the flames of anger, then will our heavenly Father grant us the forgiveness of our sins, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxii.)
Matthew 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants.

Matthew 18:24 And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents.

Ten thousand talents. It is put as an example for an immense sum. It is not certainly agreed what was the value of a talent. A talent of gold is said to be 4900 lb.; of silver 375 lb. See Walton's Prologomena, Dr. Harris's Lexicon, etc. (Witham) --- The 10,000 talents, according to some authors, amount to £1,875,000 sterling, i.e., 740,000 times as much as his fellow-servant owed him; the hundred pence amounting to not more than £3 2s. 6d.
Matthew 18:25 And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment be made.

Matthew 18:26 But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Matthew 18:27 And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go, and forgave him the debt.

Matthew 18:28 But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him a hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.

Matthew 18:29 And his fellow-servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Matthew 18:30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

Matthew 18:31 Now his fellow-servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came, and told their lord all that was done.

Matthew 18:32 Then his lord called him: and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me.

Matthew 18:33 Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow-servant, even as I had compassion on thee?

Matthew 18:34 And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all the debt.

Matthew 18:35 So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

So also shall my heavenly Father do to you. In this parable the master is said to have remitted the debt, and yet afterwards to have punished the servant for it. God doth not in this manner with us. But we may here observe, once for all, that in parables, diverse things are only ornamental to the parable itself; and a caution and restriction is to be used in applying them. (Witham) --- Not that God will revoke a pardon once granted; for this would be contrary to his infinite mercy, and his works are without repentance. It means that God will not pardon, or rather that he will severely punish the ingratitude and inhumanity of the man, who, after having received from God the most liberal pardon of his grievous transgressions, refuses to forgive the slightest offence committed against him by his neighbour, who is a member, nay a son of his God. This ingratitude may justly be compared with the 10,000 talents, as every grievous offence committed against God, exceeds, in an infinite degree, any offence against man. (Tirinus) --- This forgiveness must be real, not pretended; from the heart, and not in word and appearance only; sacrificing all desire of revenge, all anger, hatred and resentment, at the shrine of charity.
Matthew 19:0 Christ declares matrimony to be indissoluble: he recommends the making one's self an eunuch for the kingdom of heaven; and parting with all things for him. He shews the danger of riches, and the reward of leaving all to follow him.

Matthew 19:1 And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these words, he departed from Galilee, *and came into the confines of Judea beyond the Jordan.

Mark 10:1, 12.; Luke 16:1, 18.
about the year A.D. 32.
Matthew 19:2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

Matthew 19:3 *And the Pharisees came to him tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

Mark 10:2.
Is it lawful? Here again the Pharisees, ever anxious to ensnare Jesus in his words, come to him and ask him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Thinking now they had to a certainty succeeded, they argue thus with themselves: shall he say that it is not lawful, we will accuse him of blasphemy, contradicting the Scriptures. For, it is written, Deuteronomy iv.[xxiv.?] 1, If a man take a wife, and she find not favour in his eyes, for some uncleanness, he shall write a bill of divorce. And Malachias, 2:16, When thou shalt hate her, put her away. --- On the other hand, if he shall say it is lawful, we will accuse him of favouring the passions. But Jesus Christ, the wisdom of the eternal Father, silences them with the authority of that Scripture they attempted to bring against him. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder; intimating, that the connexion between husband and wife is so strict, that by it they become as one flesh, and can no more be separated than one member from another. (Denis the Carthusian) --- To put away his wife for every cause,{ Ver. 3. Quacunque ex causa, kata pasan aitian, ex qualibet causa.|} or upon every occasion. They did not doubt it, if the cause was considerable. (Witham)
Matthew 19:4 But he answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he *who made man in the beginning, made them male and female? And he said:

Genesis 1:27.
In the beginning. It is remarked by St. Jerome, St. Chrysostom, and Theophylactus, that the Almighty does not say of any of the animals which he created, as he does of man and woman, that he joined one male to one female; from which it appears, according to the reasoning of St. Augustine, that monogamy, as well as the indissolubility of marriage, was instituted from the beginning by the Almighty. (Tirinus)
Matthew 19:5 *For this cause, shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.

Genesis 2:24.; 1 Corinthians 6:16.; Ephesians 5:31.
These words were pronounced by Adam. Genesis 2:24. --- And they two shall be in one flesh.{ Ver. 5. Erunt duo in carne una, duo eis sarka mian, in carnem unam, as Genesis 2:7. factus est homo in animam viventem. See Maldonat.|} I translate thus with submission to better judges; yet the sense may be, by a kind of Hebraism, they shall be esteemed as one person. (Witham)
Matthew 19:6 Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Matthew 19:7 They say to him: *Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?

Deuteronomy 24:1.
The Pharisees, not satisfied, again attack our Saviour. To this second attack he replies: Moses indeed permitted you to put away your wives on account of the hardness of your hearts, and to prevent a greater evil, lest through your cruelty you should poison them, or put them to violent death; but in the natural law, signified by the beginning, it was not so. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 19:8 He saith to them: Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you, etc. Whether this was permitted in the old law, so that the man who was divorced from his wife could marry another woman, is disputed. Some think this second marriage was still unlawful, though tolerated, and not punished. At least in the new law, a divorce upon just causes may be sometimes permitted; but this does not make it lawful for the man or woman so separated to marry another. (Witham) --- The latter part of this verse, of St. Paul, (Romans 7:3,) and the constant tradition of the Church, shew that the exception only refers to separation, but not to the marrying another during the life of the parties. In this place Christ restores the original condition of the marriage state, and henceforth will have it to be a perfect figure of the hypostatic union of his divine person with our human nature, as also of his nuptial union with his Church, and consequently that it should be indissoluble. (Tirinus)
Matthew 19:9 *And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; and he who shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:32.; Mark 10:11.; Luke 16:18.; 1 Corinthians 7:10.
And I say to you. It is worthy of remark, that in the parallel texts, St. Mark 10:2.; Luke 16:18.; and St. Paul to Corinthians 7:10. omit the exception of fornication; and also that St. Matthew himself omits it in the second part of the verse; and says absolutely, that he who shall marry her that is put away committeth adultery. It perhaps crept in here from Matthew 5:32, where it is found in a phrase very similar to this, but which expresses a case widely different. Divorce is in no case admitted but in that of adultery. This is what Christ teaches in Matthew 5:32, and to this the exception is referred, marked in the two texts. But in this very case the separated parties cannot contract a second marriage without again committing adultery, as we must infer, from a comparison of this text with the parallel texts of St. Mark and St. Luke. (Bible de Vence) --- If we did not understand it in this manner, the case of the adulteress would be preferable to the case of her who should be put away without any crime of her own; as in this supposition, the former would be allowed to marry again, which the latter would not be allowed. (Tirinus) --- St. Augustine is very explicit on this subject. See lib. 11. de adult conjug. ch. XXI. XXII. XXIV. --- St. Jerome, in his high commendation of the noble matron, Fabiola, says of her: "that though she was the innocent party, for the unlawful act of marrying again, she did public penance." (In Epitaph. Fabiolae.) --- This universally received doctrine of the Catholic Church was confirmed in the general council of Trent. (Session XXIV. canon 6.)
Matthew 19:10 His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not good to marry.

Matthew 19:11 He said to them: All receive not this word, but they to whom it is given.

All receive not this word.{ Ver. 11. Non omnes capiunt, ou pantes chorousi. Maldonat will needs have chorein, to signify intelligere, as it does sometimes. But St. Jerome on this place, unusquisque consideret vires suas, etc. And St. Chrysostom (hom. lxiii.) ut singulare esse certamen perdiscas. St. Jerome adds, Sed his datum est, qui petierunt; qui voluerunt; qui ut acciperent, laboraverunt. And St. Chrysostom, His enim datum est, qui spontè id eligunt. dedotai gar ekeinois tois boulomenois. Ed. Sav. p. 397.|} To translate all cannot take, or cannot receive this word, is neither conformable to the Latin nor Greek text. To be able to live singly, and chastely, is given to every one that asketh, and prayeth for the grace of God to enable him to live so. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ takes occasion from the remark of the Pharisees to praise holy virginity, which he represents as a great and good gift of heaven; and such it has ever been considered in the eye of true and genuine religion. Hence it appears that besides commandments, there are evangelical counsels, to the observance of which it is both lawful and meritorious for a Christian to devote himself, especially for the purpose of employing himself with greater liberty and less encumbrance in the service of his God. --- Our Lord does not approve of the conclusion his disciples drew from his doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage, lest he should seem to condemn matrimony both good and necessary; neither does he reprove them for it, lest he should seem to prefer it before the state of continency. His answer therefore prudently avoids both difficulties, by seeming to grant, on the one hand, that it was more expedient not to marry, because chastity is a great gift of God; (1 Corinthians vii.) and plainly shewing on the other, that only few can have this privilege, because all do not receive this word, that is all are not called to this state. (Jansenius) --- All cannot receive it, because all do not wish it. The reward is held out to all. Let him who seeks for glory, not think of the labour. None would overcome, if all were afraid of engaging in the conflict. If some fail, are we to be less careful in our pursuit of virtue? Is the soldier terrified, because his comrade fights and falls by his side? (St. Chrysostom) --- He that can receive it, let him receive it. He that can fight, let him fight, overcome and triumph. It is the voice of the Lord animating his soldiers to victory. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 19:12 For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can receive, let him receive it.

And there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs, etc. It is not to be taken in the literal sense, but of such who have taken a firm and commendable resolution of leading a single life. --- He that can receive it, let him receive it. Some think that to receive, in this and the foregoing verse, is to understand; and so will have the sense to be, he that can understand what I have said of different eunuchs, let him understand it; as when Christ said elsewhere, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But others expound it as an admonition to men and women, not to engage themselves in a vow of living a single life, unless, after a serious deliberation, they have good grounds to think they can duly comply with this vow, otherwise let them not make it. Thus St. Jerome on this place, and St. Chrysostom where they both expressly take notice, that this grace is granted to every one that asketh and beggeth for it by prayer. (Witham) --- To the crown and glory of which state, let those aspire who feel themselves called by heaven.
Matthew 19:13 *Then were little children presented to him, that he should lay his hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them.

Mark 10:18.; Luke 18:15.
about the year A.D. 33. That he should lay his hands upon them. It was the custom to present children to men reputed holy, as it is now the custom for bishops and priests to pray and give a blessing to others. (Witham) --- It was customary with the Jews to present their children to the elders, that they might receive their blessing; hence they present them on this occasion to our Lord. (St. Remigius) --- And the disciples rebuked them, not because they were unwilling that the children should be blessed by the hands of our Saviour, but as they were yet weak in faith, they thought that, like other men, he would be teased by the importunity of the offerers. (St. Jerome) --- The people thought that the same hands, which could restore instantaneous health to the sick, must necessarily impart every good to such children as they should touch. The disciples thought they made too free with their Master, requesting what, in their ideas, was beneath his dignity. (Haydock)
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said to them: *Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.

Matthew 18:3.
Jesus said ... Suffer the little children, etc. He here blames the conduct of the apostles, and shews that his assertions in praise of virginity, were not meant as derogatory from the holiness of the marriage state, by giving his blessing to these little ones, the fruits of lawful wedlock; and declares that the kingdom of heaven is the portion of such as resemble these little ones, by the innocence of their lives and simplicity of their hearts. He, moreover, shews that confidence in our own strength, in our own free-will, and in our merits, is an invincible obstacle to salvation. St. Mark 10:16 says, that embracing them, and laying hands upon them, he blessed them. Hence probably arose the ancient custom of presenting children to bishops and priests, to receive their blessing, beside that of confirmation immediately after baptism. --- Nicephorus tells us that the celebrated St. Ignatius, afterwards bishop of Antioch, was one of these children who, on this occasion, received Christ's blessing. --- If we would enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must imitate the virtues of little children. Their souls are free from every passion; void of every thought of revenge, they approach those who have grieved them as to their best friends. Though the parent repeatedly chastise his child, it still will adhere to him, still will it love him, and prefer him in all his poverty to all the fascinating charms of dazzling gold and purple. They seek not beyond what is necessary, they admire not the beauty of the body, they are not grieved at the loss of worldly wealth, therefore does the Saviour of the world say, that theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxiii.)
Matthew 19:15 And when he had laid his hands upon them, he departed thence.

Matthew 19:16 And behold one came and said to him: Good Master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?

Behold one came. St. Luke (xviii. 18.) calls him a prince or lord. Some conjecture this young man came only in a dissembling way, to try or tempt our Saviour, as the Pharisees sometimes did, and without any design to follow his advice; but by all the circumstances related of him, by the evangelists particularly, when St. Mark (Chap. 10:22.) tells us, he went away sorrowful, he seems to have come with sincerity, but without resolution strong enough to leave his worldly goods and possessions. (Witham)
Matthew 19:17 But he said to him: Why askest thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Why askest thou me concerning good?{ Ver. 17. Quid me interrogas de bono? erotas peri agathou. In the common Greek copies, ti me legeis agathon.|} In the ordinary Greek copies, why dost thou call me good? (Witham) --- One is good, etc. God alone, by his own nature, is essentially, absolutely, and unchangeably good; at the same time, he is the source of all created goodness, as all goodness is a mere emanation from his. The person here addressing our Saviour, appears not to have believed that Christ was God: wherefore our Saviour, to rectify his misconception, tells him that God alone is good, insinuating thereby, that he should believe him to be God, or cease to address him by the title of good. (Tirinus) --- The sense is, that only God is good necessarily, and by his own nature. The Arians bring this place to shew, that Christ is not truly and properly God: but by this way of speaking, Christ does not deny that he is good, even by his nature, and consequently God; but seems to speak in this manner, to make the man know who he was. (Witham)
Matthew 19:18 He saith to him: Which? And Jesus said: *Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Exodus 20:13.
Matthew 19:19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

St. Jerome thinks his answer was not conformable to truth, or he would not have been sorry when ordered to distribute his goods among the poor.
Matthew 19:20 The young man saith to him: All these have I kept from my youth: what is yet wanting to me?

Matthew 19:21 Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

If thou wilt be perfect. This shews there is a difference betwixt things that are of precept, and those that are of counsel only, which they aim at, that aspire to the greatest perfection. (Witham) --- Evangelical perfection essentially consists in the perfect observance of God's commandments, which is greatly assisted by embracing not only voluntary poverty, but also the other counsels given to us in the gospels, such as perpetual chastity, and entire obedience. --- Follow me. Thus to follow Christ, is to be without wife and care of children, to have no property, and to live in community; this state of life hath a great reward in heaven. This state, we learn from St. Augustine, the apostles followed; and he himself not only embraced it, but exhorted as many others as he possibly could to embrace it. (St. Augustine, ep. lxxxix, in fine, and in Ps. ciii. conc. 3. post. med.) (Bristow) --- The whole perfection of a Christian life consists in following Christ, by an imitation of his virtues. So that he who possesses poverty and chastity, does not immediately become perfect, but only enters upon the way of perfection, by facilitating his progress to perfection, removing hindrances, and laying aside all care of temporal concerns. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- In this chapter Jesus Christ delivers the evangelical counsels. In ver. 12, he recommends continency---here he proposes voluntary poverty, and immediately adds that of obedience, follow me. St. Augustine teaches, that the apostles bound themselves by vow to the observance of these three counsels. (De civit. Dei. Book xvii. Matthew 4.)
Matthew 19:22 And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions.

Sorrowful. I know not how it happens, that when superfluous and earthly things are loved, we are more attached to what we possess in effect than in desire. For, why did this young man depart sad, but because he had great riches? It is one thing not to wish for, and another to part with them, when once we have them. They become incorporated, and, as it were, a part of ourselves, like food; and, when taken, are changed into our own members. No one easily suffers a member of his body to be cut off. (St. Augustine, ep. xxxi. ad Paul.)
Matthew 19:23 Then Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19:24 And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

It is easier for a camel,{ Ver. 24. Camelum, kamelun, which is observed to be different from kamilos, a cable, or ship-rope. See Mr. Legh, Critica Sacra.|} etc. This might be a common saying, to signify any thing impossible, or very hard. Some by a camel, would have to be meant a cable, or ship-rope, but that is differently writ in Greek, and here is commonly understood a true camel. (Witham) --- But nothing is impossible to God.
Matthew 19:25 And when the disciples had heard this, they wondered very much, saying: Who then can be saved?

They wondered very much. The apostles wondered how any person could be saved, not because all were rich, but because the poor were also included, who had their hearts and affections fixed on riches. (St. Augustine and Nicholas of Lyra.)
Matthew 19:26 And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:27 Then Peter answering, said to him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?

Behold we have left all! What confidence this in Peter! He had been but a fisherman, always poor, living by his industry, and gaining his bread by the sweat of his brow; yet with great confidence he says, we have left all. (St. Jerome) --- For, we are not to consider what he left, but the will with which he left his all. He leaves a great deal, who reserves nothing for himself. It is a great matter to quit all, though the things we leave be very inconsiderable in themselves. Do we not observe with how great affection we love what we already have, and how earnestly we search after what we have not? It is on this account that St. Peter, and his brother, St. Andrew, left much, because they denied themselves even the desire and inclination of possessing any thing. (St. Gregory, on S. Mat. hom. v.) --- Though I have not been rich, I shall not, on that account, receive a less reward; for, the apostles, who have done the same thing with me, were no richer than myself. He therefore leaves all the world, who leaves all he has, and the desire of ever having more. (St. Augustine, ep. lxxxix. ad. Hilar.)
Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

In the regeneration. Jesus Christ here calls the general resurrection the regeneration, because there will then be a renovation of the human body, and of the whole world. The promise which is here made to the apostles of sitting on thrones at the general judgment, and passing sentence on the 12 tribes of Israel, must not be understood as limited to the apostles, or to the Jews. For St. Paul says, (1 Corinthians 6:2-3,) that not only he, but also many of the Corinthians to whom he was writing, would judge not merely the 12 tribes, but the whole world, and moreover angels themselves. It is the opinion of many of the Fathers, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, St. Gregory, and others, that all apostolical men, that is such as, renouncing the goods of this life, adhere to Christ in mind and affection, and by every possible means promote his reign and the propagation of his gospel, will be so far honoured as to sit in judgment with him at the general resurrection. (Tirinus) --- You also shall sit on twelve seats, or thrones, meaning at the general resurrection, when Christ will appear on the throne of his majesty, with his heavenly court, and with his elect, shall condemn the wicked world. (Witham)
Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive a hundred-fold, and shall possess life everlasting.

Shall receive a hundred-fold. In St. Mark we read a hundred-fold now in this time, and in the world to come life everlasting. Which hundred-fold is to be understood of the blessings in this life, of interior consolations, of the peace of a good conscience, and in general of spiritual gifts and graces, which are much more valuable than all temporal goods. And besides these spiritual graces in this world, he shall have everlasting glory in the world to come. (Witham) --- Our Saviour does not here lay down a precept of separating from wives; but, as when he before said, he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it, he did not counsel, much less command us to lay violent hands upon ourselves; so here he teaches us to prefer the duties of piety to every other consideration. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxv.) --- The reward will be a hundred-fold, by the accumulation of spiritual gifts and graces in this life, infinitely superior to all we have left, and the inheritance of life eternal in the next. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 19:30 *But many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first.

Matthew 20:16.; Mark 10:31.; Luke 13:30.
Matthew 20:0 The parable of the labourers in the vineyard. The ambition of the two sons of Zebedee. Christ gives sight to two blind men.

Matthew 20:1 The *kingdom of heaven is like to a master of a family, who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

Mark 10:32, 34.; Luke 18:31, 34.
about the year A.D. 33. For the kingdom. The participle for, is found in the Greek, and connects the present parable with the last verse of the preceding chapter: indeed it is a comment on that text, and describes to us the gospel dispensation. Thus the conduct of God in the choice he makes of members for his spiritual kingdom, the Church, and of his elect for the kingdom of heaven, is not unlike that of the father of a family, who hires workmen to labour in his vineyard. There are various opinions respecting who are meant by the first, and by the last, in this parable. Many of the fathers suppose that the saints of different states and degrees are here designed, whose reward will suffer no diminution from the circumstances of their having come to the service of Christ at a late age of the world, according to Sts. Hilary, Gregory, and Theophylactus; or, at a late age of life, according to Sts. Basil, Jerome, and Fulgentius. In the latter case, however, we must understand that their greater fervour in co-operating with divine grace, in the latter part of their life, has supplied and compensated for the defect of their preceding negligence; hence it may sometimes happen that the reward of such as enter late in life on the service of God, will exceed that of the less fervent who have entered at an earlier period. But as Christ rather seems to speak here of his militant than his triumphant Church, many commentators explain the parable of the Jews and Gentiles. For the Jews, after bearing the yoke of the Mosaic law for so many ages, received nothing more than what was promised to the observance of that law; whilst Christians receive a more plentiful reward for their more easy labour under the sweet yoke of the gospel. In which sense Christ says to the Jews, Luke 13:29: Publicans and harlots shall go before you into the kingdom of heaven. "And, strangers shall come from the east, and from the west, and the north, and the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And behold they are last that shall be first, and they are first that shall be last." (Luke 13:30.) --- Hence the Jews may be supposed to murmur, that they who are first in their vocation to be the people of God, and first in the observance of his law, should not be preferred to others, who in these respects have been far posterior to them. (Tirinus) --- By the vineyard, says St. Chrysostom, we here understand, the commandments of God. The time for labour is the present life. In the first, third, sixth, ninth, and eleventh hours, that is in infancy, youth, manhood, declining years, and extreme decrepitude of age, many individuals, yielding to the effective call of God, labour in the exact performance of the divine commandments. (Hom. lxv.)
Matthew 20:2 And having agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

The Roman penny, or denarius, was the 8th part of an ounce; which, at the rate of 5s. per ounce, is 7.5d. It is put here for the usual hire of a day-labourer.
Matthew 20:3 And going out about the third hour, he saw others standing idle in the market-place,

About the third hour. As the Jews divided their nights into four watches, each watch comprehending three hours, so they divided their days into four greater hours, from sunrise to sunset, and each of these great hours contained three lesser hours; so that the whole day from sunrise to sunset, consisted of 12 hours, as also did the night. The first of the great hours, comprehending the three first lesser hours, contained half of the space betwixt the rising of the sun and mid-day; and the end of this time was called the third hour. The next great hour was from that time till mid-day, called the sixth hour. The following great hour contained half of the time betwixt noon and the setting of the sun, the end of which was called the ninth hour. The fourth great hour comprehended the last three lesser hours remaining till sunset, so that at the end of the eleventh hour, mentioned here, ver. 6, began the last lesser hour of the twelve hours of the day; of which our Saviour said, (John 11:9,) are there not twelve hours in the day? --- As to the moral sense of the parable, by the day is commonly expounded all the time from the creation to the end of the world, and so the third hour is reckoned from Adam to Noe; the sixth from Noe to Abraham; the ninth from Abraham to Moses; and from the ninth to the eleventh, was from Moses till Christ's coming; and the time from Christ to the end of the world, is the 12th hour. Other interpreters, by the day understand human life; and by the different hours, infancy, youth, the age of manhood, old age, and the last hour man's decrepit age. God is master and disposer of all, who by his grace calls some sooner, some later. The market-place, in which men are so often found idle, as to the great concern of their eternal salvation, is the world. The design of this parable was to shew that the Gentiles, though called later than the Jews, should be made partakers of the promises made to the Jews; this is also the meaning of verse 16, where it is said: the last shall be first, and the first last. (Witham)
Matthew 20:4 And he said to them, Go you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just.

I will give you what shall be just. The prospect of a reward is therefore a good motive, authorized here by Christ himself.
Matthew 20:5 And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did in like manner.

Matthew 20:6 But about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing, and he saith to them: Why stand you here all the day idle?

Matthew 20:7 They say to him: Because no man hath hired us. He saith to them: Go you also into my vineyard.

No man hath hired us. St. Chrysostom again puts us in mind, that in parables all the parts are not significant, but some things are to be taken as mere ornaments of parabolical discourses, as here murmurings, which cannot be found in heaven: nor can men pretend they are not hired into God's service; God hath given lights, called, hired, and promised heaven to all. The rewards in heaven are also different. And they who are last called, if they labour with greater fervour, may deserve a greater reward than others called before them. (Witham) --- The Greek text finishes with, you shall receive what is reasonable. --- We must observe here, says St. Chrysostom on the words, because no man hath hired us, that this is the voice of the labourers only, in excuse for their not having entered upon their work before this late hour; for the master of the vineyard had shewn his willingness to hire them all, by going out early for that purpose. Though the fault was their own, he does not upbraid them, but abstains from all harshness and severity, that he may the more easily engage them. (Hom. lxv.)
Matthew 20:8 And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.

Matthew 20:9 When therefore they came, who had come about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:10 But when the first also came, they thought that they should have received more: and they likewise received every man a penny.

Matthew 20:11 And receiving it, they murmured against the master of the house,

And when they received it. By those who laboured all the day in the vineyard, we are to understand such as have spent their whole lives in the service of God; but we are not thence to infer, that in the kingdom of heaven, where all receive their just reward, there is envy, discontent, or any complaint. By these words, Christ wishes to convey to our minds an idea of the immense honours that will be heaped upon all such as return with sincerity, though at the decline or even verge of life, to the Almighty. So exceeding great will be their reward, that it would excite envy, were it possible, even in the elect. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxv.)
Matthew 20:12 Saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats.

Matthew 20:13 But he answering one of them, said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny?

Matthew 20:14 Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to this last even as to thee.

I will also give. Some are called to the service of their God, and to a life of virtue, from their infancy, whilst others, by a powerful call from above, are converted late in life, that the former may have no occasion to glory in themselves, or to despise those who, even in the 11th hour, enter upon the path of rectitude; and that all might learn that there is time sufficient, however short, left them to repair by their diligence and fervour their past losses. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxv.) --- Jesus Christ does not count so much the number of years, as the fervour and diligence we employ in his service. Calvin is rather unhappy in his choice of this parable to prove his favourite tenet, that salvation is not the reward of good works, but of faith alone, or predestination, since Jesus Christ represents heaven as given wholly as a just reward of meritorious labour in the vineyard, though some labour a shorter, and others a longer time, and God of his great goodness may give more to some than to others, while to all He gives at least their due. And a truly humble Christian will be ever satisfied with his lot, without envying that of others. (Haydock) --- As star differeth from star in glory in the firmament, (1 Corinthians 15:41,) so will there be different degrees of glory in heaven. (St. Augustine, de virgin. ch. XXVI.)
Matthew 20:15 Or is it not lawful for me to do what I will? is thy eye evil, because I am good?

Matthew 20:16 *So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called but few chosen.

Matthew 19:30.; Mark 10:31.; Luke 13:30.
Few chosen: only such as have not despised their caller, but followed and believed him; for men believed not, but of their own free will. (St. Augustine, lib. i, ad Simplic. q. ii.) (Bristow) --- Hence the rejection of the Jews and of negligent Christians, and the conversion of strangers, who come and take their place, by a conversion both of faith and morals. On the part of God all are called. (Matthew 11:28.) Come to me all, etc. In effect, many after their call, have attained to faith and justification; but few in comparison are elected to eternal glory, because the far greater part do not obey the call, but refuse to come, whilst many of those who come fall away again; and thus very few, in comparison with those that perish, will at the last day be selected for eternal glory. (Tirinus)
Matthew 20:17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart, and said to them:

Matthew 20:18 Behold we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and the Scribes, and they shall condemn him to death.

Behold we go, etc. Jesus here, for the third time, foretells his death; (the first time, Matthew 16:21; the second time, Matthew 17:21.) Our salvation and happiness are owing to the death of Christ; neither is there any thing that more loudly calls for our gratitude than his sufferings and death. Jesus takes the 12 apart, and reveals to them the mystery of his passion. He had previously declared it in public, but in ambiguous terms, saying: destroy this temple, etc. A sign shall not be given, but the sign of Jonas the prophet; but here he manifestly expounds to his disciples the mystery: behold we go up to Jerusalem, etc. This discourse of our Saviour is remarkable for an energetic strength of expression. (St. Chrysostom) --- Jesus had repeatedly spoken to his apostles of his passion; but as much of what he had said had escaped their memory, now that he is upon the road to Jerusalem in company with his disciples, he brings it back to their recollection, to fortify them against the scandal they might take at his ignominious death. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 20:19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified, and the third day he shall rise again.

The third day he shall rise again. We may take notice, that as often as Christ mentioned his sufferings and death, he also joined his resurrection, that they might take notice, and not lose their faith. (Witham) --- Like the rest of the Jews, the apostles were so fully prepossessed with the idea that the Messias would be immortal, that they could not understand what Jesus Christ said to them. He, however, did reveal these things, that, on a future day, recollecting how their Lord and Master had foreseen and foretold to them the most material circumstances relating to his passion and death, they might believe more firmly in him, and be convinced that he suffered of his own free choice. (Haydock)
Matthew 20:20 *Then came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, worshipping and asking something of him.

Mark 10:35.
Then came to him. Upon Christ's informing his apostles that he should die and rise again, they conceived that he would immediately reign in Jerusalem with great glory and power; and it was this made the mother of the sons of Zebedee petition that they might take precedence, and be honoured by the other apostles. But Christ answers them that they knew not what they asked, for honours were to be bestowed not on relationship, but on merit: in like manner, the dignities of the Church are not to be conferred upon relatives, but upon the worthy. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- On comparing the 27th chapter of St. Matthew with the 15th of St. Mark, it will appear that she was the same as Salome. --- In St. Mark 10:35, we find that the sons themselves made this petition: both the sons and their mother might make it; at least the sons may be said to have done what they got their mother to desire for them; and therefore Christ directed his answer to them: you know not what you ask. You think, says St. Chrysostom of temporal preferments, of honours, and crowns, when you should be preparing yourselves for conflicts and battles. (Witham) --- Our Lord suffers these occasional weaknesses in his apostles, that he might, from his instructions and corrections, render his doctrines more intelligible to them and to posterity. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 20:21 And he said to her: What wilt thou? She saith to him: Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom.

Matthew 20:22 But Jesus answering, said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink of the chalice that I shall drink? They say to him: We can.

The chalice. It is a metaphor signifying Christ's sufferings and death. See Psalm 10:7.; Psalm 74:9. Isaias 51:17. The apostles replied, we can drink thy cup. Their answer shewed their readiness, but want of humility. (Witham)
Matthew 20:23 He saith to them: My chalice indeed you shall drink: but to sit on my right or left hand, is not mine to give you, but to them for whom it is prepared by my Father.

Of my chalice indeed you shall drink. St. James was the first apostle that suffered martyrdom at Jerusalem. (Acts 12:2.) And St. John at Rome was put into a cauldron of boiling oil, and banished into Patmos. --- Is not mine to give you.{ Ver. 23. Non est meum dare vobis. Now we read only in the Greek, ouk estin emon dounai. It is so also in St. Chrysostom, in St. Cyril, (in Thesauro, Assertione XXVI, tom. V. p. 243) where he answers this objection of the Arians. Nor is umin, in the Greek text of St. Epiphanius (haer. LXIX, p. 742) though it be put there in the Latin translation. St. Augustine has not vobis: (lib. I. de Trin. ch. XII, p. 765 G. tom. VIII.) but in Psalm 103., (tom. IV, p. 1157) he says, Quid est non est meum dare vobis? non est meum dare superbis. St. Ambrose (lib. V. de Fide, tom. IV. ch. III, p. 147) Non dixit non est meum dare, sed non est meum dare vobis, hoc est, non sibi potestatem deesse asserens, sed me tum creaturis. Besides the Fathers, who did not read vobis in the text, shew by their expositions, that they took the sense to be the same, and no ways favourable to the Arians. See St. Augustine, lib. I. de Trin. p. 766. A. non est meum dare, ac si diceretur, non est humanae potestatis hoc dare, ut per illud intelligatur hoc dare, per quod Deus est aequalis Patri, etc. See St. Chrysostom, hom. LXVI.; St. Cyril in Thesauro assert. XXVI. p. 243.; St. Epiphanius haer. LXIX, p. 742, etc.|} The Arians objected these words against Christ's divinity. St. Augustine answers that the words are true if taken of Christ, as he was man. The easier answer is, that it was not his to give to them, while they were in those dispositions of pride and ambition. So that the distinction made, is not betwixt the Father and his eternal Son, as if the Father could give what the Son could not, but betwixt persons worthy, and not worthy of such a favour. It is true the word you, is now wanting in the Greek manuscripts and must have been wanting in some of them in the fourth, or at least the fifth century, since we find them not in St. Chrysostom. St. Augustine also in one place omits it, but sometimes lays great stress upon it; Christ's meaning being no more, than that heaven was not his to give them; that is, to the proud, etc. St. Ambrose reads it; and what is still of greater weight, St. Jerome hath it in the text of the New Testament, which he corrected from the best Greek manuscripts. (Witham) --- In your present state there is no exception of persons with God; for, whosoever is worthy of heaven, shall receive it as the reward of his merits. Therefore Christ answers them, it is not mine to bestow the kingdom of heaven upon you, because you are not yet deserving, on account of your pride in seeking to have yourselves preferred before my other apostles. But be ye humble, and heaven is prepared for you, as well as for all others, who are properly disposed. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- Greatness in the next life will be proportioned to humility in this.
Matthew 20:24 *And the ten hearing it, were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

Mark 10:41.
The ten ... were moved with indignation against the two brothers, who had petitioned for the first and chief places. (Witham) --- The disciples understood from our Lord's answer, that the request came in the first instance from the two disciples; but as they saw them much honoured by Christ, they did not dare openly to accuse them. (St. Chrysostom) --- The other ten apostles were as much wrong in their anger and jealousy as the former two were in their untimely petition. In his answer to both, we cannot sufficiently admire the wonderful meekness of our blessed Saviour's character. (Jansenius)
Matthew 20:25 *But Jesus called them to him, and said: You know that the princes of the Gentiles lord it over them: and they that are the greater, exercise power upon them.

Luke 22:25.
Princes of the Gentiles lord it over them: tyrannize over those that are under them, by arbitrary and violent proceedings. (Witham) --- Our Lord wishing to extinguish the indignation conceived against the two brothers, lays before them the difference of secular and ecclesiastical princes, shewing that precedency in the Church is neither to be sought for by him who is not possessed of it, nor too eagerly loved by him who has it; for secular princes are lords of their subjects, keeping them under subjection, and govern them in every particular according to their will; but ecclesiastical princes are honoured with precedency, that they may be servants of their inferiors, administer to them whatever they have received from Christ, neglect their own convenience for the good of their neighbour, and be willing even to die for the spiritual good of their subjects. It is neither just nor reasonable, therefore, to desire precedency in the Church, without these qualifications. No prudent man is willing to subject himself to such servitude and danger, as to take upon himself the obligation of having to give an account of the wickedness and perversity of others, unless fearless of the divine judgments, he abuse his ecclesiastical superiority. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 20:26 It shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister:

Matthew 20:27 And he that would be first among you, shall be your servant.

Matthew 20:28 *Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many.

Philippians 2:7.
A redemption for many; that is for all, as it is sometimes the style of the Scriptures. See St. Paul, 1 Timothy 2:6. (Witham) --- Certain Puritans pretend from this part of holy Scripture, that all superiority is forbidden; but it is merely pride, ambition, and haughtiness, not superiority, that is here proscribed. Jesus Christ himself, as Son of man, was their and our Superior, Lord, and Master, notwithstanding his humility. (Bristow) --- For the divine appointment of both civil and ecclesiastical government, see Romans 13:2.; and 1 Corinthians 12:28.; Hebrews Matthew 13:7, 17.
Matthew 20:29 *And when they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.

Mark 10:46.; Luke 18:35.
Matthew 20:30 And behold two blind men sitting by the way side, heard that Jesus passed by, and they cried out, saying: O Lord, son of David, have mercy on us.

Two blind men. Mark 10:46., when he seems to relate the same passage, mentions but one, called Bartimeus; perhaps because he was the more famous of the two. (Witham) --- These were very opportunely presented to our Lord, that they might go up to Jerusalem with him, after they had received sight from his divine hands, and appear there as witnesses of the divinity of his mission. (St. Chrysostom, hom. LXVI, in Matt.) --- We may here consider, if the blindness of the body be looked upon as a very great misfortune, how much greater must be the darkness of the soul. The former is only a privation of the light of day, the other is a privation of the light of grace and glory. The light of this world, though a great blessing, is enjoyed in common with the brute creation; it serves only to distinguish material objects. The light which Christ communicates to the soul, enables us to know God and his sacred truths, as revealed to his holy Catholic Church; it elevates us above all inferior creatures, it dissipates the spiritual darkness caused by sin and our unruly passions, and conducts us to the true light of eternal glory. Oh what unspeakable joy must then fill and overwhelm the elect, when in the light of God they see light itself, the bright countenance of their loving and beloved Father!!!
Matthew 20:31 And the multitude rebuked them that they should hold their peace. But they cried out the more, saying: O Lord, son of David, have mercy on us.

Matthew 20:32 And Jesus stood, and called them, and said: What will ye that I do to you?

Matthew 20:33 They say to him: Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

Matthew 20:34 And Jesus having compassion on them, touched their eyes. And immediately they received sight, and followed him.

Matthew 21:0 Christ rides into Jerusalem upon an ass: he casts the buyers and sellers out of the temple: curses the fig-tree: and puts to silence the priests and Scribes.

Matthew 21:1 And *when they drew nigh to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto Mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples,

Mark 11:1, 10.; Luke 19:29.; John 12:12.
about the year A.D. 33. Bethphage, was a village of the priests, and signifies the house of figs and dates, or the house of the fountain, or of the flatterer, situated on the declivity of Mount Olivet, about a mile to the east of Jerusalem, a sabbath-day's journey. As Bethphage was probably so called from the fig and date trees growing there, Mount Olivet was from the great number of olive-trees: ton elaion. The triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem from Bethania, was on the first day of the week, answering to our Sunday, the very day on which, by the appointment of the law, (Exodus 12:3.) the lamb was brought hither, to be sacrificed at the Passover. To shew, moreover, that in himself all the figures of the old law were realized, he chose that very night for the institution of the Passover of the new law, the blessed eucharist, which was appointed for the immolation of the paschal lamb in the old law, and the very day for the redemption of the world, in which the people of God had formerly been redeemed from Egyptian bondage. ... When they were arrived to the mid-way between Bethania (which he had just quitted) and Bethphage, he sends two of his disciples. In the Greek it is, Kai elthon eis Bethphage; that is eporeuonto, they were travelling to Bethphage, and were near the place, within sight of it, but had not reached it, as we learn from both St. Mark and St. Luke.
Matthew 21:2 Saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to me.

Go ye into the village; in Latin, Castellum, but in Greek, eis ten Komen, which is, before you, contra vos, as Virgil says, Italiam contra. (Aeneid i.) Some authors think it was Bethphage. (Haydock) --- An ass tied,{ Ver. 2. A prophecy of the coming of the Messias was here so manifestly accomplished in the person of Jesus, that I cannot but set down the words of the prophet Zacharias, (Zacharias 9.) Ecce Rex tuus veniet tibi justus et Salvator, ipse pauper, et ascendens super Asinam, et super pullum filium Asinoe. They are no less clear in the Hebrew, and other languages. See the Protestant translation in the prophet Zacharias.|} and a colt with her. This colt, which never yet had been rid upon, represented the people of the Gentiles, to whom God had not given a written law, as he had done to the Jews. Here was manifestly fulfilled the prophecy of Zacharias. (Chap. 9.) It was now the first day of the week, in which Christ suffered; he was pleased to enter into Jerusalem in a kind of triumph, the people making acclamations to him, as to their king and Messias. (Witham) --- Both Jews and Gentiles, figured by the ass and the colt, are to be loosed and conducted by the hands of the apostles of Christ to their Redeemer. The Gentiles, represented by the colt, though heretofore unclean, no sooner receive Jesus resting upon them, than they are freed from every stain and rendered perfectly clean. The zeal of the Gentiles stirred up the emulation of the Jews; therefore did the ass follow after its colt. This approach of the Jews to the true faith, after the vocation of the Gentiles, is spoken of by St. Paul, Romans 11:25. Blindness in part has happened in Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxvi.) --- As it is written, "there shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is to them my covenant;" when I shall take away their sins. This prophecy of Isaias (lix. 20.) St. Paul applies to the conversion of the Jews; (ibid. [Romans 11:25]) and thus both Jew and Gentile are to take up our Saviour's yoke, which is certainly sweet, and his burden light.
Matthew 21:3 And if any man shall say any thing to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go.

\f + \fr 21:3-4\ft The Lord hath need. Not our Lord, or your Lord, but the Lord, viz. of all, both of the beasts and of their masters, and of every creature. Christ here discovers two of his own attributes, his omniscience and his supreme dominion. Now this was done not by accident, not through novelty or to avoid fatigue, but as the evangelist declares, to accomplish the prophecy of Isaias and of Zarcharias.
Matthew 21:4 Now all this was done that what was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled, saying:

Matthew 21:5 *Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold, thy king cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of her that is used to the yoke.

Isaias 62:11.; Zacharias 9:9.; John 12:15.
Some manuscripts read Isaias, others Zacharias: the text seems to be extracted from both, but particularly the latter, the sense of which is taken, though not verbatim, from the Septuagint version. See Isaias 62:2.[11.?] and Zacharias 9:9.
Matthew 21:6 And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them.

Matthew 21:7 And they brought the ass and the colt: and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon.

Sit thereon. St. Jerome reprobates the opinion of those who suppose that Christ rode upon both the ass and the colt, though without sufficient reason. The Greek indeed, epano auton, upon them, may be referred either to the beasts or to ta imatia, the garments; but the very general sentiment is, that he first sat upon the ass for a short time, and then mounted the colt. It may be asked why Jesus, who through humility had during his whole life travelled on foot, and in no one previous instance is found to have allowed himself the convenience of riding, should on this occasion enter Jerusalem riding? One reason was, as mentioned in note on ver. 4, supra, to fulfil the prophecy of Zarcharias, who had given this mark of the Messias. Hence St. John (Chrysostom, hom. lxvi.) challenges the Jews to shew him any other king of theirs, who had entered Jerusalem riding on an ass. Other reasons were, to give a faint specimen of his real kingly dignity before he suffered; to be publicly acknowledged for the Messias; to confirm the faith of his disciples; and to leave his enemies no excuse for their incredulity. On this, as on all other occasions, magnificence is admirably blended with humility, in our Saviour's actions. Even in this his triumph, we cannot help admiring his humility, in riding upon an ass. (Jansenius) --- The glorious reception he met with from the people, was perfectly voluntary on their parts, the genuine effusions of their hearts, and as such, infinitely superior to the vain and often forced parade bestowed upon earthly princes; and is commemorated in the blessing and distributing of palms in the Catholic Church, on Palm-Sunday, all over the Christian world.
Matthew 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way:

Matthew 21:9 And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: *Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Psalm 117:26.; Mark 11:10.; Luke 19:38.
Hosanna,{ Ver. 9. Hosanna filio David. ta uio Dauid. See Maldonat.|} or hosiah-na, was an acclamation of the Jews: when applied to God, means save us, I beseech Thee; when applied to a sovereign prince, means vivat, in Latin, or long live the king. (Bible de Vence) --- Hosanna, says St. Jerome, is the same as, Save, I beseech thee. (Psalm cxvii.) Some will have the word Hosanna directed to Christ himself, and the sense to be, Save us, O thou Son of David; others understand Hosanna, directed to God, as if the people said, Save, O Lord, this our king; by which the people wished peace, safety, and prosperity to Jesus their Messias. (Witham) ---It appears that the Holy Ghost, on this occasion secretly inspired their tongues, and through their means caused loud thanks to be offered to Jesus, for an approaching blessing, of which as yet they had no conception. --- These same words of acclamation are daily used in the preface of the mass, and represent the exultations of both priest and people, expecting, as it were, and rejoicing at his coming. (Bristow)
Matthew 21:10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this?

He entered by the golden gate which looks towards the east, and which was not far distant from the temple, where the procession terminated. There Jesus, as high priest, made his solemn entry into his Father's house.
Matthew 21:11 And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth of Galilee.

The Prophet, etc. It was amidst these acclamations that Christ wept, and foretold the destruction of the city. (Luke 19:42.) (Witham) --- It was not without great reason, that the whole city was so much disturbed with the triumphal entry of Jesus. Man was extolled as God, and God extolled in man. The elders, admiring his heavenly virtue, exclaimed, who is the king of glory! (Origen) --- This is Jesus, the prophet, (outos estin Iesous o prophetes,) the one promised by Moses, (Deuteronomy 18:15.) was the answer of the simple and candid people. (Jansenius)
Matthew 21:12 *And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all who were selling and buying in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves.

Mark 11:15.; Luke 19:45.; John 2:14.
And cast out all. Since the Jews came to the temple from all parts of Judea, such as came from a distance did not bring with them their sacrifices, but purchased them at Jerusalem. The money-changers were persons who lent out money to the poor, that they might purchase the victims, etc. But as the law forbade usury, they received other fruits, grapes, etc. in return. These persons, beyond a doubt, beheld a more than human brightness darting from his eyes, otherwise they would not have suffered him to act thus. In the same manner, the servants of the high priest fell down when they came to apprehend Jesus, at these words, I am he. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- Into the temple. Into that part of it called the court of the Gentiles, where pigeons were to be sold for sacrifices, where there were tables of money-changers, etc. St. Jerome here admires this as one of the greatest of Christ's miracles, that a poor man should be permitted to cast the buyers and sellers out of the temple, to overturn their stalls, their money-tables, etc. without any opposition. (Witham)
Matthew 21:13 And he saith to them: It is written, *My house shall be called the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves.

Isaias 56:7.; Jeremias 7:11.; Luke 19:46.
My house shall. That man is a thief, and turns the temple of God into a den of thieves, who makes religion a cloak for his avarice. Of all the innumerable miracles which Jesus performed, none appear greater in my eyes than this: that one man, at that time so contemned and despised, who was afterwards nailed to the tree of the cross, should with his single power be able to expel from the temple that multitude of Scribes and Pharisees, who were so maliciously bent upon his destruction, and so greedy of gain. Something more than human appeared in his celestial countenance on this occasion, and the majesty of the divinity shewed itself in his looks and gestures. Igneum quiddam, atque sidereum radiabat ex oculis ejus, et divinitatis majestas lucebat in facie. (St. Jerome) --- Hence it is not to be wondered at, if in the utmost fear and consternation they fled away. (Menochius)
Matthew 21:14 And the blind, and the lame came to him in the temple: and he healed them.

Matthew 21:15 And the chief priests and Scribes seeing the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying: Hosanna to the son of David; were moved with indignation.

Hosanna. St. Augustine (lib. de doct. christ. ch. XI.) thinks this word is an interjection of joy, without any particular meaning, denoting only affection, as Racha is an expression of indignation. This opinion seems supported by the interpreters not having translated either of these words, but retained them in the Greek and in the Latin versions. It seems more than probable, according to St. Jerome, that the whole sentence is taken from Psalm 117:25 and 26, in which supposition, hosanna will signify God save; the word me, though in the verse of the Psalm just mentioned, is not in the Hebrew. It is a familiar acclamation among the Jews, which they sung every day on the feast of the tabernacles, carrying branches in their hands. (The feast of the tabernacles was figurative of Christ's divinity, resting under the tabernacle of our humanity.) The manner in which it was chanted, was not unlike our litanies. First some name or attribute of the Deity was sung, as "For thy own sake, O Lord of Lords," to which the people answered, "hosanna," or "save us," "by thy covenant," "save us," "thy holy temple," "Hosanna, save us." These litanies were very long, and are said at present by the Jews in their synagogues. Many things have undoubtedly been added in process of time, but they most probably were in use from the beginning. (Jansenius)
Matthew 21:16 And said to him: Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus said to them: Yea, have you never read: *Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise.

Psalm 8:3.
Have you never read: Out of the mouth, etc. The words are Psalm 8:3, which some apply to the praises the people gave to David, when he had conquered Goliath, but Christ applies them to the present circumstances. (Witham) --- It is here said, that from the mouth of children the Almighty, had perfected praise, as in Psalm 8:3. in the Septuagint, to shew that their words did not proceed from their own minds, but that their tender tongues were employed by the power of God to sound forth his praise. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxviii.) --- It is evident from this and various other texts, that we ought to read the Old Testament with an eye to Christ, who was the end of the law.
Matthew 21:17 And leaving them, he went out of the city into Bethania: and remained there.

And having viewed all about; (as we read in St. Mark 11:11,) when the hour of evening was come, he went out of the city into Bethania, as usual, with the 12 apostles. Hence we may collect in how great poverty our Saviour lived, and how far he was from flattering the great ones of this world, since he could not find a friend to offer him his house for a night's repose, and to ease his fatigued members, but is obliged to go to Bethania, a small village, to the house of Martha and Mary. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 21:18 And in the morning, returning into the city, he was hungry.

In the morning, returning into the city, he was hungry. This hunger, though real and pressing, was mysterious, and affords an opportunity of giving instruction both to the Jews and to all his disciples. By the fig-tree, was represented the Jewish synagogue; the hunger of Christ was a figure of his extreme desire of finding it productive of good works, (and there is no time nor season when the servants of God can be excused from bringing forth good works) answerable to the pains of cultivation he had taken for more than three years. The leaves were their pompous shew of exterior service, the barren foliage of legal rites, void of the internal spirit and good works, the only valuable produce of the tree. By the withering of the tree subsequent to Christ's imprecation, the reprobation and utter barrenness of the synagogue are represented. St. Mark 11:13 observes that it was not the season for figs; nor are we to suppose that our Saviour went up to the tree expecting to find fruit; but if some of the evangelists mention this circumstance, they only relate the surmises of the disciples. Though he had before shewn his power by innumerable miracles, Christ still thought this necessary to excite the hearts of his disciples to greater confidence. He had often exercised his power to do good, but now for the first time shews himself able to punish. Thus he testifies to the apostles and to the Jews themselves, that he could with a word have made his crucifiers wither away, and therefore that he willingly bore the extremity of the sufferings he should in a few days have to undergo. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxviii.)
Matthew 21:19 *And seeing a fig-tree by the wayside, he came to it: and found nothing on it but leaves only, and he saith to it: May no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And immediately the fig-tree withered away.

Mark 11:13.
Matthew 21:20 *And the disciples seeing it, wondered, saying: How is it presently withered away?

Mark 11:20.
The disciples, etc. This surprise of the disciples, at the sudden withering of the fig-tree, happened the following morning. See Mark 11:20.
Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answering, said to them: Amen, I say to you, if you shall have faith, and stagger not, not only this of the fig-tree shall you do, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Take up and cast thyself into the sea, it shall be done.

Matthew 21:22 *And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.

Matthew 7:7.; Mark 11:24.; John 14:13.; John 16:23.
Matthew 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and ancients of the people came to him as he was teaching, saying: *By what authority dost thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Mark 11:28.; Luke 20:2.
Matthew 21:24 Jesus answering, said to them: I also will ask you one word, which if you shall tell me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.

\f + \fr 21:24-25\ft The baptism of John, by which is also understood his doctrine and preaching, was it from heaven or not? (Witham)
Matthew 21:25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? But they thought within themselves, saying:

Matthew 21:26 If we shall say, From heaven, he will say to us: Why then did you not believe him? But if we shall say, From men, we are afraid of the multitude: *for all held John as a prophet.

Matthew 14:5.
He will say to us: Why then did not you believe him? When he divers times bore witness to you that I am your Messias. (Witham)
Matthew 21:27 And answering Jesus, they said: We know not. And he said to them: Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Matthew 21:28 But what think you: A certain man had two sons, and coming to the first he said: Son, go work to-day in my vineyard.

A certain man had two sons, etc. The ancient interpreters, by the first son generally understand the Gentiles, as also publicans and scandalous sinners; and by the second, the Jewish people. The Gentiles, etc. who at the first did not, would not worship and serve God; yet afterwards they, as also publicans, and many sinners, received the faith, and being converted, became faithful servants of God, and saints: the Jews, or the greatest part of them, who pretended to be God's servants, and his people, rejected the gospel and their Messias; therefore this commination follows, the publicans, etc. shall go before you into the kingdom of God. (Witham) --- By these two sons are to be understood, says St. Chrysostom, the Gentiles and the Jewish people; the latter our Redeemer wishes to make sensible of their own great ingratitude, and of the ready obedience of the cast-off Gentiles. For they having never heard the law, nor promised obedience have still shewn their submission by their works; whereas the Jews, after promising to obey the voice of God, had neglected the performance. (Hom. lxviii.)
Matthew 21:29 And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went.

Matthew 21:30 And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering, said: I go sir. And he went not.

Matthew 21:31 Which of the two did the father's will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen, I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

Matthew 21:33 Hear ye another parable: *There was a master of a family who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a wine-press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen: and went into a strange country.

Isaias 5:1.; Jeremias 2:21.; Mark 12:1.; Luke 20:9.
A certain master of a family, etc. This master is God; the vineyard, the Jews; the husbandmen, the Jewish priests; the servants, God's prophets, sent from time to time: the son, called (Mark 12:6,) his only and most dear son, is our Saviour Jesus Christ, whom they persecuted to death. (Witham) --- By this parable, our Saviour teaches the Jews that the providence of God had wonderfully watched over them from the beginning, that nothing had been omitted to promote their salvation, and that notwithstanding his prophets had been put to most cruel deaths, still the Almighty was not turned away from them, but had at length sent down his only Son, who should suffer at their hands the inexpressible ignominies and tortures of his cross and passion. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxix.)
Matthew 21:34 And when the time of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

Matthew 21:35 And the husbandmen having laid hold of his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.

Matthew 21:36 Again he sent other servants more than the former: and they did to them in like manner.

Matthew 21:37 And last of all he sent to them his son, saying: They will reverence my son.

They will reverence, etc. This is not said, as if God were ignorant what the Jews would do to his only begotten Son, since in this very place he declares that they would condemn him to death; but, to shew what they ought to have done, and what he had a right to expect from them. (Nicholas of Lyra.)
Matthew 21:38 But the husbandmen seeing the son, said among themselves: *This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and we shall have his inheritance.

Matthew 26:8.; Matthew 27:2.; John 11:53.
Heir. From this text, it appears that the princes of the Jews knew Jesus to be the Messias, and that it was only through envy and malice they were so blinded as not to acknowledge him for the Son of God. When, therefore, the apostle says, (1 Corinthians 2:8,) If they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; this, it is probable, must be understood of the common people, since we can hardly believe that the princes of the people were ignorant of it, as Christ had so repeatedly inculcated this truth, that he even says himself they had no excuse, and were only actuated by hatred against him and his Father. (St. John 15:22.) (Tirinus) --- Inheritance, etc. It appears from St. John xi. that one of the motives why the Jews killed our Saviour was, lest if they let him live, all men should believe, and the Romans should come and destroy their nation. But the very means they took to secure their kingdom to themselves, hastened their downfall, and eventually caused their ruin; since in punishment of their crucifying Jesus Christ, their city and state were completely ruined under the Roman emperors Titus and Vespasian. (Nicholas of Lyra.)
Matthew 21:39 And taking him, they cast him forth out of the vineyard, and killed him.

Matthew 21:40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard shall come, what will he do to those husbandmen?

Matthew 21:41 They say to him: He will bring those evil men to an evil end: and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, that shall render him the fruit in due season.

He will bring those evil men to an evil end. This answer was made by some of them. Yet St. Luke (xx. 16,) tells us, that others among them, (whom we may take to be the Scribes and Pharisees) cried out, God forbid; seeing well enough that this was a prediction of their future ruin. (Witham) --- If we compare this text with St. Luke, it will appear that it was from the midst of the people that this answer was given, which was confirmed by Jesus Christ, and at which the high priests were so indignant, because they saw clearly it must fall upon themselves. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith to them: Have you never read in the Scriptures: *The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? By the Lord this has been done; and it is wonderful in our eyes.

Psalm 117:22.; Acts 4:11.; Romans 9:33.; 1 Peter 2:7.
The head of the corner. By these words, (Psalm cxvii,) which the Jews themselves expounded of their Messias, Christ shewed them, that although they, who should have been the architects, had rejected him, yet he should be the chief corner-stone to unite the Jews and the Gentiles, converted into one Christian Church, militant on earth and triumphant in heaven. See Acts 4:11. (Witham) --- St. Augustine remarks, that this parable was addressed not only to the opponents of Christ's authority, but likewise to the people.
Matthew 21:43 Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The kingdom of God shall be taken from you. By this dreadful conclusion he tells them in plain terms, that they shall be forsaken, and punished for their blindness and obstinacy. (Witham)
Matthew 21:44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Matthew 21:45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they understood that he spoke of them.

They understood that he spoke of them. This parable, though immediately addressed to the Jews, contains an admirable instruction for Christians. For, what the Jews have suffered for their wickedness and ingratitude, has also been the fate of many Christian kingdoms, and the mournful lot of many once flourishing happy churches, whose candlesticks are removed, and light extinct. The same conduct God observes with regard to particular persons, in punishment of their repeatedly abusing his graces; he at last withdraws them, and leaves the culprit to himself, and to the miserable consequences of this merited privation of grace.
Matthew 21:46 And seeking to lay hands on him, they feared the multitudes: because they held him as a prophet.

Matthew 22:0 The parable of the marriage feast: Christ orders tribute to be paid to Caesar: he confutes the Sadducees: shews which is the first commandment in the law: and puzzles the Pharisees.

Matthew 22:1 And *Jesus answering, spoke to them again in parables, saying:

about the year A.D. 33. Jesus answered, and spoke to them again in parables, and concludes his discourse with again describing, 1st. the reprobation of the Jews; 2d. the calling of the Gentiles to the true faith; and 3d. the final judgment of both the one and the other. In this parable of the marriage feast, says St. Chrysostom, our Saviour again declares to the Jews their reprobation, and the vocation of the Gentiles, their great ingratitude, and his tender solicitude for them. For he did not send them a single invitation only; he repeatedly invited them. Say, says he, to the invited; and afterwards, call the invited; thus evincing the greatness of their obstinacy, in resisting all the calls and pressing invitations of the Almighty. (Hom. lxx.) --- This parable is certainly not the same as that mentioned in St. Luke 14:16, as every one that will be at the pains to examine and compare all the circumstances of each, will easily discover, though they are very much alike. (Menochius)
Matthew 22:2 *The kingdom of heaven is like to a man being a king, who made a marriage for his son.

Luke 14:16.; Apocalypse 19:9.
Is like to a man being a king, etc. This parable seems different from that of Luke 14:16. See St. Augustine, lib. 2:de Cons. Evang. ch. LXX. The main design in this parable, is to shew the Jews that they were all invited to believe in Christ; though so few of them believed. The king is God; his son is Jesus Christ; the spouse is the Church; the marriage is Christ's incarnation; the feast, the grace of God in this life, and his glory in the next. His servants were the prophets; and lastly his precursor, St. John the Baptist. --- My fatlings, which I have prepared, and made fat for the feast: but this is but an ornament of the parable. (Witham) --- The same takes place in the kingdom of heaven, as when a king makes a marriage feast for his son. Jesus Christ seems to have had two things in view in this parable: 1st. that many are called to the kingdom of heaven, that is his Church, and that few come, as he concludes, ver. 14, many are called, etc; 2d. that not all that come when called will be saved, that is will be reputed worthy of the celestial feast; because some have not on the wedding-garment, as he shews, ver. 11. (Menochius) --- Thus the conduct of God in the formation of his Church, and in the vocation of men to glory which himself has prepared for them in the kingdom of heaven, is like to that of a king, wishing to celebrate the marriage of his son. (Bible de Vence) --- Marriage is here mentioned, says St. Chrysostom to shew there is nothing sorrowful in the kingdom of God, but all full of the greatest spiritual joy. St. John the Baptist likewise calls our Saviour the spouse; and St. Paul says, I have espoused thee to one man, 2 Corinthians xi. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxx.) See also Ephesians 5:25.; Apocalypse 21:2.; Apocalypse 21:9. The nuptials in this place do not signify the union of marriage, or the incarnation of Jesus Christ, by which the Church is made his spouse; but the marriage feast, to which men are said to be invited. This is no other than the doctrines, the sacraments and graces, with which God feeds and nourishes our souls, united to him by faith in this life, and by eternal joy and glory in the next. (Jansenius) --- This union is begun here on earth by faith, is cemented by charity in all such as are united to Christ in the profession of the one true faith he came down to establish, and will be consummated and made perpetual hereafter by the eternal enjoyment of Christ in his heavenly kingdom.
Matthew 22:3 And he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage; and they would not come.

His servants. John the Baptist and Christ himself, who took the form of a servant, to call such as had been formerly invited to the nuptials that were to be celebrated in his time. The Jews were invited by Moses and the prophets, and were instructed to believe that the Messias would celebrate this happy feast. On the predetermined day, they were again called by his servants, saying: Do penance; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: come to the feast, that is become members of his Church, by believing in Christ. (Jansenius) --- In the same manner, St. Chrysostom says that the Jews had been invited by the voice of the prophets, and afterwards by the Baptist, who declared to all, that Christ should increase, but that he himself should decrease. At length, they were invited by the Son in person, crying aloud to them: come to me all you that labour, and are heavily laden, and I will refresh you. (Matthew 11:28.) And again: if any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. (St. John 7:37.) --- and not by his words only, but by his actions also did he call them; and after his resurrection, by the ministry of Peter and the rest of the apostles (hom. lxx,) he informed the invited Jews that the banquet was ready; because the Christian religion being now established, the way to eternal happiness was laid open to mankind.
Matthew 22:4 Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited: Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my beeves and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the wedding.

Matthew 22:5 But they neglected, and went their ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise.

One to his farm. After they had put to death the Son of God, still did the Almighty invite them to the marriage-feast; but they with futile excuses declined and slighted the proffered favour, wholly taken up with their temporal concerns and sensual enjoyments, their oxen, lands and wives. From the punishment inflicted on these, we learn, that no consideration, how specious soever it may appear, can prove a legitimate excuse for neglecting our spiritual duties. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxx.) --- Such as refuse to be reconciled to the holy Catholic Church, allege vain pretexts and impediments; but all these originating in pride, indolence, or human respects, will not serve at the day of general retribution and strict scrutiny.
Matthew 22:6 And the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death.

Put them to death. Thus the Jews had many times treated the prophets. (Witham) --- These were by far the most impious and the most ungrateful; tenuerunt Servos ejus, as is related in the Acts, with regard to the death of James, and Stephen, and Paul. (Menochius)
Matthew 22:7 But when the king heard of it, he was angry, and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city.

Sending his armies. Here our Redeemer predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, by the armies of Vespasian and Titus, sent against them by the Almighty, in punishment of their incredulity and impiety. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxx.) --- Thus the king destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city; for sooner or later God is observed to exert his vengeance on all such as despise his word, or persecute his ministers. See the miseries to which the Jews were reduced in Josephus, book the 6th, ch. IX, Hist. of the Jewish war; who declares, that in the last siege of Jerusalem 1,100,000 persons perished, and that the city was completely destroyed. Other interpreters suppose that the evil spirits are here meant, by whom God punishes man, according to Psalm lxxvii, ver. 49. (Menochius and Maldonatus).
Matthew 22:8 Then he saith to his servants: The wedding indeed is ready; but they that were invited, were not worthy.

Were not worthy. The Almighty knew full well that they were not worthy; he still sent them these frequently repeated invitations, that they might be left without any excuse. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxx.) --- More is signified here than the bare letter conveys; they were not only less worthy of the nuptials, but by their very great obstinacy, ingratitude and impiety, quite unworthy. Not so the Gentiles. (Jansenius) --- Hence Christ says:
Matthew 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as you shall find, invite to the wedding.

Go ye therefore into the highways. The apostles first kept themselves within the precincts of Judea, but the Jews continually sought their destruction. Therefore St. Paul said to them, (Acts 13:46.) to you it behoved us first to speak the word of God, but seeing you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we turn to the Gentiles. (St. Chrysostom, hom lxx.)
Matthew 22:10 And his servants going out into the highways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was filled with guests.

Both bad and good. Christ had before told the Jews that harlots and publicans should, in preference to them, inherit the kingdom of heaven, and that the first should be last, and the last first, which preference of the Gentiles, tormented the Jews more than even the destruction of their city. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxx.) --- Good and bad, persons of every tribe, tongue, people, nation, sex and profession, without any exception of persons or conditions. Hence it is evident that the Church of God doth not consist of the elect only; and, that faith alone, without the habit of charity and good works, will not suffice to save us. (Bristow)
Matthew 22:11 And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding-garment.

Wedding garment, which Calvin erroneously understands of faith, for he came by faith to the nuptials. St. Augustine says it is the honour and glory of the spouse, which each one should seek, and not his own; and he shews this, in a sermon on the marriage feast, to be charity. This is the sentiment of the ancients, of St. Gregory, St. Ambrose, and others. What St. Chrysostom expounds it, viz. an immaculate life, or a life shining with virtues, and free from the filth of sin, is nearly the same; for charity cannot exist without a good life, nor the purity of a good life, without charity. In his 70th homily on St. Matthew, he says that the garment of life is our works; and this is here mentioned, that none might presume, (like Calvin and his followers) that faith alone was sufficient for salvation. When, therefore we are called by the grace of God, we are clothed with a white garment, to preserve which from every stain, from every grievous sin, depends upon the diligence (the watching and praying) of every individual. (St. John Chrysostom) --- It was the custom then, as it still is in every civilized nation, not to appear at a marriage feast, or at a dinner of ceremony, except in the very best attire. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 22:12 And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding-garment? But he was silent.

Not having a wedding garment. By this one person, are represented all sinner void of the grace of God. (Witham) --- To enter with unclean garments, is to depart out of this life in the guilt of sin. For those are no less guilty of manifesting a contempt for the Deity, who presume to sit down in the filth of an unclean conscience, than those who neglected to answer the invitations of the Almighty. He is said to be silent, because having nothing to advance in his own defence, he remains self-condemned, and is hurried away to torments; the horrors of which words can never express. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxx)
Matthew 22:13 Then the king said to the waiters: *Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 8:12.; Matthew 25:30.
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Matthew 22:15 *Then the Pharisees going away, consulted among themselves how to ensnare him in his speech.

Mark 12:13.; Luke 20:20.
This is the third conference which Jesus Christ had with the Jews. It relates to the civil conduct of mankind, as directed and influenced by religion.
Matthew 22:16 And they send to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men.

The Herodians. That is, some that belonged to Herod, and that joined with him in standing up for the necessity of paying tribute to Caesar; that is, to the Roman emperor. Some are of opinion that there was a sect among the Jews called Herodians, from their maintaining that Herod was the Messias. (Challoner) --- These soldiers had come to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, which was to take place in a very few days. The Pharisees sent their disciples with these soldiers, that immediately as the former ensnared him in his discourse, the latter might apprehend him. It is worthy of remark, that these blood-thirsty miscreants sought to ensnare him in his words, not able to discover a fault in any action of his whole life. (Nicholas of Lyra. and St. Chrysostom) --- Master, we know. The Pharisees had instructed their disciples and the Herodians to speak in this seemingly friendly manner to our Saviour, that they might put him off his guard, and thereby ensnare him; thinking that Jesus, like other men, could be led away by flattery. Thus do all hypocrites act. They first praise those they want to destroy; and thus by their deceitful words, lead them aside from the true path, into all kinds of evils and miseries. Thus St. Chrysostom, Tostatus, etc.
Matthew 22:17 Tell us therefore what dost thou think? is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

Is it lawful, reasonable and just, to give tribute to Caesar? It was at that time a question much agitated among the Jews, whether they, being the peculiar people of God, ought to be subject and pay taxes to Caesar, or to any prince whatsoever, or be exempt from them. (Witham) --- Judas Galilaeus, about the time of Christ's birth, stirred up the people to a revolt, which though suppressed by violent measures, and himself slain by the Romans, yet the doctrine he broached did not expire with him. Some even among the Pharisees were of opinion, that it was unlawful for the people of God to serve strangers and idolaters, as we learn from Josephus. The question, therefore, proposed to our Saviour was insidious in the extreme, and not easy to be answered, without incurring the displeasure of one or other of the parties. For, if he answered that it was lawful, he would expose himself to the hatred of the Jews, who were aggrieved with what generally thought an unjust extortion, and a mark of servitude injurious to God; if he denied the legality of this hated capitation-tax, he would incur the displeasure of the Herodians, and be denounced to Caesar. This latter appears to have been their wish; as, in that case, it would have been very easy to persuade Pilate, that Christ and his disciples coming from Galilee, were favourers of that sect, who, from the name of their founder, Judas Galilaeus, were called Galilaeans; and some of whom, as we read in St. Luke (chap. 13:1,) Pilate put to death, whose blood he mingled with their sacrifices. Indeed so determined were the enemies of Christ to injure him with Pilate on this subject, that notwithstanding his answer was plainly in favour of the tribute, yet they blushed not a few days after to accuse him to Pilate of teaching it to be unlawful to pay tribute; we have found him, say they, forbidding tribute to be paid to Caesar. (Tirinus and Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites?

Ye hypocrites? Our divine Saviour knowing their malice, and that it was their wish in proposing this question, to render him odious to the people, or a suspicious character to the prince, answers them in these severe words. ... Another motive was, to let them see that the secrets of their inmost heart were open to him, and thus induce them to be converted from their wickedness; for, certainly, if they perceived that he could read their hearts, they must thence concluded that he was something more than human. This severe reprehension, according to St. Chrysostom, shews, that it is better for man that God should chastise him here in this life, than spare him here to chastise him hereafter. (Tostatus)
Matthew 22:19 Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny.

Matthew 22:20 And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this?

Matthew 22:21 They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: *Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's: and to God, the things that are God's.

Romans 13:7.
Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. He neither directly decided the question, nor offended the Herodians. They admired his wisdom, were quite disappointed, and retired with confusion. (Witham) --- The reasoning of Christ appears to be this: As you are the subjects of Caesar, which you plainly acknowledge by admitting his coin, upon which he inscribes himself lord of Asia, Syria, and Judaea, etc. it is but just you pay him the tribute due from subjects to their sovereign; nor have you any reason to object on the plea of religion, since he demands of you for the exigencies of the public service only temporal things, and such as are in some respects already his own, by being stamped with his own image and superscription. But spiritual things, which belong to God alone, as your souls, stamped with his image, divine worship, religious homage, etc. God, not Caesar, demands of you. "Give therefore to Caesar what belongeth to Caesar, and to God what belongeth to God." (Tirinus) --- What our Saviour here commands us to give to God, is nothing else but our heart and affections. Here our divine Lord likewise shews us, how we are to steer the middle course between the two extremes, into which some persons fall. Some say that all must be given to God, and nothing to Caesar, that is all our time must be given to the care of our soul, and none to the care of the body; but Christ teaches that some must be given to the one, and part to the other. (Origen) --- Although Christ clearly establishes here the strict obligation of paying to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, yet he is afterwards accused, as we have mentioned above, (see note on ver. 17) as if he forbade tribute to be paid to Caesar. In like manner, in spite of the most explicit declarations of the Catholic Church, respecting her loyalty and subjection to temporal powers, her enemies fail not to calumniate her doctrine as inimical to the state, and subversive of due subordination. But let our opponents attend to the following authority and public declaration of Pope Clement XIV. addressed to all Catholic bishops in the Christian world. "Be careful," says he, "that those whose instruction in the law of the gospel is committed to your charge, be made sensible from their very infancy of their sacred obligation of loyalty to their kings, of respect to their authority, and of submission to their laws, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake." --- But princes should not exact, and subjects should not affect to give them ecclesiastical jurisdiction. St. Athanasius quotes the following strong words from an epistle of the famous confessor Hosius, to Constantius, the Arian emperor: "Cease, I beseech thee, and remember that thou art mortal. Fear the day of judgment, and meddle not with ecclesiastical matters; neither do thou command us in this kind, but rather learn them of us. To thee God hath committed the empire; to us he hath committed what belongs to the Church. And as he who, with a malicious eye, hath designs upon thine empire, opposeth the ordinance of God; so do thou also beware lest, by an improper interference in ecclesiastical matters, thou be made guilty of a great crime. For it is written, Give to Caesar, etc. Therefore, neither is it lawful for us on earth to hold the empire, neither hast thou, O emperor, power over incense and sacred things." (St. Athansius, ep. ad solit. vitam agentes.) --- And St. Ambrose to Valentinian, the emperor, (who by the ill counsel of his mother Justina, an Arian, required of St. Ambrose to have one church in Milan made over to the Arian heretics) saith: "We pay that which is Caesar's to Caesar, and that which is God's to God. Tribute is Caesar's; it is not denied. The Church is God's; it cannot verily be yielded to Caesar; because the temple of God cannot be Caesar's right. Be it said, as all must allow to the honour of the emperor, for what is more honourable than that the emperor be said to be the son of the Church? A good emperor is within the Church, but not above the Church." (St. Ambrose, lib. V. epist. Orat. de Basil, trad.)
Matthew 22:22 And hearing this, they wondered, and leaving him went their way.

Matthew 22:23 The same day the Sadducees came to him, who say *there is no resurrection: and asked him,

Acts 23:6.
Matthew 22:24 Saying: Master, Moses said: *If a man die having no son, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up issue to his brother.

Deuteronomy 25:5.; Mark 12:19.; Luke 20:28.
Raise up issue to his brother, to be heirs of his name and of his effects, as we read in Ruth 4:10.: suscitare nomen defuncti, etc. to raise up the name of the deceased in his inheritance, lest his name be cut off from among his family, and his brethren, and his people. (Haydock)
Matthew 22:25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first having married a wife, died: and not having issue, left his wife to his brother.

Matthew 22:26 In like manner the second, and the third, and so on to the seventh.

Matthew 22:27 And last of all the woman died also.

Matthew 22:28 At the resurrection therefore whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

Matthew 22:29 And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

You err. The Sadducees erred in supposing that there would be no resurrection, or if there was, that the future state would be like the present. Unable to conceive any thing else, they thought themselves justified in concluding that the soul would not survive the body. Had they known the Scriptures, they would not have fallen into this error; since therein are found abundant testimonies of a resurrection, as Job xiv and xix, Isaias xxvi, Ezechiel xxxvii, Daniel xii. The power of God also, had they paid sufficient attention to that consideration, would have taught them the same truth. It cannot be difficult for that power, which created and formed all things from nothing, to raise the body again after it has been reduced to ashes: nor impossible to prepare in a future state, rewards and enjoyments superior to and widely different from any thing that is seen in our present stage of existence. (Jansenius)
Matthew 22:30 For in the resurrection they shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage: but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.

As the angels. Not in every respect, for the body shall be likewise raised with the soul, whilst the angels are pure spirits: but in this we shall be like unto angels, we shall be endowed with immortality, and impassibility; and our joys, like those of the angels, shall be wholly spiritual. (Jansenius) --- If not to marry, nor to be married, be like unto angels, the state of religious persons, and of priests, is justly styled by the Fathers an angelic life. (St. Cyprian, lib. 2:de discip. et hab. Virg. sub finem.) (Bristow)
Matthew 22:31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you:

Matthew 22:32 *I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Exodus 3:6.
He is not the God of the dead. Jesus Christ here proves the resurrection of the body by the immortality of the soul; because in effect these two tenets are inseparable. The soul being immortal, ought necessarily to be one day reunited to the body, to receive therein the recompense or punishment which it has merited in this same body, when it was clothed with it. --- By this text St. Jerome refutes the heretic Vigilantius, and in him many of modern date, who to diminish the honour Catholics pay to the saints, call them designedly dead men. But the Almighty is not the God of the dead; of consequence these patriarchs, dead as they are in our eyes as to their bodies, are still alive in the eyes of God as to their souls, which he has created immortal, and which he will undoubtedly have the power of reuniting to their bodies. --- The Sadducees were a profane sect, who denied the resurrection of the body, and the existence of angels and spirits, and any future state in another world: (see Acts 23:8.) nor did they receive any books but the five books of Moses. Christ therefore, from a passage Exodus 3:15, shewed them that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, had still a being; because God, 200 years after the death of the last, said thus to Moses, I am the God of Abraham, etc. He did not say, (as St. Chrysostom takes notice) I was the God of Abraham, etc. Therefore these souls had a being: for the Lord would not call himself the God of those who were not at all: no one calling himself lord or king of those who are no more. (Witham)
Matthew 22:33 And the multitudes hearing this, were in admiration at his doctrine.

Matthew 22:34 And the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together:

The Pharisees heard that he had silenced their adversaries, the Sadducees, etc. Some of them, says St. Luke, (xx. 39.) applauded him, saying, Master, thou hast said well. (Witham) --- The Pharisees assembled themselves together, that they might confound him by their numbers, whom they could not by their arguments. Wherefore they said one to another: let one speak for all, and all speak by one, that if one be reduced to silence, he alone may appear to be refuted; and, if he is victorious, we may all appear conquerors. Hence it is said, And one of them, a doctor of the law, (St. Chrysostom) asked him, tempting him, if he were really possessed of that wisdom and that knowledge which people so much admired in him. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 22:35 *And one of them, a doctor of the law, asked him, tempting him:

Mark 12:28.; Luke 10:25.
Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him: *Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.

Deuteronomy 6:5.
Matthew 22:38 This is the greatest and first commandment.

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like to this: *Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Leviticus 19:18.; Mark 12:31.
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.

On these two, etc. Whereby it is evident that all dependeth not upon faith only, though faith be the first, but much more upon charity, which is the love of God and of our neighbour, and which is the sum of all the law and the prophets; because he that hath this double charity, expressed here by these two principal commandments, fulfilleth all that is commanded in the law and the prophets. (Bristow)
Matthew 22:41 And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them,

Matthew 22:42 Saying: What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him: David's.

Matthew 22:43 He saith to them: *How then doth David in spirit call him Lord: Saying:

Luke 20:41.
Matthew 22:44 *The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?

Psalm 109:1.
Matthew 22:45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? It was allowed of as a certain truth, that the Messias was to be the son of David. Christ shews them by David's own words, that he was the Lord as well as the son of David: and this is what they could not answer to. (Witham) --- Jesus Christ here inculcates to the Pharisees, that two natures must be admitted in the Messias; in one of which, viz. in his human nature, he is the son of David, and as such inferior to him; and in the other, viz. in his divine nature, he is the son of God, and consequently superior to David; whence this latter, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, justly calls him Lord. (Tirinus) --- Jesus Christ does not wish them to think that the Messias is not the son of David, but only wished to rectify their opinion concerning him. When therefore he asks how he is the son, he teaches them that he is not after the manner they understand it, the mere Son, but what is much more, the Lord also, of David. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxii.)
Matthew 22:46 And no man was able to answer him a word: neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

Matthew 23:0 Christ admonishes the people to follow the good doctrine, not the bad example of the Scribes and Pharisees: he warns his disciples not to imitate their ambition: and denounces divers woes against them for their hypocrisy and blindness.

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitude and to his disciples,

Then Jesus, etc. Jesus thus spoke to the multitude a few days previous to his passion. It is here observable that our Saviour, after he had tried all possible remedies, after he had taught and confirmed his doctrines by innumerable miracles, after he had secretly by his parables reprehended them for their wickedness, but without effect, now publicly upbraids their vices. But before his reprehension of the Pharisees, he instructs the people, lest they should despise the authority of the priesthood. (Salmeron)
Matthew 23:2 Saying: *The Scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.

2 Esdras 8:4.
about the year A.D. 33. The Scribes. They, who professed the greatest zeal for the law of Moses, and gloried in being the interpreters of it, sat upon the chair of Moses, succeeded to his authority of governing the people of God, of instructing them in his law, and of disclosing to them his will. Such, therefore, as did not depart from the letter of the law, were called Scribes. But such as professed something higher, and separated themselves from the crowd, as better than the ordinary class of men, were called Pharisees, which signifies, separated. (Origen) --- God preserveth the truth of the Christian religion in the apostolic See of Rome, which in the new law answers to the chair of Moses, notwithstanding the disedifying conduct of some few of its bishops. Yes, though a traitor, as vile as Judas himself, were a bishop thereof, it would not be prejudicial to the integrity of the faith of God's Church, or to the ready obedience and perfect submission of sincere good Christians, for whom our Lord has made this provision, when he says: do that which they say, but do not as they do. (St. Augustine, Ep. clxv.)
Matthew 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not: for they say and do not.

All therefore whatsoever they shall say. St. Augustine, in his defence of the Apostolic See, thus argues, contra lit. Petil. "Why dost thou call the apostolic chair the chair of pestilence? If, for the men that sit therein, I ask: did our Lord Jesus Christ, on account of the Pharisees, reflect upon the chair, wherein they sat? Did he not commend that chair of Moses, and, preserving the honour of the chair, reprove them? For he sayeth: they have sat on the chair of Moses. All therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do. These points if you did well consider, you would not, for the men whom you defame, blaspheme the Apostolic See, wherewith you do not hold communion." (lib. 2:chap. 51) And again, Matthew 61 Ibid. "Neither on account of the Pharisees, to whom you maliciously compare us, did our Lord command the chair of Moses to be forsaken; (in which chair he verily figured his own) for he warned the people to do what they say, and not what they do, and that the holiness of the chair be in no case forsaken, nor the unity of the flock divided, on account of the wicked lives of the pastors." --- Christ does not tell them to observe every thing, without exception, that the Pharisees should say to them; for, (as it was observed in a previous chapter) many superstitions and false ordinances had obtained amongst them, corrupting the Scriptures by their traditions; but only such as were not contrary to the law of Moses. We are taught to obey bad no less than good ministers, in those things that are not expressly contrary to the law of God. Hence appears how unfounded and unreasonable is the excuse so often adduced by persons in justification of their misdeeds, viz. that they saw their pastors do the same. Such must attend to the rule here given by Jesus Christ. What they say, do: but according to their works, do ye not. (Denis the Carthusian) --- The words, all whatsoever, shew that nothing must be excepted, but what the supreme law orders to be excepted. (Estius)
Matthew 23:4 *For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens: and lay them on men's shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them.

Luke 11:46.; Acts 15:10.
Heavy and insupportable burdens. Some understand in general the ceremonies of the law of Moses; but Christ seems rather here to mean the vain customs, traditions, and additions, introduced by the Jewish doctors, and by their Scribes and Pharisees. (Witham) --- They thus greatly increase the burden of others, by multiplying their obligations; whilst they will not offer themselves the least violence in observing them, or alleviating the burden, by taking any share upon their own shoulders.
Matthew 23:5 And all their works they do to be seen by men: *For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes.

Numbers 15:38.; Deuteronomy 6:8.; Deuteronomy 22:12.
Phylacteries.{ Ver. 5. Phylacteria. phulakteria. Conservatoria, or preservatoria. See St. Jerome on this place, p. 188, and St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxii. in Matt.|} These were pieces or scrolls of parchment, on which were written the ten commandments, or some sentences of the law, which the Jews were accustomed to fasten to their foreheads, or their arms, to put them in mind of their duty. Thus they interpreted those words. (Deuteronomy 6:8.) Thou shalt tie them as a sign on thy hand: and they shall be, and move before thy eyes. Perhaps all the Jews, and even our Saviour himself, wore them; and that he only blames the hypocrisy and vanity of the Scribes and Pharisees, who affected to have them larger than others; and they did the like as to the fringes which the Jews wore on their garments. (Witham) --- That is, parchments, on which they wrote the ten commandments, and carried on their foreheads before their eyes: which the Pharisees affected to wear broader than other men: so to seem more zealous for the law. (Challoner) --- The word Phylacterion, which is found both in the Greek and Latin Vulgate, properly signifies a preservation. It was a piece of parchment which the Jews carried round their heads from one ear to the other, and round their arms like bracelets, and upon which were written certain words of the law. Since the origin of the sect of Pharisees, they began to attach to these bands of parchment chimerical virtues, such as preservatives of maladies, and preservations from the insults of devils; hence the name phylacterion. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 23:6 *And they love the first places at feasts, and the first chairs in the synagogues,

Mark 12:39.; Luke 11:43.; Luke 20:40.
Matthew 23:7 And salutations in the market-place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.

Rabbi. A title like that of master or doctor. Judas gave it to our Saviour. (Matthew 26:49.) And the disciples of St. John the Baptist call him so. (John 3:26.) --- Christ blames their pride, and vanity in affecting such titles, rather than the titles themselves. (Witham) --- Didaskalos, properly a preceptor, as John 3:10. Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 23:8 *But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master, and all you are brethren.

James 3:1.
One is your master, or teacher, who is the Christ, and under him one vicar, the successor of St. Peter, with whom all Catholic teachers are one, because they all teach one and the same doctrine in every part of the Christian world; whereas in the multiplicity of modern sects, which are every day dividing and subdividing into fresh sects, no two leaders can be found teaching in all points exactly the same tenets; as each is not only allowed, but expected to follow his own private spirit, and to build his creed upon his own interpretation of Scripture. (Haydock)
Matthew 23:9 *And call none your father upon earth: for one is your Father, who is in heaven.

Malachias 1:6.
\f + \fr 23:9-10\ft Call none your father ... Neither be ye called masters, etc. The meaning is, that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded, than any father upon earth: and no master is to be followed, who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers, (1 Corinthians 4:15,) and for our masters and teachers. (Challoner) --- This name was a title of dignity: the presidents of the assembly of twenty-three judges where so called; the second judge of the sanhedrim, etc. (Bible de Vence) --- Nothing is here forbidden but the contentious divisions, and self-assumed authority, of such as make themselves leaders and favourers of schisms and sects; as Donatus, Arius, Luther, Calvin, and innumerable others of very modern date. But by no means the title of father, attributed by the faith, piety, and confidence of good people, to their directors; for, St. Paul tells the Corinthians, that he is their only spiritual Father: If you have 10,000 instructors in Christ, yet not many Fathers. (1 Corinthians 4:15.)
Matthew 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ.

Matthew 23:11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.

Matthew 23:12 *And whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself, shall be exalted.

Luke 14:11.; Luke 18:14.
Matthew 23:13 But wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for you go not in yourselves: and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.

You shut the kingdom of heaven. This is here taken for eternal happiness, which can be obtained only by faith in Christ, since he calls himself the gate. (John 10) --- Now the Pharisees, by refusing to believe in him, and conspiring against him, deterred those, who would otherwise have believed in Christ, from professing his name and following his doctrines, and thus shut the gate of heaven against them. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- In all these reprehensions, it is to be noted, for the honour of the priesthood, Jesus Christ never reprehendeth priests by that name. (St. Cyprian, ep. lxv.)
Matthew 23:14 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: *because you devour the houses of widows, making long prayers: therefore you shall receive the greater judgment.

Mark 12:40.; Luke 20:47.
You devour the houses of widows. Here our blessed Saviour severely reprehends the hypocrisy and other vices of the Scribes and Pharisees, a little before his death, to make them enter into themselves, and to hinder them from seducing others. (Witham) ---The Pharisees, by every means in their power, endeavoured to persuade the widows of the poor to make vows or offerings for the temple, by which they themselves became rich, and thus they devoured the houses of widows. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- Whoever is a perpetrator of evil, deserves heavy chastisements; but the man who commits wickedness under the cloak of religion, is deserving of still more severe punishment. (Origen) --- The same is said of fasting, alms, prayers. (Matthew vi.) --- As above our Lord had inculcated eight beatitudes, so here he denounces eight woes or threats of impending judgment, to the Scribes and Pharisees, for their vile hypocrisy. (Jansenius)
Matthew 23:15 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you go round about the sea and land to make one proselyte: and when he is made, you make him the child of hell two-fold more than yourselves.

Because whilst a Gentile he sinned without a perfect knowledge of the evil, and was not then a two-fold child of hell; but after his conversion, seeing the vices of his masters, and perceiving that they acted in direct opposition to the doctrines they taught, he returns to the vomit, and renders himself a prevaricator, by adoring the idols he formerly left, and sells his soul doubly to the devil. (St. Chrysostom) --- They that teach that it is sufficient to have faith only, do make such Christians as blindly follow them, as these Jews did their proselytes, children of hell far more than before. (St. Augustine, lib. de fide et oper. ch. XXVI.)
Matthew 23:16 Wo to you blind guides, who say: Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing: but he that shall swear by the gold of the temple, is a debtor.

Wo to you blind guides. Avarice seems to have been the chief motive of the Pharisees in teaching this doctrine, since they taught that those who swore by the temple were guilty of no sin, nor under any obligation at all; whereas they who swore by the gold of the temple, were bound to pay a certain sum of money to the priests, by which they themselves were enriched. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing, etc. To understand this obscure place, we may take notice, that a good part of what was offered on the altar, and given to the treasury of the temple, fell to the share of the Jewish priests; and therefore it was not their interest to have such promises or oaths dispensed with. This made them teach the people, that if any one had made a promissory oath or vow to give their money or goods to the temple, or to the altar itself, as it is said ver. 18, such oaths or promises were not obligatory, or might easily be dispensed with. But if any one had sworn or vowed to give any thing to the treasury of the temple, or join it to the offerings to be made on the altar, then such oaths and promises which turned to their profit were by all means to be kept. St. Jerome expounds it of oaths in common discourse; as if they taught the people, that when any one swore by the temple, or the altar, it was not so considerable as to swear by the gold in the temple, or by the offerings there made: for in the latter cases, they were to make satisfaction according to the judgment of the Jewish priests. And to correct their covetous proceedings, Christ tells them that the temple and the altar were greater than the gold and the offerings. (Witham)
Matthew 23:17 Ye foolish and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

Matthew 23:18 And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing: but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is a debtor.

Matthew 23:19 Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

Sanctifieth. The altar is sanctified by our Lord's body thereon. Theophylactus, the close follower of St. Chrysostom, writeth thus upon this text: "In the old law, Christ will not allow the gift to be greater than the altar; but with us the altar is sanctified by the gift: for the bread, by the divine grace is converted into our Lord's body, and therefore the altar is sanctified by it."
Matthew 23:20 Whosoever therefore sweareth by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things that are upon it:

Matthew 23:21 And whosoever shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth in it:

By him that dwelleth in it. Here we see that swearing by creatures, as by the gospel and by the saints, is all referred to the honour of God, whose gospel it is, whose saints they are. (Bristow)
Matthew 23:22 And he that sweareth by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Matthew 23:23 *Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; who tithe mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier things of the law; **judgment, and mercy, and faith. These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those others undone.

Luke 11:42.; Micheas 6:8.; Zacharias 7:9.
You ... who pay tithe, etc. The tithes of these small things are not found in the law. Nor yet doth Christ blame them so much for this, as for neglecting more weighty matters; and tells them by a proverb, that they strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Witham) --- The Pharisees pretended the greatest exactitude even in the smallest commands of the law, when the observance of them could impress the people with a favourable idea of their sanctity; whereas they omitted the more essential precepts of the law, when it did not procure them the praise of men. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- St. Jerome interprets this passage of receiving tithes; the Vulgate has decimare. (St. Jerome) --- The Pharisees are blamed by our Lord for their avarice, in scrupulously exacting tithes of the most trifling things, whilst they lived in a constant neglect of their duty, both to God and their neighbour. (Idem. [St. Jerome])
Matthew 23:24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Matthew 23:25 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you make clean the outside of the cup, and of the dish, but within you are full of extortion and uncleanness.

Woe to you. Jesus Christ here condemns, in forcible language, the principal vices of the Pharisees, viz. their hypocrisy, false devotion, boundless ambition, insatiable avarice, false zeal, and ignorance in deciding upon cases of conscience. St. Luke represents our Saviour as saying this to the Pharisees at dinner; (Luke 11.) so that Christ must either have repeated these things at different times; or, St. Matthew according to custom, must have added them to other words of our Saviour, which, though spoken on another occasion, had some connection with the same subject. In vain do you, Pharisees, boast of your external sanctity. Do not imagine, that fornication, adultery, and other actions, are the only sins to be attended to; and that pride, avarice, anger, and other spiritual sins, are of no moment. He who made the body, made also the soul; and it is of equal consequence that both be kept clean and free from sin. (Nicholas of Lyra.) --- By the similitude of the cup, and of whited sepulchres, as also that of building the sepulchres of the prophets, he shews that they did all their actions purposely to be seen by men, and that this was their only motive in all they did. (Idem. [Nicholas of Lyra.]) --- Like Ezekiel's bitter roll, we have here a dreadful list of woes, like as many thunderbolts, levelled against hypocrisy, avarice, ambition, and all bitter zeal. We should be careful not to suffer such rank weeds to grow up in our soil, to the ruin of all good.
Matthew 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup, and of the dish, that the outside may become clean.

Thou blind Pharisee. The vices of the Scribes and Pharisees are not unfrequently to be found in Christians. The genuine characters of the pharisaical and hypocritical spirit, are: 1. to be punctiliously exact in trifles; 2. to be fond of distinction and esteem; 3. to be content with external piety; 4. to entertain a high opinion of ourselves, and to be impatient of reproof; 5. to be harsh to others, and ready to impose on them what we do not observe ourselves. Sins abundantly sufficient to rob us of every good, and to leave our house quite desolate! not less so than the temple and city of Jerusalem!
Matthew 23:27 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites: because you are like to whitened sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness.

Whitened sepulchres. The Jews, lest they should be defiled with touching the sepulchres, whitened them on the outside, in order to distinguish them. But this exterior whiteness, covering interior corruption, was a genuine picture of the pharisaical character. But these men, says St. Gregory, can have no excuse before the severe judge at the last day; for, whilst they shew to the view of mankind so beautiful an appearance of virtue, by their very hypocrisy they demonstrate that they are not ignorant how to live well. (Moral. xxvi.) --- Tell me, you hypocrite, what pleasure there is in wickedness? why do you not wish to be what you wish to appear? What it is beautiful to appear, is beyond a doubt more beautiful to be. Be therefore what you appear, or appear what you really are. (St. John Chrysostom)
Matthew 23:28 So you also outwardly, indeed, appear to men just: but within, you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Jesus Christ so often and so boldly condemns the Pharisees, because he reads their hearts and intentions; but we, who can only judge of overt actions, who cannot dive into the secrets of the heart, must never presume to call men's exterior good actions hypocrisy; but judge of men according as we see and know. (Bristow)
Matthew 23:29 Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, who build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the just,

Build the sepulchres, etc. This is not blamed, as if it were in itself evil to build or adorn the monuments of the prophets; but the hypocrisy of the Pharisees is here taxed; who, whilst they pretended to honour the memory of the prophets, were persecuting even unto death the Lord of the prophets. (Challoner) --- Jesus Christ foresaw that they would shortly accomplish the wickedness of their fathers in shedding his blood, as their fathers did the blood of the prophets. (St. Hilary) --- And although they seemed to honour the prophets, and to abhor the murder of the just, it was merely that in their persecution of Jesus Christ he might appear to the people neither a prophet, nor just. (Menochius)
Matthew 23:30 And say: If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them, in the blood of the prophets.

Matthew 23:31 Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them who killed the prophets.

Matthew 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Jesus Christ does not here persuade the Jews to continue on in their wicked ways, as if praising and sanctioning their conduct; but only predicts his own death, which they were about to compass, and which crime would greatly exceed that of their fathers: as he was the greatest, and even the Lord of all the other prophets, whom their fathers had put to death. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 23:33 *Ye serpents, generation of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of hell:

Matthew 3:7.
Matthew 23:34 Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men, and Scribes: and some of them you will put to death, and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:

Matthew 23:35 That upon you may come all the just blood, that hath been shed upon the earth, *from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of **Zacharias, the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.

Genesis 4:8.; Hebrews 11:4.; 2 Paralipomenon 24:22.
From the blood of Abel, etc. Not that the Jews, to whom Christ spoke, should be punished for crimes which they themselves did not commit nor be more severely punished than they themselves deserved; but he speaks of the Jewish people which, by putting to death their Messias, should shortly fill up the number of their sins; so that God would destroy their whole nation, as if the blood of Abel, and of the prophets unjustly murdered came upon them at once. See Maldonatus. --- Of Zacharias, the son of Barachias.{ Ver. 35. In Evangelio quo utuntur Nazareni, pro filio Barachiae, filium Joiadae reperimus Scriptum.|} Some think this was Zachary, numbered among the lesser prophets, whose father's name was Barachias; but we do not read of his being murdered in this manner. The more common opinion is, that here is meant Zachary, who, preaching to the people, (2 Paralipomenon 24:20,) was stoned to death in the very place where Christ was now speaking. But there he is called the son of Joiada, and not of Barachias. Some conjecture his father might have had both names; and St. Jerome tells us, that in an ancient copy of St. Matthew, called the Gospel of the Nazarenes, he found this Zacharias, of whom our Saviour speaks, called the son of Joiada. (Witham) --- St. Jerome gives another reason why he might have been called the son of Barachias, and not the son of Joiada, and this is to commend the sanctity of the father; for Barachias is interpreted the blessed of the Lord. Others suppose that he was the 11th of the 12 prophets; but it is not mentioned that he was slain between the temple and the altar. Some surmise that it was the father of the Baptist, collecting from the apocryphal writings that he was killed for preaching the arrival of the Redeemer: but that he was the son of Joiada, otherwise called Barachias, is the common opinion. (St. Jerome) --- That upon you may come, etc. Not that they should suffer more than their own sins richly deserved; but that the justice of God should now fall upon them with such a final vengeance once for all, as might comprise all the different kinds of judgments and punishments, that had at any time before been inflicted for the shedding of just blood. (Challoner)
Matthew 23:36 Amen, I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.

Amen, I say to you. More severe punishments were inflicted on these Jews, on account of their more grievous and heinous transgressions; for nothing had been able to recall them from their wickedness. They had the example of their ancestors before their eyes, continually irritating the wrath of God; yet all they had suffered for their crimes, could not incite them to leave their sinful ways; but they proceeded further than their ancestors in impiety, and ought therefore to receive a more severe condemnation. Thus though Lamech had not killed a brother, but had neglected to be more prudent after the exemplary punishment of Cain, he still cried out: Seven-fold punishment is taken of Cain, but of Lamech seventy times seven. (Genesis iv.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxiii.)
Matthew 23:37 *Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldst not?

Luke 13:34.
And thou wouldst not. Three truths may be gathered from these words of our Saviour: 1. They, who perish, perish by their own fault, because they refuse to listen to the voice of God calling them to salvation; 2. that man's will is free, and that it is an error in man to lay all his wickedness to the charge of God, or of blind chance; for God justly attributes the reprobation of man to his own perverse will, which often opposes that of God, and brings destruction on itself; 3. how necessary it is for man to subject his will to that of the Almighty, and ever to say with our Saviour: Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. (Salmeron)
Matthew 23:38 Behold, your house shall be left to you desolate.

Behold, your house. Their house shall be deprived of the protection of the God of heaven. He it was that had hitherto preserved them, and he also would inflict upon them those very severe judgments they so much dreaded. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxv.)
Matthew 23:39 For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Till you say, blessed is he that cometh. Hereafter you shall own me for your Messias, and the world's Redeemer, at least at the day of judgment. (Witham) --- The time here foretold, when they should say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, is the day of general judgment. When our Saviour says, henceforth, we must understand it of all that time, which intervened between the time of his speaking and his passion. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxv.) --- It may also be understood of the Jews, who are to be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ towards the end of the world. (Menochius)
Matthew 24:0 Christ foretells the destruction of the temple: with the signs that shall come before it, and before the last judgment. We must always watch.

Matthew 24:1 And *Jesus being come out of the temple went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple.

Mark 13:1.; Luke 21:5.
about the year A.D. 33. After the fatigues of preaching and teaching, Jesus towards evening left the temple, as it is in the Greek, eporeueto apo tou ierou, and went towards Mount Olivet, where he was accustomed to spend his nights, as we learn from St. Luke (Luke 21:37.) (Jansenius) --- His disciples came to shew him the buildings, not moved by curiosity, for they had seen them frequently before, but by pity; because he had on a former occasion, and only just before in Jerusalem, threatened the destruction of the temple and city, hoping that the splendour and magnificence of so fine a structure, consecrated to God, might alter his determination, as St. Hilary observes. But the anger of God, provoked by sins, is not to be appeased with stones and buildings. He therefore answered them: (Jansenius)
Matthew 24:2 And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen, I say to you, *there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.

Luke 19:44.
Do you see all these things? Examine again and again all this magnificence, that the sentence of heaven may appear more striking. --- A stone upon a stone. We need not look on this as an hyperbole. The temple burnt by the Romans, and afterwards even ploughed up. See Gregory of Nazianzus, orat. 2:cont. Julianum; Theodoret, lib. 3:Histor. ch. XX. etc. (Witham) --- Julian the apostate, wishing to falsify the predictions of Daniel and of Jesus Christ, attempted to rebuild the temple. For this purpose, he assembled the chief among the Jews, and asking them why they neglected the prescribed sacrifices, was answered, that they could not offer any where else but in the temple of Jerusalem. Upon this he ordered them to repair to Jerusalem, to rebuild their temple, and restore their ancient worship, promising them his concurrence in carrying on the work. This filled the Jews with inexpressible joy. Hence flocking to Jerusalem, they began with scorn and triumph to insult over the Christians. Contributions came in from all parts. The Jewish women stripped themselves of their most costly ornaments. The emperor opened his treasures to furnish every thing necessary for the building. The most able workmen were convened from all parts; persons of the greatest distinction were appointed to direct the work; and the emperor's friend, Alipius, was set over the whole, with orders to carry on the work without ceasing, and to spare no expense. All materials were laid in to an immense quantity. The Jews of both sexes bore a share in the labour; the women helping to dig the ground, and carry away the rubbish in their aprons and gowns. It is even said that the Jews appointed some pick-axes, spades, and baskets, to be made of silver, for the honour of the work. Till this time the foundations and some ruins of the walls had remained, as appears from St. Cyril, in his catechism xv. n. 15, and Eusebius, Dem. Evang. lib. viii. p. 406. These ruins the Jews first demolished with their own hands, thus concurring to the accomplishment of our Saviour's prediction. They next began to dig a new foundation, in which many thousands were employed. But what they had thrown up in the day, was, by repeated earthquakes, the night following cast back again into the trench. When Alipius the next day was earnestly pressing on the work, with the assistance of the governor of the province, there issued, says Ammianus Marcellinus, such horrible balls of fire out of the earth near the foundations, as to render the place inaccessible from time to time to the scorched workmen. And the victorious element continuing in this manner obstinately bent, as it were, to drive them to a distance, Alipius, thought proper to abandon, though reluctantly, the enterprise. This great event happened in the beginning of the year 363, and with many very astonishing circumstances is recorded both by Jews and Christians. See the proofs and a much fuller account of this astonishing event, which all the ancient fathers describe as indubitable, in Alban Butler's life of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, March 18th. Thus they so completely destroyed whatever remained of the ancient temple, that there was not left one stone upon another; nor were they permitted by heaven even to begin the new one. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 24:3 And as he was sitting on Mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world?

Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world?{ Ver. 3. St. Jerome on this place, says, Interrogant tria: quo tempore Jerusalem destruenda sit: quo venturus Christus: quo consummatio saeculi futura sit.|} We must take good notice with St. Jerome, that three questions are here joined together. 1. Concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; 2. of the coming of Christ; 3. of the end of the world. Christ's answers and predictions in this chapter, are to be expounded with a reference to the three questions. This hath not been considered by those interpreters; who expound every thing here spoken by Christ of the destruction of Jerusalem; nor by others, who will have all understood of his coming to judgment, and of the end of the world. (Witham) --- It is probable the apostles themselves did not understand that they were asking about two distinct events. Being filled with the idea of a temporal kingdom, they thought that Christ's second coming would take place soon; and that Jerusalem, once destroyed, the Messias would begin his reign on earth.
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answering, said to them: *Take heed that no man seduce you:

Ephesians 5:6.; Colossians 2:18.
And Jesus answering. Various are the interpretations given here. Some will have it refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, which took place, A.D. 70; and others, to the end of the world. That of St. Chrysostom seems to be very conformable to the context, and is followed by many. He explains all, to the 23d verse exclusively, of what shall precede the destruction of Jerusalem; nor is there any circumstance which cannot easily be referred to that event, as will appear from a careful and attentive observation of the history of the Jews, and of the Church at that time, in the writings of Josephus and Eusebius. Even the preaching of the gospel to the whole world, which seems to favour the contrary explanation, is by the same father said to have taken place before the destruction of Jerusalem. St. Paul tells the Colossians, that even in his time the faith was spread all over the world. The abomination of desolation may be explained of the Roman soldiery, or, of the seditious zealots, who, by their murders and other atrocities, polluted the temple. See Josephus, b. 4. and 5. of the Jewish war. As deicide was a crime peculiar to the Jews and exceeded every other crime, their punishment was severe above measure. Had the Almighty punished them to the full of what they had deserved, not one of the Jews would have escaped. But as he formerly would have spared Sodom and Gomorrha, had there been found therein ten just men to avert the impending ruin; so shall these days of affliction be shortened for the sake of some who believe. The verses subsequent to the 22d, are explained by St. Chrysostom of the second coming of Christ, previous to the general judgment. (Jansenius) --- Such as wish for a more particular explanation of every thing preceding the 23d verse, how it applies to the Jews, may consult the concordance of Jansenius, who thus concludes his observations: "Hitherto we have explained all things of the destruction of Jerusalem, which prophecies, though they principally regarded the times of the apostles, may be of use to us in two ways. 1. It will confirm our faith, when we see clearly fulfilled whatever was distinctly foretold of this people; and may serve to increase our fears, when we reflect, that what is immediately added concerning the day of judgment, shall be fulfilled with the same rigorous exactitude and certainty. It is another effect of divine Providence for the increase of our faith, that this prophecy, which was to take place with regard to Jerusalem, is not mentioned by St. John, who lived long enough to see it accomplished, but by the other evangelists, who died long before the event. 2. It should animate us in the practice of virtue, and gratitude to reflect, that whatever tribulations happen to the Church, or throughout the earth, all co-operate to the advantage of the elect. Such as will be good, have nothing to fear." (Jansenius)
Matthew 24:5 For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.

For many will come. One of these was Simon Magus, who in the Acts (Acts 8:10.) is mentioned as calling himself the power of God; hence the apostle St. John (1 John 2:18.) says, and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists. By Antichrists I understand heretics, who, under the name of Christ, teach doctrines different from Christ; neither is there any reason for us to be surprised, if many be seduced, since our Lord declares that many will be seduced. (St. Jerome) ... This alone will be sufficient for us to know the false doctrines taught by Antichrist, when they assure us that they are Christ; for we do not read in any part that Christ said so of himself. The miracles he performed, the doctrines he taught, and the virtues he on every occasion exhibited, were proofs sufficient to convince us that he was the Christ. There is need of the assistance of God to overcome the snares laid for us by hypocrisy. (Origen) --- Among these impostors were one Theodas, (Acts 5:36,) the impious Egyptian, (Acts 21:38,) Judas of Galilee, Menander, and several others who preceded the destruction of Jerusalem; but many more will precede the destruction of the world. This therefore is the first sign, the seduction of many souls from the true faith by heresies, and is common to both events. (Jansenius) --- See much more in Barradius, tom. 3:lib. 9, Matthew 2, where he collects various illustrations from Josephus and profane authors. (Menochius)
Matthew 24:6 And you shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Shall hear of wars. Most authors understand this second sign of the Jewish wars which preceded the ruin of Jerusalem; others of the wars of Antichrist, previous to the end of the world. Both are very probable. The first is proved from history, and from the events; the latter, from what we learn from the Apocalypse, will certainly happen. (Menochius) --- These things must happen, as is said of scandals and heresies, not absolutely, but considering the malice of man, and the decree of God, by which he had determined to punish the Jews. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places.

And there shall be, according to the proverb, loimos meta limon, plague after famine, both natural daughters of war, with intestine divisions, earthquakes, and other calamities; the third sign. ... As the bodies of men generally grow weak and faint previously to dissolution, so will it be with the earth before the destruction of the world; so that this inferior globe will be shaken with unusual convulsions, as if making its last effort for existence. The air filled with destructive vapours will turn to the ruin of men, and the earth exhausted of its natural fertility, will refuse its accustomed support to the sons of Adam. Hence will arise wars and famines, insurrections, rebellions, and mobs; some driven on by famine and want, others by ambition and avarice. But if the corrupted heart of man shall refuse to depart from its evil ways, these calamities shall be increased; for all these are only the beginnings of more dreadful sorrows. (Origen)
Matthew 24:8 Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows.

Matthew 24:9 *Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name's sake.

Matthew 10:17.; Luke 21:12.; John 15:20.; John 16:2.
Then shall they deliver you up, etc. The fourth sign, common to both these events, shall be the persecution raised against the Church, which will be two-fold; it will regard both body and soul. See Luke 21:12; Mark 13:9. All this happened to the apostles previously to the siege of Jerusalem, as well as to the martyrs in subsequent times. A similar persecution, attended probably with additional severity, will most probably be the lot of the faithful during the reign of Antichrist. The calamities, bloodshed, and utter ruin which took place at the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, are a figure of the still more dreadful calamities, bloodshed, and ruin to be expected towards the end of the world; and which should be frequently present to our minds. The late learned and venerable prelate Walmesly admonishes all parents to stand prepared for the bloody trial themselves, and to teach their children to be ever ready to meet, with Christian resignation, the awful and approaching event; for the rest of the world, as we learn from revelation, will be taken by surprise, as the people at the deluge. Yes, this last may literally be styled a bloody trial; for the Church, which was purified with blood, began in blood, increased in blood, and will end in blood. Sanguine mundata est ecclesia, sanguine coepit, Sanguine succrevit, sanguine finis erit. The last chapter of the Apocalypse, which is the last communication of the divine will to man, is deserving our frequent and very attentive perusal. In it Jesus Christ, by his repeated warnings, wishes to awaken us to a sense of that day of general retribution, saying: surely I come quickly: behold I come quickly: and my reward is with me, to render to every man according to his works. (Behold the merit of good works proceeding from faith and charity.) With what earnestness have the servants of God, in every age, prayed with St. John: (Apocalypse 22:20.) Come, Lord Jesus; come, put a final end to the reign of sin and Satan; come, admit thy elect, who have been purified in the waters of the great persecution, and in the blood of the Lamb, to thy heavenly bosom; to that happy sanctuary and asylum, where no hunger or thirst, no scorching heat of the sun, no fiery temptation will any more reach or molest them; where the sigh and the groan will not be heard; where all tears will be wiped away from every eye, and where they will be inebriated at the torrent of immortal delights, and will see and enjoy the Lord Jesus, without any apprehension of offending him, for ever and ever. (Haydock)
Matthew 24:10 And then shall many be scandalized, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many.

And many false prophets shall rise, like those lying teachers mentioned by St. Peter, (2nd Peter Matthew 2:ver. 1) who shall bring in sects of perdition, (that is, heresies destructive of salvation) bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.

And because iniquity hath (literally, shall) abounded, shall arrive at its height, the charity of many, carried away by the force of bad example, will grow cold; and scarcely, even among Christians, will a person be found willing to assist Christians, lest he may be known for a Christian. Of this we have an example, 2 Timothy 4:16, At my first answer, no man stood with me, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge; but the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me. (Maldonatus)
Matthew 24:13 But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.

But he that shall persevere to the end, in the midst of this trying and afflicting scene, in faith and charity, (or as it is in the Greek; he that shall preserve his patience to the end, o upomeinas, proof against heresies, persecutions, hatreds, or scandals) shall be saved. To perseverance alone this promise is made; for, non quaeruntur in Christianis initia sed finis. (Tertullian) A part of this prediction was, beyond all doubt, accomplished with regard to the faithful, in the first persecutions raised by the Jews against the infant Christian Church; but the entire and literal completion of it is reserved for the latter times.
Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come.

This gospel ... shall be preached in the whole world, to serve as a testimony to all nations, of the solicitude of heaven in having the doctrine of salvation announced to them. This then is a fifth sign, and not till then shall the consummation come. --- And then shall the consummation come. The end of the world, says St. Jerome. The destruction of Jerusalem, says St. Chrysostom and others. (Witham) --- If the final destruction of Jerusalem be here meant, the gospel had been preached throughout the major part of the then known world. See Romans 10. and Colossians 1:6, 23. If the end of the world, there is the greatest probability that the true faith will have been announced to every part of the globe, before that period.
Matthew 24:15 *When therefore, you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by **Daniel, the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.

Mark 13:14.; Luke 21:20.; Daniel 9:27.
The abomination of desolation was first partly fulfilled by divers profanations of the temple, as when the image of Caesar was set up in the temple by Pilate, and Adrian's statue in the holy of holies, and when the sacrifices were taken away; but will be more completely fulfilled by Antichrist and his precursors, when they shall attempt to abolish the holy sacrifice of the mass. St. Hyppolitus, in his treatise de Anti-Christo, mentioned by Eusebius, St. Jerome, and Photius, thus writeth: "The churches shall lament with great lamentations, because there shall neither be made oblations, nor incense, nor worship grateful to God. ... In those days the liturgy (or mass) shall be neglected, the psalmody shall cease, the reciting of Scripture shall not be heard." --- The prophet Daniel 12:11. calculates the reign of Antichrist, from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away; which, by able commentators, is understood of the sacrifice of the mass, which Antichrist will endeavour to suppress. --- The abomination of desolation,{ Ver. 15. Abominationem desolationis. Bdelugma tes eremoseos. The same words are in the Septuagint, Daniel ix. See St. Jerome on this place, and St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvi. and lxxvii. in Matt.|} or the abominable desolation. Instead of these words, we read in St. Luke, (xxi. 20.) When you shall see Jerusalem surrounded by an army. Christ said both the one and the other. But the words in St. Luke, seem rather to give us a sign of the ruin of Jerusalem, than of the end of the world. --- Spoken of by Daniel, the prophet. The sense is, when you shall see that very prophecy of Daniel literally fulfilled hereafter. What follows in the prophecy of Daniel, confirms this exposition; when the prophet adds, that the desolation shall continue to the end; that the Jews from that time, shall be no more the people of God, for denying their Messias; and that they shall put the Christ to death. But what then was this desolation, which by the following verse, was to be a sign to the Christians to fly out of Judea? Some expound it of the heathen Roman army, approaching and investing Jerusalem, called the holy city. Others understand the profanation of the temple, made by the Jews themselves, a little before the siege under Vespasian; when the civil dissensions, those called the Zealots, had possessed themselves of the temple, and placed their warlike engines upon the pinnacles; and a part, at least, of the temple was defiled with the dead bodies of those killed there. It was at that time that the Christians, according to Christ's admonition, left Jerusalem and Judea, and fled to Pella, beyond the river Jordan. See Eusebius, lib. 3:Hist. ch. V. (Witham)
Matthew 24:16 Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains:

Then let those. It is well known that this prophecy was verified to the letter, in the destruction of Jerusalem. For, as the Roman army advanced, all the Christians who were in the province, forewarned by divine admonition, retired to a distance, and crossing the Jordan, took refuge in the city of Pella, situated in Trachonitis, and became subjects of king Agrippa, who was in amity with the Romans. (St. Remigius)
Matthew 24:17 And let him that is on the house top, not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Not come down, into the house. They had no occasion, as Mauduit and others seem to suppose, to throw themselves from the roof, for the Jews had usually stairs on the outside of their houses. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 24:18 And let him that is in the field, not go back to take his coat.

Matthew 24:19 And wo to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days.

Matthew 24:20 But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the *sabbath.

Acts 1:12.
In the winter: an inconvenient season for flying away. --- Or on the sabbath, when it was lawful to travel only about a mile. (Witham) --- Pray to God that you may be enabled to escape those evils, and that there may be no impediment to your flight. (Estius, in different location)
Matthew 24:21 For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.

Matthew 24:22 And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.

No flesh: a Hebraism for no person; denoting that no one would have escaped death, had the war continued. (Witham) --- All the Jews would have been destroyed by the Romans, or all the Christians by Antichrist. (Maldonatus) --- From this place, Jesus Christ foretells the coming of Antichrist, and forewarns Christians of latter ages, to guard all they can against seduction.
Matthew 24:23 *Then if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there: do not believe him.

Mark 13:21.; Luke 17:23.
Lo, here is Christ. These words are very aptly applied by Catholics to the conventicles of heretics; and would Christians attend to the injunctions of their divine Master, Go ye not out:---believe it not, we should not see the miserable confusion occasioned in the Catholic Church, by unsteady Christians; who are guilty of schism, in forsaking the one true fold, and one shepherd, to follow their blind and unauthorized leaders. (Estius)
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if it were possible) even the elect.

Matthew 24:25 Behold, I have told it to you before hand.

Matthew 24:26 If therefore, they shall say to you: Behold he is in the desert: go ye not out: Behold he is in the closets, believe it not.

Behold he is in the desert. This prediction of false Christs, may be understood before the destruction of Jerusalem, but chiefly before the end of the world. (Witham) --- As we have mentioned above, in note on verse 5.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth, even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 24:28 *Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together.

Luke 17:37.
Wheresoever the body,{ Ver. 28. Corpus; in most Greek copies, ptoma, cadaver. See again St. Jerome, and St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii, p. 492.|} etc. This seems to have been a proverb or common saying among the Jews. Several of the ancient interpreters, by this body, understand Christ himself, who died for us; and they tell us, that at his second coming the angels and saints, like eagles, with incredible swiftness, will join him at the place of judgment. (Witham) --- When he shall come to judgment, all, as it were by a natural instinct, shall fly to meet him, and receive their judgment. St. Hilary understands this literally; that where his body shall hang upon the cross, there will he appear in judgment, that is near the valley of Josaphat; in which place the prophet Joel (chap. 3:ver. 2,) declares, that the general judgment shall take place. (Tirinus)
Matthew 24:29 *And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be moved:

Isaias 13:10.; Ezechiel 32:7.; Joel 2:10.; Joel 3:15.; Mark 13:24.; Luke 21:25.
The sun shall be darkened, etc. These seem to be the dreadful signs that shall forerun the day of judgment. --- The stars shall fall, not literally, but shall give no light. (Witham) --- According to St. Augustine, by the sun is meant Jesus Christ; by the moon, the Church, which will appear as involved in darkness.
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn: *and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great power and majesty.

Apocalypse 1:7.
The sign of the Son of man, etc. The Fathers generally expound this of the cross of Christ, that shall be seen in the air. (Witham) --- This sign is the cross, much more resplendent than the sun itself. Therefore the sun hides its diminished head, whilst the cross appears in glory; because the great standard of the cross, excels in brightness all the refulgent rays that dart from the meridian sun. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii.) --- The Jews, looking upon him whom they had pierced, now coming in the clouds of heaven with power and exceedingly great glory, shall have great lamentations. Bitterly will they weep over their misery, in having despised and insulted him on a cross, who ought to have been the object of their veneration, adoration, and love. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii.)
Matthew 24:31 *And he shall send his Angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect, from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them.

1 Corinthians 15:52.; 1 Thessalonians 4:15.
Matthew 24:32 Now learn a parable from the fig-tree: when its branch is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh.

Matthew 24:33 So also you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Matthew 24:34 Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

This generation; that is the nation of the Jews shall not cease to exist, until all these things shall be accomplished: thus we see the nation of the Jews still continue, and will certainly continue to the end of the world. (Tirinus) --- Then the cross, which has been a scandal to the Jew, and a stumbling-block to the Gentile, shall appear in the heavens, for the consolation of the good Christian. Hoc signum crucis erit in coelo, cum Dominus ad judicandum venerit. --- If it be to be understood of the destruction of Jerusalem, the sense may be, this race of men now living; if of the last day of judgment, this generation of the faithful, saith Theophylactus,{ Ver. 34. Generatio haec. Theophylact, e genea ton christianon.|} shall be continued: that is the Church of Christ, to the end of the world. (Witham) --- This race, I tell you in very truth, shall not pass away till all this be finally accomplished in the ruin of Jerusalem, the most express figure of the destruction and end of the world. (Bible de Vence) --- By generation, our Saviour does not mean the people that were in existence at that time, but the faithful of his Church; thus says the psalmist: this is the generation of them that seek the Lord. (Psalm xxiii, ver. 6.) (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxvii.)
Matthew 24:35 *Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Mark 13:31.
Shall pass away: because they shall be changed at the end of the world into a new heaven and new earth. (Challoner)
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour no one knoweth, no not the Angels of heaven, but the Father alone.

No man knoweth ... but the Father alone. The words in St. Mark (xiii. 32.) are still harder: neither the angels, nor the Son, but the Father. The Arians objected this place, to shew that Christ being ignorant of the day of judgment, could not be truly God. By the same words, no one knoweth, but the Father alone, (as they expound them) the Holy Ghost must be excluded from being the true God. In answer to this difficulty, when it is said, but the Father alone, it is certain that the eternal Son and the Holy Ghost could never be ignorant of the day of judgment: because, as they are one and the same God, so they must have one and the same nature, the same substance, wisdom, knowledge, and all absolute perfections. 2. It is also certain that Jesus Christ knew the day of judgment, and all things to come, by a knowledge which he could not but have, because of the union by which his human nature was united to the divine person and nature. See Colossians 2:3. And so to attribute any ignorance to Christ, was the error of those heretics called Agnoitai. 3. But though Christ, as a man, knew the day of judgment, yet this knowledge was not due to him as he was man, or because he was man, but he only knew the day of judgment, because he was God as well as man. 4. It is the common answer of the fathers, that Christ here speaks to his disciples, only as he was the ambassador of his Father; and so he is only to know what he is to make known to men. He is said not to know, says St. Augustine{ Ver. 36. St. Augustine, lib. 83. QQ. quaest. 60. tom. 6, p. 33. Ed. Ben. dicitur nescire filius, quia facit nescire homines, that is non prodit eis, quod inutiliter scirent. See the same St. Augustine, lib. 1. de Trin. ch. XII. tom. 8, p. 764 and 765. and lib. de Gen. cont. Manich. ch. XXII. p. 659. tom. 1.|}, what he will not make others know, or what he will not reveal to them. (Witham) --- By this Jesus Christ wished to suppress the curiosity of his disciples. In the same manner after his resurrection, he answered the same question: 'Tis not for you to know the times and the moments, which the Father has placed in his own power. This last clause is added, that the apostles might not be discouraged and think their divine Master esteemed them unworthy of knowing these things. Some Greek manuscripts add nor even the Son, as in Mark 13:32. The Son is ignorant of it, not according to his divinity, nor even according to his humanity hypostatically united to his divinity, but according to his humanity, considered as separate from his divinity. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 24:37 *And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Genesis 7:7.; Luke 17:26.
\f + \fr 24:37-38\ft And as it was. The same shall take place at the coming of the Son of man at the last day, as at the general deluge. For, as then they indulged their appetites, unmindful of the fate that was attending them, gamountes kai ekgamizontes, marrying and given in marriage, solely occupied with the concerns of this life, and indifferent to those of the next; so shall it be at the end of the world. They are not here accused of gross sins, but of a supine security of their salvation, as is evident from what follows. (Jansenius)
Matthew 24:38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Matthew 24:39 And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away: so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.

And they thought not of the deluge, though preached and predicted by Noe, (which rendered their ignorance and incredulity inexcusable) till it came and swept them all away. So shall it be at the coming of the Son of man. St. Luke adds, (Luke 17:28.) likewise as it was in the days of Lot; they shall be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, that is totally immersed in worldly pursuits. Hence the apostle; when they shall say peace, viz. from past evils, and security, viz. from future, then shall destruction come upon them on a sudden. But some one may ask, how can there possibly be all this peace, all this security, when the evils mentioned above, famines, wars, plagues, earthquakes, and particularly the darkness of the sun, etc. etc. are presages calculated to strike with panic and consternation minds the most thoughtless and giddy? I answer, that the wicked are chiefly designed here, who in the midst of the afflictions and alarms of the good, will still indulge in their pleasures and luxuries, like cruel soldiers, whilst the peaceable inhabitants are plundered. St. Jerome adds, that the world for some time before its final dissolution, will be freed from all those calamities. As to what is said (ver. 29,) of the darkness of the sun and moon, these are circumstances that refer to the very coming of the judge. (Jansenius)
Matthew 24:40 Then shall two be in the field: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Then of two men, who shall think of nothing less than of going to appear before God, one shall be taken to be placed among the number of the elect, and the other shall be left condemned to eternal fire with the damned, on account of his crimes. (Bible de Vence) --- This example of the men in the field, and of the condition and disposition of men at the period of the deluge, strongly expresses how unexpectedly these evils will rush in upon mankind; and the subsequent account of the two women grinding in the mill, shews how little they were solicitous for their salvation. We are, moreover, taught by these examples, that some of all states and conditions will be saved, whether rich or poor, in ease or labour, or decorated with all the various degrees of worldly honour. The same is mentioned in Exodus 11:5. From the first-born of Pharao, who sitteth on his throne, even to the first-born of the handmaid that is at the mill, ... every first-born shall die. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxviii.)
Matthew 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.

Two women. Slaves of both sexes were employed in grinding corn. Of these, one shall be carried up to heaven by angels, the other shall be left a prey to devils, on account of her bad life. (Bible de Vence) --- In many ancient manuscripts, both Greek and Latin, what we read in St. Luke, (xvii. 34.) of two men in the same bed, one shall be taken, and the other shall be left, is here added.
Matthew 24:42 Watch ye, therefore, because you know not at what hour your Lord will come.

Watch ye, therefore. That men might not be attentive for a time only, but preserve a continual vigilance, the Almighty conceals from them the hour of their dissolution: they ought therefore to be ever expecting it, and ever watchful. But to the eternal infamy of Christians be it said, much more diligence is used by the worldly wise for the preservation of their wealth, than by the former for the salvation of their immortal souls. Though they are fully aware that the Lord will come, and like a thief in the night, when they least expect him, they do not persevere watching, nor guard against the irreparable misfortune of quitting the present life without previous preparation. Therefore will the day come to the destruction of such as are reposed in sleep. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxviii. on S. Matt.) --- Of what importance is it then that we should be found watching, and properly attentive to the one thing necessary, the salvation of our immortal souls. For what will it avail us, if we have gained the whole world, which we must then leave, and lose our immortal souls, which, owing to our supine neglect to these admonitions of Jesus Christ, must suffer in hell-flames for all eternity? (Haydock)
Matthew 24:43 But this know ye, *that if the master of the house knew at what hour the thief would come, he would certainly watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken open.

Mark 13:35.; Luke 12:39.
Matthew 24:44 Wherefore be ye also ready, because at what hour you know not, the Son of man will come.

Matthew 24:45 Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath set over his family, to give them meat in season?

Matthew 24:46 *Blessed is that servant, whom, when his lord shall come, he shall find so doing.

Apocalypse 16:15.
Matthew 24:47 Amen, I say to you, he shall set him over all his goods.

Matthew 24:48 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming:

Matthew 24:49 And shall begin to strike his fellow-servants, and shall eat, and drink with drunkards:

Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come, in a day that he expecteth not, and in an hour that he knoweth not:

Matthew 24:51 And shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. *There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 13:42.; Matthew 25:30.
Matthew 25:0 The parable of the ten virgins, and of the talents: the description of the last judgment.

Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride.

Ten virgins. By these are signified all mankind. By the bridegroom, Christ; by the bride, the Church; by oil, grace and charity. (Witham) --- The kingdom of heaven is not unfrequently compared to the Church militant; which, as it is composed of both just and wicked, reprobate and elect, is deservedly compared to five wise and five foolish virgins: the wise constantly aspiring after their blessed country; the foolish, with all their fasts and austerities, wishing to procure nothing more than the empty esteem of men. (St. Gregory) --- Went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride; in the Greek, it is simply, before the bridegroom. The custom among the Jews was, that the bridegroom should go to fetch his spouse, and conduct her with solemnity to his house. (Bible de Vence) --- This was the conclusive ceremony, and done in the night-time. The young women of the vicinity, in order to do her honour, went to meet her with lighted lamps. Modern travellers inform us, that this custom still obtains with the eastern nations, particularly the Persians. Hence the Latin phrase, ducere uxorem, to marry.
Matthew 25:2 Now five of them were foolish, and five were wise.

Matthew 25:3 But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, took no oil with them:

Matthew 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels, with the lamps.

But the wise took oil. Under this parable, we have the state of all Christians in their mortal pilgrimage justly delineated. The wise took oil in their lamps, the necessary qualifications of grace and charity, joined with divine faith, and an additional supply of oil in their vessels; that is they laid up in store for themselves a solid foundation of good works. St. Gregory teaches, that by the lamps, faith is meant; and by the light, good works. Hence he concludes that the bad, although they have lamps, that is faith, no less than the good, shall be excluded; because their lamps are out, that is their faith is dead, without charity and good works to enlighten them. (hom. xii.) --- St. Augustine also declares, that these lighted lamps are good works, viz. works of mercy and good conversation, which shine forth before men. (ep. 120. ch. XXXIII.) --- And, that this oil is a right inward intention, directing all our works to the greater glory of God, and not to the praise of ourselves in the sight of men. (Idem. ibid. [St. Augustine, ep. 120. ch. XXXIII.]) --- The foolish virgins had a little oil in their lamps at first, sufficient to shine before men, by some little external shew of piety, or certain works done through fear, profit, or human respects; but had made no provision of oil in their vessels, that is in their hearts and conscience, no provision of solid piety and charity, by means of which they might, like the prudent virgins, produce good works to salvation. (Jansenius)
Matthew 25:5 And while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

And while the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) tarried, that is delayed his coming, and thus protracted the time of repentance, they all slumbered and slept; viz. they all died. Hence St. Paul, nolo vos ignorare de dormientibus. But the reason why Jesus Christ says they slumbered is, because they were to rise again: and by the expression, whilst the bridegroom tarried, Christ wishes to shew us that a very short time will elapse between his first and second coming. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.

There was a cry. So shall we all have to rise again at the sound of the last trumpet, to meet our judge, either like the wise virgins, who having their oil ready, and their lamps trimmed and burning, soon prepare themselves to give in their accounts to their Lord; or, like the foolish, who having made no provision of the oil of good works, are compelled to seek it at the time they are to be judged. (St. Augustine) --- It is said he will come at midnight; that is when least expected.
Matthew 25:7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.

Matthew 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil: for our lamps are gone out.

For our lamps are gone out. Thus too many trusting to their faith alone, and leading a tepid indifference life, are negligent in preparing themselves by good works for the coming of the bridegroom. But when they perceived themselves called away from this life, to go and meet their judge, they then begin to find their lamps extinguished, and to think of procuring for themselves the oil of good works, by bequeathing their effects to the poor. Though we ought not to despair of the salvation of these, still there is great room to fear; for, a death-bed repentance is seldom sincere, more seldom, or never perfect, and always uncertain. (Jansenius)
Matthew 25:9 The wise answered, saying: Lest there be not enough for us and for you, go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

Go ye rather to them that sell. The wise virgins do not there advise the foolish to go and buy, but upbraid them for the poor store of good works they have laid up. They had before only sought the praises of men in their good actions, and therefore are answered by the wise: "go now to those to whom you have given all your actions; go and see what their praises will avail, what peace of conscience they can give you: and, if they have praised you, and made you esteemed in the eyes of men, see if they can do the same before God." (St. Augustine)
Matthew 25:10 Now while they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they who were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.

And the door was shut. After the final day of judgment, there will be no room for prayers and good works. (St. Jerome) --- For, after having received those within its walls, who have put on in some degree the nature of the angels, the gate to the city of bliss is closed for ever. (St. Augustine)
Matthew 25:11 But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us.

Matthew 25:12 But he answering, said: Amen, I say to you, I know you not.

Matthew 25:13 *Watch ye, therefore, because ye know not the day nor the hour.

Mark 13:33.
about the year A.D. 33. Watch ye. St. Augustine asks, how can we be always watching, it being necessary for each one to give himself sufficient time to sleep and rest from his many labours? He answers the question in these words: We may always keep watching to our hearts by faith, hope, charity, and all other good works. But when we awake, like the five wise virgins, we must arise and trim our lamps, by supplying them with the oil of good works. Then they will not go out, nor will the soothing oil of a good conscience be wanting to us. Then will the bridegroom come and introduce us to his house, where we shall never need sleep or rest; nor will our lamps ever be in danger of going out. Whilst we are in this life, we labour; and our lamps, blown about by the winds of innumerable temptations, are always in danger of being extinguished; but soon their flame shall become more brilliant, and the temptations we have suffered here shall not diminish, but increase its lustre. (St. Augustine, serm. xxiv.)
Matthew 25:14 *For even as a man going into a far country, called his servants, and delivered to them his goods;

Luke 19:12.
But that the apostles and all men might learn how they ought to watch, and to prepare for the last day, he subjoins another instructive parable of the ten talents. It has a great affinity with that mentioned in St. Luke, 19:11. But this last was spoken at a different time, place, and occasion. It differs also in some points. --- For even as a man, etc. This passage is to be understood of our divine Redeemer, who ascended to heaven encompassed by his human nature. The proper abode for the flesh is the earth; when, therefore, it is placed in the kingdom of God, it may be said to be gone into a far country. (St. Gregory) --- But when we speak of his divine nature, we cannot say that he is gone into a far country, but only when we speak of his humanity. (Origen)
Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey.

In the parable of the talents, the master is God, talents, graces, etc. (Witham) --- From this, it appears, we can do no good of ourselves, but only by means of God's grace, though he requires our co-operation; since the servants could only make use of the talents given them to gain others. (A talent is £187 10s.) It is also worthy of remark, that both he who received five and he who received only two talents, received an equal reward of entering into the joy of our Lord; which shews, that only an account will be taken according to what we have received, and that however mean and despicable our abilities may be, we still have an equal facility with the most learned of entering heaven. (Jansenius) --- The servant to whom this treasure was delivered, is allegorically explained of the faithful adorers of God, in the Jewish law, who departing from it, became followers of Christ, and therefore deserving of a double recompense. ... The servant to whom the two talents were delivered, is understood of the Gentiles, who were justified in the faith and confession of the Father and the Son, and confessed our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, composed of body and soul; and as the people of the Jews doubled the five talents they received, so the Gentiles, by the duplication of their two talents, merited a double recompense also. ... But the servant who received only one talent, and hid it in the ground, represented such of the Jews as persisted in the observation of the old law, and thus kept their talent buried in the ground, for fear the Gentiles should be converted. (St. Hilary)
Matthew 25:16 And he that had received the five talents, went his way, and traded with the same, and gained other five.

Matthew 25:17 And in like manner he that had received the two, gained other two.

Matthew 25:18 But he that had received the one, going his way, digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

He that had received the one. The man who hid this one talent, represents all those who, having received any good quality, whether mental or corporal, employ it only on earthly things. (St. Gregory) --- Origen is also of the same sentiment: if you see any one, says he, who has received from God the gift of teaching and instructing others to salvation, yet will not exercise himself in this function, he buries his talent in the ground, like this unworthy servant, and must expect to receive the like reward.
Matthew 25:19 But after a long time, the lord of those servants came, and reckoned with them.

After a long time. This represents the time that is to intervene between our Saviour's ascension and his last coming. For, as he is the Master, who went into a far country, that is to heaven, after he had inculcated the relative duties of each man in his respective state of life; so shall he come at the last day, and reckon with all men, commending those who have employed their talents well, and punishing such as have made a bad use of them. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 25:20 And he that had received the five talents, coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou deliveredst to me five talents; behold I have gained other five over and above.

I have gained other five. Free-will, aided by the grace of God, doth evidently merit as we see here.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him: Well done, thou good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:22 And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliveredst two talents to me: behold I have gained other two.

Matthew 25:23 His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Matthew 25:24 But he that had received the one talent, came, and said: Lord, I know that thou art a hard man; thou reapest where thou hast not sown, and gatherest where thou hast not strewed:

I know that thou art a hard man. This is an insignificant part, that is, an ornament of the parable only; as also when it is said: I should have received mine with usury. ver. 27. (Witham) --- This seems to have been an adage levelled at avaricious men, who are never pleased but with what increases their hoards. Under this symbol is also depicted the excuse of many, who accuse God of being the cause of their idleness, both here and in the judgment to come; as that God is too severe and unbending, whose service is extremely hard, and who adopts, rejects, and reprobates whom he pleases; who deals out heavier burdens than the weak nature of man is made to support; who denies the grace of obedience, and thus wishes to reap where he has not sown. (Jansenius)
Matthew 25:25 And being afraid, I went and hid thy talent in the earth: behold here thou hast that which is thine.

Matthew 25:26 And his lord answering, said to him: Wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sow not, and gather where I have not strewed.

Thou evil and slothful servant, for thus calumniating thy master; if I wish to reap where I have not sown, how ought you to fear my just indignation, if were I have sown I find nothing by your neglect to reap. Thus our Lord retorts the accusation upon the servant, as in Luke 19:22. Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant.
Matthew 25:27 Thou oughtest, therefore, to have committed my money to the bankers, and at my coming, I should have received my own with usury.

Matthew 25:28 Take ye away, therefore, the talent from him, and give it to him that hath ten talents.

Matthew 25:29 *For to every one that hath, shall be given, and he shall abound: but from him that hath not, that also which he seemeth to have shall be taken away.

Matthew 13:12.; Mark 4:25.; Luke 8:18.; Luke 19:26.
To every one that hath, etc. That is, who hath, so as to have made good use of, or to have improved, what was committed to his trust and management. See the notes Matthew xiii, ver. 12. (Witham) --- When those who are gifted with the grace of understanding for the benefit of others, refuse to make a proper use of the gift, that grace is of consequence withdrawn; whereas had they employed it with zeal and diligence, they would have received additional graces. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxix.) --- This, moreover, shews that God never requires of men more than he has enabled them to perform.
Matthew 25:30 And the unprofitable servant, cast ye out into the exterior darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

And the unprofitable servant. Thus not only the rapacious, the unjust, and evil doers, but also all those who neglect to do good, are punished with the greatest severity. Let Christians listen to these words, and while time will permit them, embrace the means of salvation. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxix.) --- Let no one suffer his talent to lie uncultivated, and, as it were, hidden and buried in this unhappy earth of the world and the flesh, which engages all their thoughts and affections more than the honour and glory of God, or the eternal welfare of their own or their neighbour's souls. --- The foregoing parables manifestly tend to excite in us great watchfulness, under the just apprehension of the strict account which hereafter we must give of our respective talents. Jesus, therefore, naturally concludes these parables with a description of that awful day which is to succeed the final reckoning, and which will unalterably fix our abode either in eternal happiness, or in eternal misery. In this description we are to remark, 1. the preparations for this awful scene; 2. the sentence pronounced by the judge; 3. the execution of this sentence.
Matthew 25:31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the Angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty:

Matthew 25:32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:

Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Shall the king say to them ... on his right hand. By setting forth to all the world the good works of his faithful servants, the Sovereign Judge silences the murmurs of the reprobate, who might otherwise object that they had it not in their power to do good. In the same manner, the conduct of the wise virgins was the condemnation of the foolish ones; the diligence of the faithful servant, of the sloth and drunkenness of the idle one; the zeal of the servants who multiplied the talents entrusted to them, of him that hid his talent in the ground; and the fervour of the observers of the commandments, of the negligence and remissness of those who are ever transgressing them. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxx.) --- These works of mercy, says St. Augustine, prevail towards life everlasting, and to the blotting out of former sins; in Psalm xlix.
Matthew 25:35 *For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in:

Isaias 8:7.; Isaias 58:7.; Ezechiel 18:7.; Ezechiel 16.
For I was hungry, etc. We may take notice, that the wicked at the day of judgment, are said to be condemned for having omitted to perform good works. (Witham) --- St. Augustine, in his 33d sermon, brings a beautiful reason why the kingdom of heaven is bestowed solely upon the works of mercy, and eternal damnation for the neglect of them; viz. because, however just a man may be, still he has many failings to atone for, on account of which the kingdom of heaven might be justly denied him: but because he has shewn mercy to his neighbours, he deserves in like manner to have mercy shewn him. But the wicked, not having shewn mercy to their neighbours, nor redeemed their sins by alms-deeds, or the like, are thus delivered up to eternal damnation. (Jansenius, concord.) --- Jesus Christ only mentions one species of good works, though others may be equally meritorious; for the means of salvation are not precisely the same for all the saints; some are saved by poverty, others by solitude, and each by that virtue which he shall have practised in the greatest degree of perfection.
Matthew 25:36 Naked, and you clothed me: *sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.

Ecclesiasticus 7:39.
And you visited me. How easy are the things our Saviour requires at our hands! He will not say at the day of judgment: "I was in prison, and you delivered me; I was sick, and you healed me; but only this, you visited me, you came to me." (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxx.) --- This seems particularly addressed to Christians engaged in the cares of the world, whose salvation principally depends on the practice of works of mercy.
Matthew 25:37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee: thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Matthew 25:38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in: or naked, and clothed thee?

Matthew 25:39 Or when did we see thee sick, or in prison, and came to thee?

Matthew 25:40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen, I say to you: as long as you did it to one of these, my least brethren, you did it to me.

As long as you did it to one of these, my least brethren. Can there be a more forcible motive to charity, than the assurance of revelation that the Son of God will accept all good of offices done to the afflicted, as done to himself. This condescension of the part of Jesus Christ, will fill the elect with sentiments of profound admiration and astonishment. --- Then with fire in his eyes, and terror in his countenance, he shall say to the wicked: Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. It was not originally created for rebellious man; for man was created subsequently to the fall and damnation of the rebel angels: and though he imitated their transgression, the sentence of everlasting burning was reversed by Jesus Christ ... By his blood man has been redeemed from eternal punishment. If many, notwithstanding, are yet condemned to never-ending flames, they are punished under the quality of the slaves of the devil: for as they have wilfully followed his rebellious example, they must expect with him to participate in his torments. (Consult. 1:John 3:8.)
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say to them also, that shall be on his left hand: *Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.

Psalm 6:9.; Matthew 7:23.; Luke 13:27.
Prepared for the devil. When Christ invited the just to his heavenly kingdom, he calls it a kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world; a kingdom of inexpressible happiness, which from all eternity he designed for those who he knew would faithfully serve him. But, when he pronounces the sentence of the reprobate, he speaks in a widely different manner. He calls it an everlasting fire, prepared not for them, but for the devils and wicked spirits, their accomplices. They have chosen to cast themselves into it; they must therefore look upon themselves as the authors of all their miseries and sufferings. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxx.) --- The pain of loss is here expressed by depart from me, and the pain of sense by eternal fire. (Menochius and Maldonatus)
Matthew 25:42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink:

Gave me not. Jesus Christ chargeth them not here with a want of faith, but with a want of good works. They certainly believed, but they attended not to good works; as if a dead faith, that is a faith not working by charity, could bring them to heaven. (St. Augustine, de fide et oper. ch. XV. and ad Dulcit. q. 2. ad 4.) --- Jesus Christ suffers his members to want, in mercy to them, and to afford others an opportunity of shewing their love for him, and of redeeming their sins by alms-deeds, as was said to the king of the Chaldeans, peccata tua eleemosynis redime. (Daniel iv.)
Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.

Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?

Matthew 25:45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen, I say to you: as long as you did it not to one of these least ones, neither did you do it to me.

Matthew 25:46 *And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

Daniel 12:2.; John 5:29.
Everlasting punishment. The rewards and torments of a future life are declared by Jesus Christ, who is truth itself, to be eternal. Let no one be found to argue hence against the goodness and mercy of God, for punishing sins committed in time with punishments that are eternal. For 1. according to human laws, we see forgery and other crimes punished by death, which is in some measure an eternal exclusion from society. 2. The will of the sinner is such, that he would sin eternally if he could; it is an eternal God, a God of infinite majesty, who is offended. He essentially hates sin; and as, in hell there is no redemption, the sin eternally continuing, the hatred God bears to sin must eternally continue, and with it eternal punishment. The doctrine of those who pretend, with Origen, to question the eternity of the duration of hell's torments; who can say with him, video infernum quasi senescentum, must encourage vice and embolden the sinner; for if the conviction of eternal torments is not capable to restrain his malice, the doctrine of temporal punishment would be a much less restraint. The present world would not be habitable, were there nothing for the wicked to apprehend after this life. There are many questions often proposed with regard to the situation and nature of hell-fire, etc. etc. etc. but in all these and similar objects of curiosity, it is best to adhere to the sage reflection of St. Augustine: "When we dispute upon a point very obscure, without any clear and certain documents from the holy Scripture, the presumption of man should stop short, and lean not more to one than the other side." (lib. 2:de pecc. meritis et remiss. ch. XXXVI. ep. 190. ad Optat. ch. V. No. 16.) --- On a recapitulation of this long and most interesting discourse, we may observe, that in the first place, it treats of those wars and persecutions which are to happen in the latter ages of the world; that it next proceeds to describe the heresies and schisms among Christians; the general propagation of the gospel; the great apostacy at the time of the Antichrist; and lastly, the grand and closing scene of the day of judgment. Thus these grand and momentous events are intimately connected with each other, and all materially regard the Church of Christ.
Matthew 26:0 The Jews conspire against Christ. He is anointed by Mary. The treason of Judas. The last supper. The prayer in the Garden. The apprehension of our Lord: His treatment in the house of Caiphas.

Matthew 26:1 And *it came to pass, when Jesus had ended all these words, he said to his disciples:

about the year A.D. 33.
Matthew 26:2 *You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified.

Mark 14:1.; Luke 22:1.; John 12.
This second council of the Jews against Jesus, was held on the Wednesday, two days before the Passover; and because on this day Judas sold Christ, and the Jews decreed his death, the ancient custom, according to St. Augustine, originated of fasting on Wednesdays; (Ep. xxxvi. t. 3. p. 80,) and the general custom of abstaining from flesh on Fridays, because on that day Jesus suffered death for our redemption. --- In the notes on these two following chapters, I shall join all the chief circumstances related by the other evangelists that the reader may have a fuller and more exact view of the history of Christ's sufferings and death. (Witham) You know that after two days shall be the Pasch;{ Ver. 2. Pascha fiet. to pascha ginetai fit. St. Jerome on this place, (p. 125.) Pascha, quod Hebraicè dicitur Phase: non a Passione, ut plerique arbitrantur, sed a transitu nominatur. So also St. Augustine, tract 55. in Joan.|} or the feast of the Pasch. The Protestants translate, of the Passover. The French all retain the same word in their language, Paque; as the author of the Latin Vulgate and all other Greek versions have done. It is indeed an evident mistake, (as St. Augustine observed) to take Pascha for a Greek word, as Mr. N... has done, who in his note on this place says, Pascha, in Greek, is a passion or suffering. It is certain that the word Pascha, or Pasche, is from a Hebrew derivation, signifying a passing by or passing over. Yet it must also be observed, that this same word Pascha, has different significations; sometimes it is put for the Paschal Lamb, that was sacrificed; as Luke 22:7, elsewhere for the first day of the Paschal feast and solemnity, which lasted seven days; as in this place, and Ezechiel 45:21. Again it is taken for the sabbath-day, that happened within the seven days of the solemnity. (John 19:14.) And it is also used to signify all the sacrifices, that were made during the seven days' feast; as John 18:28. (Witham) --- And the Son of man. Jesus Christ informed his disciples of the bloody transactions, which were soon to be perpetrated at Jerusalem, lest they might be disheartened, when they saw their Master condemned to die on a cross. Christ was delivered up to death by his heavenly Father out of love for man; he is betrayed by Judas for base lucre, condemned by the priests out of envy, and persecuted by the common enemy of mankind, who feared that his empire and reign might be destroyed among men by the preaching of our Redeemer; not perceiving, that man would be freed from his empire more by his death, than by his preaching. (Origen)
Matthew 26:3 Then were gathered together the chief priests, and ancients of the people, into the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiphas:

Into the palace or court of the high priest. Assemblies were held in the public places, at the gates, or in the courts of the nobles. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 26:4 And they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend Jesus, and put him to death.

Matthew 26:5 But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people.

Not on the festival day. Such a day seemed to them at first improper, at least to some of them; but this was overruled, when Judas informed them how he could and would put him into their hands on Thursday night. St. Jerome takes notice, that when they said, Not on the festival, it was not through a motive of religion that they made this objection, but only lest a tumult should happen in his favour among the people; (Witham) for they looked upon him as a great prophet. --- Behold how fearful these people are, not of offending God, nor of increasing the enormity of their most atrocious crime, by committing it on the solemnity of the Passover, but of offending men by raising a tumult. Still boiling over with rage, they no sooner found the Traitor, than yielding to the impulse of their blind fury, they gladly seized the opportunity offered, and immolating their victim in the middle of their solemnity. Though this their wickedness was the instrument of the divine dispensation, to bring about the greatest good, still they will not go without receiving condign punishment; which the perversity of their wills so richly deserved, for murdering innocence itself; and at a time when guilt was accustomed to meet with mercy and forgiveness. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxx.) --- We know that by a decree of divine Providence, what had been so long and so earnestly sought for by the Jewish princes, viz. an opportunity of murdering the innocent Lamb of God, was not granted to them, except on the very feast of the Pasch. For it was only fitting, that what had been for such a length of time figuratively promised, should be manifestly fulfilled; that the true Lamb should supersede the figurative one; and that by one grand sacrifice, the vast variety of offerings and holocausts should be done away. (St. Leo the great)
Matthew 26:6 And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon, the leper,

When Jesus was in Bethania, etc. St. Augustine observes, that this pouring of the ointment on Jesus is not related by St. Matthew in due order of time. It was not done on this Wednesday, but as St. John 12:1 expressly tells us, six days before the Pasch, or Paschal feast, began. This anointing was different from that done in the house of the Pharisee, and in Galilee, set down by St. Luke, Matthew 7:37. (Witham) --- St. Matthew mentions the fact in this place, because it was in some measure the occasion of Judas's treason. (Bible de Vence) --- St. Ambrose seems to assert, that the Simon here mentioned was at that time a leper, in the following words: "Hence, it appears, that Christ did not flee the company of lepers; he kept company with the unclean, that he might purify them from their uncleanness." St. Jerome is of opinion that Simon was not then a leper, but had been cured of a leprosy by our Lord; and that he afterwards retained the name of leper, as St. Matthew, after he was called by our Saviour, continued to be called the Publican. The latter sentiment seem most probable, because the Jews were not permitted to associate with lepers. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 26:7 There came to him a woman having an alabaster-box of precious ointment, *and poured it on his head as he was at table.

Mark 14:3.; John 11:2.; John 12:3.
A woman. This was Mary, the sister of Lazarus. (St. John 12:3.) (Bible de Vence) --- It is not the use, but the abuse of things, which is blameworthy. That man is not to be blamed, who does not exceed the rules followed by good, honourable, and conscientious men, with whom he associates. What, therefore, in some is often reprehensible, in another is highly commendable. A good reputation is a sweet perfume, which a man merits for his worthy deeds; and whilst he follows the footsteps of Christ, he may justly be said to anoint our Redeemer's feet with a most precious ointment. (St. Augustine)
Matthew 26:8 And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste?

Indignation. It was chiefly Judas, who blamed aloud this profusion. (Bible de Vence) --- St. Matthew and St. Mark mention the disciples. But such of them as spoke, were persuaded to what they said either by Judas's words, or by their feeling and affection for the poor; but the only motive of Judas was avarice. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Matthew 26:9 For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

Matthew 26:10 And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

Why do you trouble this woman? By this, our Saviour teaches us, that we are not to expect the more perfect acts of virtue from persons still novices, or young in the service of God. He takes the part of the woman, and speaks in her behalf; that the tender bud of her faith might not be blasted, but that her virtues might be watered with tenderness, and thus assisted to produce greater fruit for the future. When, therefore, we behold any good action done, though some imperfection may creep in with it, still ought we to behold it with kindness, and assist it to bring forth more perfect acts for the time to come. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxi.)
Matthew 26:11 For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always.

\f + \fr 26:11-12\ft Me you have not, or will not have always, in this visible manner. --- She ... hath done it for my burial. St. Mark (xiv. 8.) says, She hath prevented the time to anoint me, which is done at burials, for my time of being buried will be in a few days. (Witham) --- Me you have not always; viz. in a visible manner, as when conversant here on earth: and as we have the poor, whom we may daily assist and relieve. (Challoner) --- Or, he is not always corporally present with us, except in the persons of the poor, whom our Saviour commands us to receive or assist; promising to reward us in the same manner, as if we had conferred the same charity on himself. This saying does not contradict what he afterwards said: behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world; (Chap. 28:20.) because in the former, he only speaks of his corporal presence, but in the latter text, of his spiritual presence and constant assistance. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 26:12 For she, in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial.

Matthew 26:13 Amen, I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her.

That also which she had done. The exploits of kings and emperors are no longer remembered. The actions of those who have built cities, raised fortresses, carried on wars, and erected trophies of their victories; who have subdued nations, dictated laws to thousands, and raised statues to their own honour, have passed into oblivion; and many of their names are long ago forgotten. But when a poor simple woman, in the house of a leper, in the presence of twelve men, pours out her ointment; her good work is rehearsed after the lapse of so many ages, in every part of the habitable globe. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxi.)
Matthew 26:14 *Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests:

Mark 14:10.; Luke 22:3.
The chief priests were then assembled; Judas, the disciple, who chiefly regretted the expense of the perfumes that had been used on his Lord and Master, at the feast of Bethania, and wished for an opportunity to make good the loss, went to the chief priests, saying:
Matthew 26:15 And he said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver.

What will you give me? The impious wretch did not betray his divine Master out of fear, but out of avarice. Of all passions the love of sordid lucre is the most vile; and the avaricious soul does not fear to plunge herself into the bottom of hell, for a trifling gain. There is no vestige of honour or justice, or probity, remaining in the heart of that man who is possessed with the love of base lucre; whose god is his money. The perfidious Judas, inebriated with this passion, while he thirsts after gain, sells with the most foolish impiety his Lord and his Master. (St. Leo the great) --- He sells him for the paltry consideration of thirty pieces of silver, about £3 15. the price of a common slave. See Exodus 21:32. It is probable that even the obdurate heart of Judas would not have betrayed his Master to the Jews, had he not expected that Jesus would escape from their hands on this occasion, as he had done at Nazareth, and in the temple.
Matthew 26:16 And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him.

Matthew 26:17 *And on the first day of the azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Pasch?

Mark 14:12.; Luke 22:7.
\f + \fr 26:17\fk The Pascal Supper.\ft The first day of the azymes; unleavened bread. St. Mark (xiv. 12.) adds, when they sacrificed the Pasch: and St. Luke (xxii. 7.) says, And the day of the unleavened bread came; on which it was necessary that the Pasch (that is, the Paschal lamb) should be killed. From hence it follows, that Christ sent his apostles that very day (the 14th day of the month of Nisan) on which, in the evening, or at night, the Pasch was to be eaten; and which was to be with unleavened bread. It is true, the 15th day of that month is called (Exodus 12:1.[2.?]) the first day of unleavened bread: but we must take notice, that the Jews began their feasts, or festivals, from sunset of the evening before; and consequently on the evening of the 14th day of the moon: at which time there was to be no leavened bread in any of their houses. This shews that Christ eat the Pasch, or Paschal lamb, after sunset. And when the Paschal supper was over, he consecrated the blessed Eucharist, in unleavened bread, as the Latin Church doth. There are two or three difficulties relating to this matter in St. John, of which in their proper places. (Witham) --- There were four passovers during Christ's public ministry. The 1st was after the marriage feast of Cana, in the 31st year of Jesus, and the 779th from the foundation of Rome. to derive pascha from the Greek, paschein, to suffer, is a mistake, as St. Augustine observes; tract. lv. in Joah. It is certainly taken from the Hebrew, and signifies a passing by, or passing over: 1st, because the children of Israel passed in haste on that night out of the land of Egypt; 2d, because the angel, who on that night killed all the first-born of the Egyptians, seeing the doors of the Israelites stained with the blood of the paschal lamb, passed by all theirs untouched; 3d, because that was a figure of our Saviour passing out of this life to his eternal Father. Yet it must be observed that this same word, pascha, or passover, is used sometimes for the paschal lamb, that was sacrificed; (Luke 22:7.) elsewhere, for the first day of the paschal feast and solemnity, which lasted seven days; (Matthew 26:2; Ezechiel 45:21.) for the sabbath-day, which occurred within the seven days of the solemnity; (John 19:14.) and also for all the sacrifices made during the seven days' feast. The Passover was the most solemn rite of the old law. When God ordered the Israelites to sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon their door-posts, it was solely with a view of signifying, that the blood of the true Lamb was to be the distinctive mark of as many as should be saved. Every thing was mysteriously and prophetical. A bone of the lamb was not to be broken; and they broke not the arms or legs of Jesus Christ, on the cross. The lamb was to be free from blemish; to express the perfect sanctity of Jesus Christ, the immaculate Lamb of God. The paschal lamb was to be sacrificed and eaten; because Christ was to suffer and die for us: and unless we eat his flesh, we shall have no life in us. The door-posts of the Israelites were to be sprinkled with blood, that the destroying angel might pass over them; for with the blood of Christ our souls are to be purified, that sin and death may not prevail against us. In every house was eaten a whole lamb; and Christ, at communion, is received whole and entire by every faithful soul. --- The manner in which it was to be eaten, shews the proper dispositions for Christians when they receive the blessed sacrament. The roasting by fire, expresses divine charity; the unleavened bread, sincerity, truth, and a good conscience; the bitter herbs, repentance and contrition for sin; the girded loins and shod feet, the restraint upon our passions and lusts, and a readiness to follow the rules of the gospel; the staff, our mortal pilgrimage, and that having no lasting dwelling here, we should make the best of our way to our true country, the heavenly Chanaan. --- On this day the passover was to be eaten, at least by a part of the people, according to St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke; that is according to some, by the Galileans; for, according to St. John, it appears that the priests, and the Jews properly so called, such as dwelt in Judea, did not immolate it till the next day. (John 13:1, 18:28, and 19:14.) (Bible de Vence) --- But we have here again to remark, that the Jews began their day from sunset of the previous day.
Matthew 26:18 But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: The master saith: My time is near at hand, with thee I make the Pasch with my disciples.

To a certain man, whom Sts. Mark and Luke call, the good man of the house, or master of the house. When St. Matthew therefore says, a certain man, he seems to do it for brevity's sake; as no one ever speaks to his servants thus, go to a certain man. The evangelist, therefore, after giving our Saviour's words, go ye into a certain city, he adds as from himself, to a certain man, to inform us that there was a particular man to whom Jesus sent his disciples. (St. Augustine) --- In Greek, ton deina; in Hebrew, Pelona; words that express a person whose name is either not known, or is wished to be kept secret. (Jansenius)
Matthew 26:19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them, and they prepared the Pasch.

And they prepared what was necessary, a lamb, wild lettuce, and unleavened bread. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 26:20 *Now when it was evening, he sat down with his twelve disciples.

Mark 14:17.; Luke 22:14.
When it was evening.{ Ver. 20. Vespere facto. See the two evenings, Matthew xiv. 15.|} St. Luke says, when the hour was come, which was at the latter evening, after sunset. The time of killing and sacrificing the lamb was, according to the 12th of Exodus, to be between the two evenings; (see Mark 14:15.) so that we may reasonably suppose, that Christ sent some of his apostles on Thursday, in the afternoon, to perform what was to be done, as to the killing and sacrificing of the lamb, and then to bring it away: and he eat it with his disciples after sunset. --- He sat down, etc. Literally, laid down, in a leaning or lying position. Some pretend, from this circumstance, that he eat not the paschal lamb that year, because it was to be eaten, standing, according to the law. But they might stand at the paschal lamb, and eat the rest of the supper on couches; as it was then the custom. (Witham) --- We must not hence suppose that he transgressed the law. He first eat the Pasch according to the Mosaic rite, standing, and then sat down to supper. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxii.)
Matthew 26:21 And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen, I say to you, *that one of you is about to betray me.

John 13:21.
Matthew 26:22 And they being very much troubled, began every one to say: Is it I, Lord?

And they being very much troubled. There were three motives for this great sorrow in the disciples: 1st, because they saw their innocent and dear Master was so soon to be taken from them, and delivered up to a most cruel and ignominious death; 2d, because each of them was afraid lest, through human frailty, he might fall into so great a crime; for they all were convinced, that what he said must necessarily come to pass: and lastly, that there could be found one among them so wretchedly perverse, as to deliver Jesus into the hands of his enemies. Hence afraid of themselves, and not daring to affix a suspicion on any individual, they began every one to say: Is it I, Lord, on whom so atrocious a crime is to fall? ... It is extremely probable that Christ made this prediction three times: 1st, at the commencement of supper; (Matthew 26:21.) 2d, after washing the feet; (John 13:18.) 3d, after the institution of the blessed Eucharist. (Luke 22:21.) Thus Pope Benedict XIV. Sandinus, etc.
Matthew 26:23 But he answering, said: He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

He that dippeth. He that is associated to me, that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me, according to the prophecy of the psalmist, cited by St. John, 13:18. --- Jesus Christ does not here manifest the traitor; he only aggravates the enormity and malice of the crime.
Matthew 26:24 The Son of man indeed goeth, *as it is written of him: but wo to that man, by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed: It were better for that man if he had not been born.

Psalm 40:10.
Matthew 26:25 And Judas, that betrayed him, answering, said: Is it I, Rabbi? he saith to him: Thou hast said it.

Is it I, Rabbi? After the other disciples had put their questions, and after our Saviour had finished speaking, Judas at length ventures to inquire of himself. With his usual hypocrisy, he wishes to cloke his wicked designs by asking a similar question with the rest. (Origen) --- It is remarkable that Judas did not ask, is it I, Lord? but, is it I, Rabbi? to which our Saviour replied, thou hast said it: which answer might have been spoken in so low a tone of voice, as not perfectly to be heard by all the company. (Rabanus) --- Hence it was that Peter beckoned to St. John, to learn more positively the person. Here St. Chrysostom justly remarks the patience and reserve of our Lord, who by his great meekness and self-possession, under the extremes of ingratitude, injustice, and blasphemy, shews how we ought to bear with the malice of others, and forget all personal injuries.
Matthew 26:26 *And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke, and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat: This is my body.

1 Corinthians 11:24.
\f + \fr 26:26\fk The Institution of the Holy Sacrament.\ft And whilst they were at supper. Jesus Christ proceeds to the institution of the blessed Eucharist, that the truth or reality may succeed to the figure in one and the same banquet; and to impress more deeply upon our minds the remembrance of so singular a favour, his last and best gift to man. He would not institute it at the beginning of his ministry; he first prepares his disciples for the belief of it, by changing water into wine, and by the miraculous multiplication of the loaves. --- Whilst they were, etc. before they parted: for by St. Luke 22:20.; 1 Corinthians 11:25. the blessed sacrament was not instituted till after supper. --- Jesus took bread, and blessed it. St. Luke and St. Paul say, he gave thanks. This blessing and giving thanks, was not the consecration itself, but went before it. See the Council of Trent, session XIII. Matthew 1:(Witham) --- This is my body. He does not say, this is the figure of my body---but, this is my body. (2d Council of Nice. Act. VI.) Neither does he say in this, or with this is my body, but absolutely this is my body; which plainly implies transubstantiation. (Challoner) --- Catholics maintain, after the express words of Scripture, and the universal tradition of the Church, that Christ in the blessed sacrament is corporally and substantially present; but not carnally; not in that gross, natural, and sensible manner, in which our separated brethren misrepresent the Catholic doctrine, as the Capharnaites did of old; (John 6:61, 62.) who were scandalized with it. ... If Protestants, in opposition to the primitive Fathers, deny the connection of the sixth chapter of John with the institution, it is from the fear of giving advantage to the doctrine of transubstantiation, says Dr. Clever, Protestant bishop of Bangor. --- This is my body. By these words, and his divine power, Christ changed that which before was bread into his own body; not in that visible and bloody manner as the Capharnaites imagined. (John vi.) Yet so, that the elements of bread and wine were truly, really, and substantially changed into the substance of Christ's body and blood. Christ, whose divine power cannot be questioned, could not make use of plainer words than these set down by St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul to the Corinthians: this is my body; this is my blood: and that the bread and wine, at the words of consecration are changed into the body and blood of Christ, has been the constant doctrine and belief of the Catholic Church, in all ages, both in the east and west, both in the Greek and Latin churches; as may be seen in our controvertists, and particularly in the author of the books of the Perpetuity of the Faith. The first and fundamental truths of the Christian faith, by which we profess to believe the mystery of the holy Trinity, that is one God and three divine Persons, and of the incarnation, that is that the true Son of God was made man, was born, suffered and died upon the cross for our salvation, are no less obscure and mysterious, no less above the reach of human capacity, than this of the real presence: nor are they more clearly expressed in the sacred text. This change the Church hath thought proper to express by the word, transubstantiation: and it is as frivolous to reject this word, and to ask where it is found in the holy Scriptures, as to demand where we read in the Scriptures, the words, trinity, incarnation, consubstantial to the Father, etc. --- Luther fairly owned that he wanted not an inclination to deny Christ's real presence in the sacrament, by which he should vex and contradict the Pope; but this, said he, is a truth that cannot be denied:{ Ver. 26. Luther. Verum ego me captum video. ... Textus enim Evangelii nimium apertus est.|} The words of the gospel are too clear. He and his followers hold, what is called impanation, or consubstantiation; that is that there is really present, both the substance of the bread and wine, and also the substance of Christ's body and blood. --- Zuinglius, the Sacramentarians, and Calvinists deny the real presence; and hold that the word is, (est) importeth no more, than it signifieth, or is a figure of Christ's body; as it hath been lately translated, this represents my body, in a late translation, or rather paraphrase, 1729. I shall only produce here the words and reasoning of Luther: which may deserve the attention of the later reformers. { Ver. 26. See Luther, tom. 7. Ed. Wittemb. p. 391.|}"Who," saith Luther, (tom. vii. Edit. Wittemb. p. 391) "but the devil, hath granted such a license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposeth upon us by these fanatical men. ... Not one of the Fathers, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present. Surely it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous." Thus far Luther; who, in another place, in his usual manner of writing, hesitates not to call the Sacramentarians, men possessed, prepossessed, and transpossessed by the devil.{ Ver. 26. See Hospinianus, 2. part. Hist. Sacram. p. 187. He says the Sacramentarians have a heart, according to a French translation, endiabolè, perdiabolè, transdiabolè.|} --- My body. In St. Luke is added, which is given for you. Granted these words, which is given, may bear this sense, which shall be given, or offered on the cross; yet as it was the true body of Christ, that was to be crucified,so it was the same true body which Christ gave to his apostles, at his last supper, though in a different manner. --- The holy Eucharist is not only a sacrament, but also a sacrifice, succeeding to all the sacrifices of the ancient law, which Christ commanded all the priests of the new law to offer up. Luther was forced to own, that divers Fathers, taught this doctrine; as Irenaeus, Cyprian, Augustine: and in his answer to Henry VIII. of England: The king, says he, brings the testimonies of the Fathers, to prove the sacrifice of the mass, for my part, I care not, if a thousand Augustines, a thousand Cyprians, a thousand Churches, like that of Henry, stand against me. The Centurists of Magdeburg own the same to have been the doctrine of Cyprian, Tertullian, and also of Irenaeus, in the end of the second age; and that St. Gregory of Nazianzen, in the fourth age, calls it an unbloody sacrifice; incruenti sacrificii. (Witham) \f + \fr 26:26\fk This is my body.\ft To shew how these words have been interpreted by the primitive Church, we shall here subjoin some few extracts from the works of some of the most eminent writers of the first five centuries. First Century. St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who was a disciple and contemporary with some of the apostles, and died a martyr, at Rome, in a very advanced age, An. 107, speaking of certain heretics of those times, says: "They abstain from the Eucharist and from oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins." See epis. genuin. ad Smyrnaeos. --- He calls the Eucharist the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, by which we always live in Christ. --- In another part he writes: "I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, and for drink, his blood." Again: "use one Eucharist; for the flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ is one, and the cup is one in the unity of his blood. There is one altar, as there is one bishop with the college of the priesthood," etc. Second Century. St. Justin, the philosopher, in an apology for the Christians, which he addressed to the emperor and senate of Rome, about the year 150, says of the blessed Eucharist: "No one is allowed to partake of this food, but he that believes our doctrines are true, and who has been baptized in the laver of regeneration for remission of sins, and lives up to what Christ has taught. For we take not these as common bread, and common drink, but in the same manner as Jesus Christ, our Saviour, being incarnate by the word of God, hath both flesh and blood for our salvation; so we are taught that this food, by which our flesh and blood are nourished, over which thanks have been given by the prayers in his own words, is the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus." Apology 2:in fin. he calls it, Panem eucharistisatum ton arton eucharistethenta, the bread blessed by giving thanks, as he blessed and miraculously multiplied the loaves, eulogesen autous. Third Century. St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who suffered martyrdom in 258, says: "the bread which our Lord delivered to his disciples, was changed not in appearance, but in nature, being made flesh by the Almighty power of the divine word." Fourth Century. St. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, who was born in the commencement of the 4th century, and died in 386, explaining the mystery of the blessed Eucharist to the newly baptized, says: "Do not look upon the bread and wine as bare and common elements, for they are the body and blood of Christ; as our Lord assures us. Although thy senses suggest this to thee, let faith make thee firm and sure. Judge not of the thing by the taste, but be certain from faith that thou has been honoured with the gift of Christ's body and blood. When he has pronounced and said of the bread, this is my body, who will after this dare to doubt? And when he has assured, and said, this is my blood, who can ever hesitate, saying it in not his blood? He changed water into wine at Cana; and shall we not him worthy of our belief, when he changed wine into blood? Wherefore, let us receive them with an entire belief, as Christ's body and blood; for under the figure of bread, is given to thee his body, and under the figure of wine, his blood; that when thou hast received Christ's body and blood, thou be made one body and blood with him; for so we carry him about in us, his body and blood being distributed through our bodies." (St. Cyril, catech.) --- St. Ambrose, one of the greatest doctors of the Latin Church, and bishop of Milan, who died in 396, proving that the change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is really possible to God, and really takes place in the blessed Eucharist, uses these words: "Will not the words of Christ have power enough to change the species of the elements? Shall not the words of Christ, which could make out of nothing things which did not exist, be able to change that, which already exists, into what it was not? It is not a less exertion of power to give a new nature to things, than to change their natures. Let us propose examples from himself and assert the truth of this mystery from the incarnation. Was it according to the course of nature, that our Lord Jesus Christ should be born of the Virgin Mary? It is evident that it was contrary to the course of nature for a virgin to bring forth. Now this body, which we produce, was born of the virgin. Who dost thou seek for the order of nature in the body of Christ, when our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. (St. Ambrose, lib. de initiandis, ch. IX.) Fifth Century. St. Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, who died in 407, does not speak less clearly on this subject. "He," (that is, Jesus Christ,) says the holy doctor, hom. L. in Matt. "has given us himself to eat, and has set himself in the place of a victim sacrificed for us." And in hom. lxxxiii.: "How many now say they could wish to see his form, his garments, etc.; you wish to see his garments, but he gives you himself not only to be seen, but to be touched, to be eaten, to be received within you. Than what beam of the sun ought not that hand to be purer, which divides this flesh! That mouth, which is filled with this spiritual fire! That tongue, which is purpled with this adorable blood! The angels beholding it tremble, and dare not look thereon through awe and fear, on account of the rays, which dart from that, wherewith we are nourished, with which we are mingled, being made one body, one flesh with Christ. What shepherd ever fed his sheep with his own limbs? Nay, many mothers turn over their children to mercenary nurses; whereas he feeds us with his own blood!" --- On another occasion, to inspire us with a dread of profaning the sacred body of Christ, he says: "When you see Him exposed before you, say to yourself: this body was pierced with nails; this body which was scourged, death did not destroy; this body was nailed to a cross, at which spectacle the sun withdrew his rays; this body the Magi venerated." --- "There is as much difference between the loaves of proposition and the body of Christ, as between a shadow and a body, between a picture and the reality." Thus St. Jerome upon the epistle to Titus, Matthew 1:See more authorities in the notes on St. Mark's Gospel, (Mark 14:22.) on the real presence, and also in the following verses and alibi passim.
Matthew 26:27 And taking the chalice he gave thanks: and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.

Drink ye all of this. This was spoken to the twelve apostles; who were the all then present; and they all drank of it, says Mark 14:23. But it no ways follows from these words spoken to the apostles, that all the faithful are here commanded to drink of the chalice, any more than that all the faithful are commanded to consecrate, offer and administer this sacrament; because Christ upon this same occasion, and as I may say, with the same breath, bid the apostles do so, in these words, (St. Luke 22:19,) Do this for a commemoration of me. (Challoner) --- It is a point of discipline, which the Church for good reasons may allow, or disallow to the laity, without any injury done to the receiver, who according to the Catholic doctrine of the real presence, is made partaker of the same benefit under one kind only; he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John vi.) ... When our adversaries object to us, in opposition to the very clear and precise proofs we produce from the primitive writers of the doctrine of the real presence, that is called sometimes bread, a figure, a sign; we reply, that they can only mean that the outward forms of bread and wine, which remain after consecration, are a figure, a sign, a commemoration. They nowhere teach that the consecrated species are barely figures or signs, and nothing more. On the contrary, with St. Cyril above quoted, they say: "Let your soul rejoice in the Lord, being persuaded of it, as a thing most certain, that the bread, which appears to our eyes, in not bread, though our taste do judge it to be so, but the body of Christ: and that the wine which appears to our eyes, is not wine, but the blood of Christ" (Myst. catech. 4, p. 528); and with St. Gregory of Nyssa, born in 331, "the bread, which at the beginning was common bread, after it has been consecrated by the mysterious word, is called, and is become, the body of Christ." And with St. Paulinus, in the same age, "the flesh of Christ, with which I am nourished, is the same flesh as that fastened to the cross; and the blood, with which my heart is purified, is the same blood that was spilt upon the cross."
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament which shall be shed for many, for the remission of sins.

This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. The Greek text in St. Luke shews that the words shall be shed, or is shed, cannot, in construction, be referred to the blood of Christ shed on the cross, but to the cup, at the institution of the holy sacrament. This cup (says Luke 22:20,) is the New Testament in my blood; which cup{ Ver. 28. Touto to poterion, e kaine diatheke en to aimati mou, to uper umon ekchunomenon, and not ekchunomeno; so that it agrees with poterion, etc.|} shall be shed, or is shed for you. St. Paul also saith: this cup is the New Testament in my blood. And if any one will needs insist upon the words, as related by St. Matthew and St. Mark, the sense is still the same; viz. that this cup was not wine, but the blood of Christ, by which the New Testament was confirmed, or alliance betwixt God and man. --- For many. St. Luke and St. Paul, instead of many, say for you. Both are joined in the canon of the mass. Euthymius says, for many, is the same as for all mankind. This new alliance was made with all, and the former with the Jews only. (Witham) --- As the Old Testament was dedicated with blood in these words: This is the blood of the Testament, (Hebrews 9:20,) so here is the institution of the New Testament, in Christ's blood, by these words: This is the blood of the New Testament, which God contracts with you, to communicate to you his grace and justice, by the merits of this blood, which shall be shed for you on the cross; and which is here mystically shed for many, for the remission of sins: for the Greek is in the present tense in all the three evangelists, and in St. Paul, 1 Corinthians xi, and the Latin Vulgate of St. Luke, 22:19. Hoc est corpus meum quod pro vobis datur: didomenon, klomenon ekchunomenon.
Matthew 26:29 And I say to you: I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day, when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.

I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine. In St. Luke, (xxii. 15, 16,) Christ said to his disciples; I earnestly desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer; (or this paschal sacrifice) for I say to you, that, from this time I will not eat thereof, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. These expressions seem to import no more, than that it was the last time he would eat and drink with them in a mortal body. And if, as some expound it, Christ, by the generation of the vine, understood the consecrated cup of his blood, he might call it wine, or the fruit of the vine; because he gave them his blood under the appearance of wine; as St. Paul calls the body of Christ bread, because given under the appearance of bread. (1 Corinthians 11:26.) (Witham) --- Fruit of the vine. These words, by the account of St. Luke, (xxii. 18,) were not spoken of the sacramental cup, but of the wine that was drunk with the paschal lamb. Though the Sacramental cup might also be called the fruit of the vine, because it was consecrated from wine, and retains the likeness, and all the accidents, or qualities, of wine. (Challoner) --- As St. Paul calleth the body of Christ bread, so the blood of Christ may still be called wine, for three reasons: 1. Because it was so before; as in Genesis xi.[ii.?] 23, Eve is called Adam's bone; in Exodus vii, Aaron's rod devoured their rods, whereas they were not now rods but serpents; and in John ii, He tasted the water made wine, whereas it was now wine not water. 2. Because the blessed Eucharist retaineth the forms of bread and wine, and things in Scripture are frequently called from their appearance; as Tobias v, the archangel Raphael, is called a young man; and Genesis xviii, three men appeared to Abraham; whereas they were three angels. 3. Because Jesus Christ in the blessed Sacrament is the true bread of life, refreshing us in soul and body to everlasting life. (Bristow) --- Drink it new, after a different manner most wonderful and hitherto unheard of, not having a passible body, but one clothed with immortality; and henceforth no longer in need of nourishment. Thus he brings to their minds the idea of his resurrection, to strengthen them under the ignominies of his passion, and eats and drinks with them, to give them a more certain proof of this grand mystery. (S. Chrysostom, hom lxxxiii.)
Matthew 26:30 And having sung a hymn, they went out to Mount Olivet.

And when they had sung a hymn. Christ, with his disciples, after supper, sung a hymn of thanksgiving. Here in order to follow those incomparable instructions, which we read in St. John, (John 14.; John 15.; John 16.; John 17.) (Witham)
Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus saith to them: *All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: **I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed.

Mark 14:27.; John 16:32.; Zacharias 13:7.
Scandalized in me, etc. For as much as my being apprehended shall make you all run away and forsake me. (Challoner)
Matthew 26:32 *But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

Mark 14:28.; Mark 16:7.
Matthew 26:33 And Peter answering, said to him: Though all men shall be scandalized in thee, I will never be scandalized.

I will never be. After our Saviour had assured them of the prediction of the prophet, that the flock should be dispersed, and had confirmed it himself, still Peter denied it; and the more Christ assured him of his weakness, the more, according to St. Luke, (Luke 22.) did Peter affirm that he would not deny him. Whence this confidence in Peter? who when our Lord had said, that one of them would betray him, feared for himself, and though conscious of nothing, still prevailed on St. John to put the question to our Saviour. Freed now from that solicitude and anxiety, which had so much oppressed him concerning the treason of Judas, he began to trust to himself. Let us learn from this fall of the chief of the apostles, ever to assent with the greatest sincerity to the words of God. Let us believe him in every possible circumstance, though it may appear to our senses and understanding contradictory; for, the word of God can never be made void; but our senses may easily be deceived. When, therefore, he says, this is my body, let us without any the least hesitation immediately believe and contemplate the mystery with the eyes of our understanding. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxxiii.)
Matthew 26:34 Jesus said to him: *Amen, I say to thee, that in this night, before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice.

Mark 14:30.; John 13:38.
Before the cock crow.{ Ver. 34. The time towards the morning, called Gallicinium.|} St. Mark is more particular; before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. The sense seems to be, before the time that the cocks crow the second time, towards the morning. (Witham)
Matthew 26:35 Peter saith to him: *Though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner said all the disciples.

Mark 14:31.; Luke 22:33.
Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus came with them to a country place, which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder, and pray.

\f + \fr 26:36\fk Christ's prayer and agony in the garden. He is seized, and carried before Annas and Caiphas.\ft Gethsemani. St. John tells us it was a garden, whither Jesus was accustomed to go with his disciples, which Judas knew. St. Luke says, he went according to his custom to the mount of Olives; that is where he used to spend part of the nights in prayer. (Witham)
Matthew 26:37 And taking with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad.

He began to grow sorrowful.{ Ver. 37. Lupeisthai kai ademonein. In St. Mark, ekthambeisthai.|} The Greek signifies to be dispirited. St. Mark, to be in a consternation with fear: to wit, when all he was to undergo was represented to him, as well as the ingratitude of sinners. (Witham)
Matthew 26:38 Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful, even unto death: stay you here, and watch with me.

My soul is sorrowful. The cause of our Lord's grief was not the fear of suffering; since he took upon himself human nature, to suffer and to die for us; but the cause of his grief was the unhappy state of Judas, the scandal his disciples would take at his passion, the reprobation of the Jewish nation, and the destruction of the miserable Jerusalem. Our Lord also suffered himself to be thus dejected, to convince the world of the truth and reality of his human nature. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 26:39 And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying, and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Going a little further. St. Luke says, about a stone's cast, kneeling down; or as here in Matthew, prostrating himself. He did both. --- Father, if it is possible. Which is the same, says St. Augustine, as if he said, if thou wilt, let this cup of sufferings pass from me. --- Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He that was God and man, had both a divine and a human will. He was pleased to let us know what he naturally feared, as man, and in the sensitive part of his soul; yet shews his human will had nothing contrary to his divine will, by presently adding, but not my will, but thine be done. Here, as related by St. Luke, followed his bloody sweat. (Luke 22:43[44?].) (Witham) --- These words are a source of instruction for all Christians. These words inflame the breasts of confessors; the same also crown the fortitude of the martyrs. For, who could overcome the hatred of the world, the assaults of temptations, and the terrors of persecutors, unless Christ in all, and for all, had said to his eternal Father: Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou willest. Let all the children of the Church then understand well these words, that when calamities violently beat upon us, we may with resignation exclaim: nevertheless, not as I will, but, etc. (St. Leo the great)
Matthew 26:40 And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep, and he saith to Peter: What? could you not watch one hour with me?

Matthew 26:41 Watch ye and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Watch ye and pray, etc. We watch by being intent on good works, and by being solicitous that no perverse doctrine seize our hearts. Thus we must first watch, and then pray. (Origen) --- The spirit indeed is willing, etc. This is addressed to the disciples; that they were not to trust too much to their own courage; for although their spirit was ready to undergo any temptation, their bodies were still so weak, that they would fail, unless strengthened by prayer. (St. Hilary)
Matthew 26:42 Again, he went the second time, and prayed, saying: My Father, if this chalice can not pass away, but I must drink it, thy will be done.

Matthew 26:43 And he cometh again, and findeth them asleep: for their eyes were heavy.

Matthew 26:44 And leaving them, he went away again: and he prayed the third time, saying the same words.

He prayed the third time, to teach us perseverance in our prayers. Of these particulars Christ might inform his disciples afterwards; or they were revealed to them. (Witham) --- Our Lord prayed three different times, to obtain of his heavenly Father pardon for our past sins, defence against our present evils, and security against our future misfortunes; and that we might learn to address ourselves in prayer to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Rabanus)
Matthew 26:45 Then he cometh to his disciples, and saith to them: Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Sleep on now. These were words spoken, as it were, ironically. The hour is come, that I am to be betrayed. (Witham) --- It seems more probable that he then permitted them to sleep for some time, compassionating their weakness, and leaving them undisturbed. For, it is not very probable that after the agony he had just been in, he should address his disciples ironically; so that the words in the next verse, Rise, let us go, seem to have been spoken after he had permitted them to enjoy a short repose. (Jansenius) --- St. Augustine also supposes that after our Lord said, sleep ye now, he was silent for some time, and only then added, it is enough, the hour is come.
Matthew 26:46 Rise, let us go: behold he is at hand that will betray me.

Matthew 26:47 *As he yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people.

Mark 14:43.; Luke 22:47.; John 18:3.
Matthew 26:48 And he that betrayed him, gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, hold him fast.

Judas wished to give them a sign, because Jesus had before been apprehended, and had escaped from them on account of their ignorance of his person; which on this occasion he could also have done, if such had been his pleasure. (St. John Chrysostom)
Matthew 26:49 And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him.

Hail, Rabbi. And he kissed him. This kind of salutation was ordinary with the Jews. St. Luke tells us, Christ called Judas friend; and added, Is it with a kiss thou betrayest the Son of man? By what we read in St. John, these men that came with Judas, seem not to have known our Saviour: for when he asked then, whom seek you? they do not answer, thyself, but Jesus of Nazareth. They were struck with a blindness, which St. Chrysostom looks upon as done miraculously. The second miracle was, that when Christ said, I am he, they fell to the ground, as thunder-struck. The third was, let these go, by which they had no power to seize any one of his disciples. The fourth was, the healing of Malchus's ear. (Witham)
Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come? Then they came up, and laid hands on Jesus, and held him.

Matthew 26:51 And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword; and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear.

Drew out his sword. Peter did not comprehend the meaning of what Christ had said, Luke 22:36. He that hath not a sword, let him buy one, which was no more than an intimation of the approaching danger. Now Peter, or some of them, asked, and said: Lord, shall we strike? But he struck without staying for an answer. (Witham)
Matthew 26:52 Then Jesus saith to him: Put up again thy sword into its place. *For all that take the sword, shall perish by the sword.

Genesis 9:6.; Apocalypse 13:10.
Shall perish by the sword. This was not to condemn the use of the sword, when employed on a just cause, or by lawful authority. Euthymius looks upon it as a prophecy that the Jews should perish by the sword of the Romans. (Witham) --- Our divine Saviour would not permit this apostle to continue in his pious zeal for the safety of his Master. He says to him: put up thy sword. For he could not be unwilling to die for the redemption of man, who chose to be born for that end alone. Now, therefore, he gives power to his implacable enemies to treat him in the most cruel manner, not willing that the triumph of the cross should be in the least deferred; the dominion of the devil and man's captivity in the least prolonged. (St. Leo)
Matthew 26:53 Thinkest thou, that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently, more than twelve legions of Angels?

More than twelve legions of angels. A legion was computed about 6,000. (Witham) --- These would amount to 72,000; but our Lord means no more than a great number.
Matthew 26:54 *How then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done?

Isaias 53:10.
Matthew 26:55 In that same hour, Jesus said to the multitude: You are come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs, to apprehend me: I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on me.

In that same hour, etc. The reason why the Jewish princes did not seize our Lord in the temple, was, because they feared the multitude; on which account Jesus retired, that he might give them an opportunity, both from the circumstances of place and time, to apprehend him: thus shewing us, that without his permission they could not so much as lay a finger upon him. The evangelist informs us in the following verse of the reason of this conduct; that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled. (St. Chrysostom) See Luke 22:53.
Matthew 26:56 Now all this was done, that the *Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples **all leaving him, fled away.

Lamentations 4:20.; Mark 14:50.
All leaving him, fled away. Yet Peter and another soon followed after at a distance. St. Mark says (xiv. 51,) that a young man followed with nothing on but a linen cloth. Perhaps it was some one that upon the noise came hastily out of the neighbourhood; and when they catched hold on him, fled away naked. It is not known who he was. (Witham)
Matthew 26:57 But they holding Jesus, *led him to Caiphas, the high priest, where the Scribes and the ancients were assembled:

Luke 22:54.; John 18:24.
To Caiphas. Our Saviour Christ was led in the night time, both to Annas and Caiphas: and first to Annas; (John 18:13,) perhaps because the house of Annas was in their way; or that they had a mind to gratify the old man with the sight of Jesus, now taken prisoner and bound with ropes. (Witham) --- After the chief priests had bribed Judas to betray Christ, they bring him to Caiphas, not as to his judge, but as to his enemy, to insult over him: and then they began to examine him concerning his doctrine and disciples, that they might find some heads of accusation from his answers: thus they shewed that they acted contrary to common justice, in apprehending a person before they had any thing to lay to his charge. (Jansenius) --- Josephus relates that Caiphas had purchased the high priesthood for that year; although Moses, at the command of God, had ordained that a regular succession be kept up, and the son should succeed the father in the high priesthood. It is no wonder then if an iniquitous judge passed an iniquitous sentence. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 26:58 But Peter followed him afar off, to the high priest's palace. And going in, he sat with the servants, to see the end.

Peter followed. To wit, to the court of Caiphas, where a great many of the chief priests were met. --- And another disciple. Many think this disciple was St. John himself. (Witham)
Matthew 26:59 Now the chief priests, and the whole council, sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death:

Matthew 26:60 And they found not, though many false witnesses had come in. And last of all there came two false witnesses,

False witnesses. But how were these men false witnesses, who affirm what we read in the gospel? That man is a false witness, who construes what is said in a sense foreign to that of the speaker. Jesus Christ spoke of the temple of his body. Our divine Saviour had said, Destroy this temple; and they affirm that he had said, I am able to destroy. Had the Jews attended sufficiently to our Saviour's words, they would easily have perceived of what Christ was speaking, from what he there says: and in three days I will raise it up. (St. Jerome) --- These words of Jesus Christ are only mentioned by St. John 2:19, who marks on what occasion and in what sense there were spoken. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 26:61 And they said: *This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and after three days to rebuild it.

John 2:19.
This man said: I am able to destroy the temple of God. These men that gave this evidence, are called false witnesses. They relate not the true words of Christ; which were not, I can destroy, but destroy you this temple, etc. 2. Christ spoke of the temple of his body, and they of the material temple. 3. It is not unlikely that they made other additions, as well as false constructions, omitted by the evangelists. (Witham)
Matthew 26:62 And the high priest rising up, said to him: Answerest thou nothing to the things which these witness against thee?

Matthew 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said to him: I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us if thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

I adjure thee by the living God. They hoped this might make him own himself God; for which they were for stoning him. (John 10:31.) --- St. Luke tells us, (xxii. 66,) that this question was put to Jesus, when it was day. St. Augustine thinks it was put to him first in the night, and again the next morning. We must not forget that when Christ was examined by the high priest, one of the servants standing by gave our blessed Redeemer a box on the ear, or on the face. See John 18:22. (Witham) --- Our divine Saviour as God knew perfectly well, that whatever he said would be condemned; and therefore the more Jesus was silent to what was alleged against him, the more did the high priest try to extort an answer from him, that he might have some accusation against the Lord of glory. Hence he exclaimed in that violent manner: I adjure thee, or I command thee by the living God, Exorkizo se kata tou Theou zontos. The law for witnesses is to be found in Leviticus 5:1; where the witness is pronounced guilty who should suppress the truth, after he has heard the phonen orkismou. This is the true meaning of that law, so very ill understood by many. See also Menochius, who on these very words of Leviticus says: if any one shall be called upon to say what he knows of a point that another has confirmed by oath, he shall carry his iniquity, that is the punishment of his iniquity, which God will inflict. (Menochius) --- See 1 Kings 14:24. 27; Numbers 5:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:27. The confession or denial of a person thus interrogated was decisive. (Calmet)
Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith to him: Thou hast said it. Nevertheless, I say to you, *hereafter you shall see the Son of man, sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Matthew 16:27.; Romans 14:10.; 1 Thessalonians 4:15.
Thou hast said it. Or, as it is in St. Mark, I am. According to St. Luke, Christ in the morning, before he answered directly, said to them: If I tell you, you will not believe me, etc. (Witham)
Matthew 26:65 Then the high priests rent his garments, saying: He hath blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy:

The same fury that made Caiphas rise from his seat, forced him also to rend his garments, saying: he hath blasphemed. It was customary with the Jews, whenever they heard any blasphemous doctrines uttered against the majesty of the Almighty, to rend their garments in abhorrence of what was uttered. (St. Jerome) --- This was forbidden the high priest; (Leviticus 21:10,) but the Pharisees allowed him to rend his clothes from the bottom, but not from the top to the breast.
Matthew 26:66 What think you? But they answering, said: He is guilty of death.

He is guilty of death; that is of blasphemy, and so deserves to be stoned to death. (Witham)
Matthew 26:67 *Then they spat in his face, and buffeted him, and others struck his face with the palms of their hands;

Isaias 50:6.; Mark 14:65.
Then they spat in his face, and buffetted him, etc. Here it was that this wicked council of the Sanhedrim broke up, in order to meet again the next morning. Our blessed Saviour in the mean time was abandoned; that is, had abandoned himself for our sake, to be abused, vilified, beaten and tormented by a crew of miscreants, by all the ways and means their enraged malice could devise or invent: which St. Luke passeth over in a few words, telling us, that, blaspheming, they said many other things against him. Let us, at least, compassionate our blessed Redeemer, and cry out with the angel in the Apocalypse: thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive power and divinity, honour and glory for ever. (Witham) --- Behold with what accuracy the evangelist mentions every, even the most ignominious circumstance, concealing nothing, ashamed of nothing, but esteeming it his glory that the Creator of heaven and earth should suffer so much for man's redemption. Let us continually meditate upon this; let us ever glory in this, and fix it irrevocably in our minds. (St. Chrysostom) See Mark 14:65; Luke 22:64.
Matthew 26:68 Saying: Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee?

Matthew 26:69 *But Peter sat without in the palace: and there came to him a servant-maid, saying: Thou also wast with Jesus, the Galilean.

Luke 12:5.; John 18:17.
\f + \fr 26:69\fk Peter's Denial.\ft Peter sat without in the palace: that is in the open court below, where the servants had lighted a fire. There came to him a certain servant-maid, the portress, says St. John, 18:17. But he denied, saying: I know not what thou sayest. In St. Luke, I know him not: in St. John, I am not. The sense is the same; and Peter might use all these expressions. (Witham)
Matthew 26:70 But he denied before them all, saying: I know not what thou sayest.

Matthew 26:71 And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: This man also was with Jesus, of Nazareth.

As he went out of the gate another maid. St. Mark says, he went out before the court. By the Greek, he seems to have gone out of the court into the porch. He went from the fire, but returned thither again: for by St. John, (xviii. 25,) this second denial was at the fire. St. Luke seems to say it was a man,{ Ver. 71. Aluis, eteros, says St. Luke. St. John says, eipon auto.|} that spoke to him: and St. John, that they were several that spoke to him: it is likely both a girl and a man. (Witham)
Matthew 26:72 And again he denied with an oath: That I know not the man.

Matthew 26:73 And after a little while they that stood by came, and said to Peter: Surely thou also art one of them: for even thy speech doth discover thee.

And after a little while. St. Luke says, about an hour after: this seems to have been about the time that the cocks crow the second time. --- They that stood by came. St. Luke says, another man. St. John says, the cousin to him whose ear Peter cut off. It is probable not he alone, but others with him. --- Peter began to curse and swear. It is in vain to pretend to excuse Peter, as if he meant that he knew not Jesus, as man; but knew him as God.{ Ver. 73. St. Jerome, in Matt. p. 133, scio quosdam pii affectus erga Apostolum Petrum, locum hunc ita interpretatos, ut dicerent Petrum non Deum negasse, sed hominem ... Hoc quam frivolum sit, prudens Lector intelligit; qui sic defendunt Apostolum, ut Deum mendacii reum faciant.|} They (says St. Jerome) who are for excusing Peter in this manner, accuse Christ of a lie, who foretold that he should deny him. (Witham) --- See how one fall draws on another, and generally a deeper: to a simple untruth is added perjury; and to this, horrible imprecations against himself. Lord, Jesus, preserve me! or, I also shall deny thee!
Matthew 26:74 Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which he had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly.

And Peter remembered the word of Jesus. St. Augustine understands this rather of an interior illumination of grace: but it is likely our Saviour then might be where he saw Peter, and gave him a glance of his eye. --- And going forth he wept bitterly: even daily all his life-time, say the ancient historians of his life. (Witham) --- St. Clement, pope, in his itinerary, relates how St. Peter was ever after accustomed to watch in prayer, from the first crow of the cock till morning, pouring forth torrents of tears, and bitterly bewailing his heinous crime. (Denis the Carthusian) --- Let us compassionate our blessed Lord under his sufferings, and in opposition to the cruel malice of his enemies, let his followers cry out with the angel in the Apocalypse: Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive power and divinity, honour and glory, for ever and ever.
Matthew 27:0 The continuation of the history of the passion of Christ. His death and burial.

Matthew 27:1 And when morning was come, all the chief priests and ancients of the people held a counsel against Jesus, to put him to death.

When the morning was come. The evangelist is silent with regard to what was transacted during the night, and of the multiplied cruelties and base indignities offered to our divine Redeemer during the whole of the night; for, after he has informed us of Peter's denial, he immediately proceeds to tell us what happened at break of day. (St. Augustine) --- The chief priests, with the ancients and scribes, after they had wreaked their vengeance upon Jesus by the vilest treatment of his sacred person, took counsel how they might induce the governor to put him to death. In this Sanhedrim, or full council of seventy-two, they again put the question to hold a council. --- Council. Caiphas, in the morning, called a full council of the Sanhedrim. They again put the question to Jesus, and commanded him to tell them if he were the Christ, and the Son of God? He owned he was. (Luke 22:70.) --- Upon this they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor: literally, the president. This they did, 1. because being a festival day, they apprehended a tumult among the people. 2. To make him die a more infamous death on the cross; otherwise they might perhaps have stoned him to death, as they afterwards did St. Stephen. 3. The power of death being taken from them, they durst not well exercise it, at least, without permission from the Roman governor. (Witham)
Matthew 27:2 *And they brought him bound, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor.

Mark 15:1.; Luke 23:1.; John 18:28.
about the year A.D. 33. In the council Jesus was free; but now all the council rising up, as appears from St. Luke, and binding him, (detantes auton) as one certainly guilty of death, they conduct him to Pilate. All attend to repress by their authority the people, to engage Pilate to pronounce sooner the sentence, when he saw that he was condemned by the unanimous voice of the Sanhedrim, and to hinder any one from rising in his defence. They were the more anxious, 1. because about three years before, the power of life and death had been taken from them; 2. because they wished to throw the odium of the crime on another person; and lastly, because as both Jew and Gentile were equally to benefit of Christ's death, so both Jew and Gentile were to concur in inflicting it; and as all were to have salvation offered them through his blood, so none were to be freed from the guilt of shedding it. (Haydock)
Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that he was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the ancients,

Then Judas, ... repenting himself. A fruitless repentance, accompanied with a new sin of despair, says St. Leo. (Witham) --- Perceiving that Jesus was delivered up, and remembering what our divine Saviour had said concerning his resurrection, he repented of his atrocious wickedness. Perhaps Satan, who assisted and urged him on to betray his Master, deserted him, not that he had prevailed upon the unhappy miscreant to perpetrate what he had so passionately desired. But how could Judas see that Jesus was condemned? He certainly did not see it, but foreboded in his despairing mind what would be the event. But some are of opinion that this passage is referred to Judas himself, who then became sensible of his crime, and saw his condemnation impending over his head. (Origen) --- For the devil does not blind his agents in such a manner, as to leave them insensible of the crime they are about to commit, till it is perpetrated. (St. Chrysostom) --- Although Judas conceived a horror at his crime, and confessed it, and made satisfaction to a certain degree by restoring the money, still many essential conditions were wanting to his repentance: 1. faith in Christ, as God, as a redeemer, as the sole justifier from sin; 2. besides this, there was also wanting hopes of pardon, as in Cain, and a love of a much injured and much offended God. Hence his grief was unavailing, like that of the damned. If Judas, says an ancient Father, had had recourse to sincere repentance, and not to the halter, there was mercy in store even for the traitor. (Haydock)
Matthew 27:4 Saying: I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. But they said: What is that to us? look thou to it.

Matthew 27:5 And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed: *and went and hanged himself with a halter.

Acts 1:18.
Hanged himself,{ Ver. 5. Laqueo se suspendit, apegxato. See Mr. Leigh, Crit. Sacra, apagchomai, strangulor, suffocor.|} and did not die of the quinsy, (a tumid inflammation in the throat) as some of late expound it. It is true the Greek word may sometimes signify a suffocation with grief; but it signifies also to be strangled with a rope, as Erasmus translated it. So it is in the ancient Syriac version; and the same Greek word is made use of in 2 Kings xvii, as to Achitophel's death. (Witham) --- To his first repentance succeeded fell despair, which the devil pursued to his eternal destruction. If the unhappy man had sought true repentance, and observed due moderation in it, (by avoiding both extremes, presumption and despair) he might have heard a forgiving Master speaking to him these consoling words: I will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may be converted and still live. (Origen)
Matthew 27:6 But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver, said: It is not lawful to put them into the Corbona, because it is the price of blood.

Corbona. A place in the temple, where the people put in their gifts or offerings. (Challoner)
Matthew 27:7 And having consulted together, they bought with them the potter's field, to be a burying place for strangers.

Burying-place. this the Pharisees did, as a shew of their charity to strangers; but their intention, according to St. Jerome, was to disgrace Jesus; thus to keep alive in the minds of the people, that he was sold by one of his own disciples, and delivered up to a disgraceful death. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 27:8 *Wherefore that field was called Haceldama; that is, The field of blood, even to this day.

Acts 1:19.
Haceldama is a Syriac word: it is not in the Greek; and some conjecture, that it found its way hither from the first chapter of the Acts, ver. 19. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias, the prophet, saying: *And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they prized of the children of Israel.

Zacharias 11:12.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias. Jeremias is now in all Latin copies, and the general reading of the Greek; whereas the passage is found in Zacharias 11:12. Some judge it to have been in some writing of Jeremias, now lost; as St. Jerome says he found it in a writing of Jeremias, which was not canonical. Others conjecture, that Zacharias had also the name of Jeremias. Others, that St. Matthew neither put Jeremias nor Zacharias, but only of the prophet: and that the name of Jeremias had crept into the text. Jeremias is not in the Syrica[Syriac?]; and St. Augustine says it was not in divers copies. --- And they took the thirty pieces of silver; each of which was called an argenteus. The evangelist cites not the words, but the sense of the prophet, who was ordered to cast the pieces into the house of the Lord, and to cast them to the potter:{ Ver. 9. Zacharias 11:13. projice illud ad staturium, decorum pretium. ... Et projeci illos in domum Domini ad statuarium; where the Hebrew word signifies, ad figulum.|} which became true by the fact of Judas, who cast them into the temple: and with them was purchased the potter's field. The price of him that was prized. In the prophet we read, the handsome price, spoken ironically, as the Lord did appoint me; that is as he had decreed. (Witham)
Matthew 27:10 And they gave them unto the potter's field, as the Lord appointed to me.

Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor, *and the governor asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus saith to him: Thou sayest it.

Mark 15:2.; Luke 23:3.; John 18:33.
Jesus stood before the governor. By comparing the four evangelists together Pilate condescended to come out to the priests, and asked them, what accusations they brought against this man? They replied first in general terms: (John 18:30.) If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee. Take him you, said Pilate, and judge him according to your law. They answered: It is not permitted us to put any one to death. After this they accused him of raising tumults, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar; (Luke 23:2; a manifest falsehood; see Matthew xxii,) and that he said, he is Christ, the king. Upon this Pilate called him into the palace before him, and said: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus owned he was: but first asked Pilate, if he said this of himself, or by the suggestion of others; which was to insinuate, that this information of his being a king came from his malicious adversaries; and that Pilate, having been so long governor, could not but know that he had never set himself up for king, nor pretended to any kingly power. However, Pilate replied somewhat peevishly: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done? Jesus then told Pilate, that his kingdom was not of this world. This abundantly satisfied Pilate: who needed not trouble his head about any spiritual kingdom, or such as was not of this world. Jesus speaking of truth, Pilate asked him after a slight manner, what is truth? but perhaps, without waiting for any answer, went presently out, and told the Jews, that he found no cause nor crime in Jesus. (Witham) --- The Judge of every living creature was arraigned by permission of his heavenly Father, before the petty judge of Judea, and suffers himself to be interrogated by him, though every question proposed was either put out of ridicule, or some equally base motive. (Origen) --- Our divine Saviour confessed himself to be a king; but that he might give no umbrage either to Jew or Gentile, he at the same time declared, that his kingdom was not of this world. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 27:12 And when he was accused by the chief priests and ancients, he answered nothing.

Matthew 27:13 Then Pilate saith to him: Dost not thou hear how great testimonies they allege against thee?

Matthew 27:14 And he answered him not to any word; so that the governor wondered exceedingly.

The governor wondered exceedingly at Jesus's patience and silence: and he saw very well that it was envy that excited the Jewish priests against him. (Matthew 27:18.) But they went on charging him, that he stirred up the people, even from Galilee to Jerusalem. Pilate hearing that he was of Galilee, laid hold on this occasion, and sent him to Herod Antipas, who was tetrarch of Galilee; and being a Jew was come up to Jerusalem at this great feast. Herod was glad to see Jesus brought to him, hoping to see him do some miracle in his presence: but finding him silent, and that he did not satisfy his curiosity, he contemned him, and ordered him to be clothed in such a garment as might make him laughed at for a fool, or a mock king; and in this dress, sent him back through the streets to Pilate. (Witham) --- The president admires the constancy and courage of his soul; and though, perhaps, he saw it was necessary to declare him guilty of the accusation; yet, beholding the heavenly wisdom and gravity that appeared in his countenance and the heavenly composure in which he stood, he could not conceal his admiration at his conduct. So that it seemed to him most miraculous, that a man brought to the bar, and tried for a capital crime, should stand without fear at the approach of death, which men commonly so much dread. (Origen)
Matthew 27:15 Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would.

Upon the solemn day of the paschal feast, (which began the evening before) it was a custom for the governor to pardon and release to the people any one criminal whose life they should petition for: and to induce them to beg for Jesus, he put in the balance with him one Barabbas a famous malefactor, a seditious murderer, says St. Mark; a robber, or thief, says St. John. (Witham) --- Pilate, wishing to release the innocent Jesus, that he might not give the Jews a possibility, as he thought, of refusing his offer, puts the murderer Barabbas in competition with the innocent Lamb of God. (St. John Chrysostom)
Matthew 27:16 And he had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas.

Matthew 27:17 They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?

Matthew 27:18 For he knew that through envy they had delivered him up.

Matthew 27:19 And as he was sitting on the judgment-seat, his wife sent to him, saying: Have thou nothing to do with that just man. For I have suffered many things this day in a dream on account of him.

In a dream. We must remark, that these kind of dreams were not unusual among the Gentiles, being sent by God for some just and necessary reason; as on this occasion, that there might be a public testimony from the Gentiles, of the justice and innocence of Christ. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 27:20 *But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they should ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away.

Mark 15:11.; Luke 23:18.; John 18:40.; Acts 3:14.
That they should ask Barabbas. All, therefore, that resemble the Jews in either theory or practice, desire to have Barabbas loosed to them; all, therefore, that seek after iniquity, ask for Barabbas, and put Jesus away. But all who walk in the paths of virtue, ask for Jesus, and destroy Barabbas. Pilate wishing on this occasion to shew the Jews the enormity of their crime, again puts the question, which will you have of the two? And again, What shall I do with Jesus, who is called Christ? But, they being enraged that Pilate should declare Jesus to be the Christ, all in the frantic fury exclaimed, Let him be crucified. (Origen)
Matthew 27:21 And the governor answering, said to them: Which will you of the two to be released unto you? But they said, Barabbas.

Which ... of the two, said Pilate to them, will you have released? St. Mark tells us, that at the instigation of the priests, the people petitioned for Barabbas. It was no small disappointment to Pilate. What then, said he, shall I do with Jesus? They all answer, let him be crucified. In St. Luke, crucify him, crucify him. What evil hath he done? replied Pilate; and this he repeated thrice, according to St. Luke, 23:22. --- Here in order followed the cruel scourging of our blessed Saviour, which Pilate consented to, in hopes to move the people to compassion. This was executed with the utmost cruelty. For they assembled the whole band of soldiers, commonly about 600. And they made him one wound from head to foot. Then a scarlet or purple coat was thrown over his shoulders: and platting or wreathing a crown of thorns, that is twisting sharp thorns, with some resemblance of a crown, they violently pressed it down on his head; and struck him at their pleasure with a reed, or cane, which they had placed in his hand, instead of a sceptre; and kneeling in derision, said, Hail, king of the Jews. --- When the soldiers had treated Jesus in this barbarous manner, Pilate himself presented him in this condition to the people saying, Behold the man. He imagined their fury would now be changed into pity: but they still cried out, Crucify him! crucify him! Take him you, said Pilate, and crucify him; for I find no crime in him. The Jews then answered: We have a law: and according to our law, he must die; because he hath made himself the Son of God. At this Pilate was more afraid, lest perhaps he should be of the progeny of the gods, as the Romans fancied their heroes to be. He returned back to the palace and asked Jesus again: whence art thou? Jesus gave him no direct answer, yet told him, he could have not power over him, unless it had been granted him from above. Pilate was still very desirous to set him at liberty, especially when his wife sent a message to him to have nothing to do with that just man, for that she had suffered much in a dream on his account. (Matthew 27:19.) --- The Jews perceived Pilate's great inclination to set Jesus at liberty: they therefore tell him in plain terms, that if he doth dismiss this man, he is no friend to Caesar: for every one, say they, that pretends to be a king, contradicts Caesar. This moved Pilate more than any thing whatsoever, and prevailed with him both against justice and his own conscience, to condemn Jesus. He feared lest some private information might be presented against him to Tiberius Caesar. He presently mounted the judgment-seat in a public place, and said to the Jews: behold your king. They cry out, away with him, crucify him. Shall I crucify your king? said Pilate. They reply: we have no king but Caesar; thus renouncing their Messias. At this Pilate yielded; and (ver. 24,) washed his hands, and said: I am innocent of the blood of this just man: look you to it. (Witham)
Matthew 27:22 Pilate saith to them: What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? They all say: Let him be crucified.

Matthew 27:23 The governor said to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying: Let him be crucified.

Matthew 27:24 And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made; having taken water, washed his hands before the people, saying: I am innocent of the blood of this just man: look you to it.

Taken water. It was the custom of the ancients, when they wished to shew themselves innocent of any alleged crime, to take water and wash their hands in public. (St. Remigius) --- Because the element of water naturally signifies purity. See Virgil, Aeneid xi. ver. 718. Me bello è tanto digressum, et caede recenti Attractare nefas, donec me flumine vivo Abluero.
Matthew 27:25 And all the people answering, said: His blood be upon us, and upon our children.

All the people answered: his blood be upon us, and upon our children which continues, saith St. Jerome, to this day. Then Pilate delivered to them Jesus to be crucified. (Witham) --- This blasphemous prayer continues to this day, and will continue a protracted curse upon the Jews, and upon their posterity. (Origen) --- Behold the insanity of the Jews! Their passion and pertinacious obstinacy will not suffer them to see and understand: they draw down curses upon themselves in these terrible imprecations: his blood be upon us and upon our children. Still the God of all mercies did not literally comply with their impious prayer. For, of these children he selected some for himself; amongst the rest even Paul, and many thousands who were converted at Jerusalem. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 27:26 Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to them to be crucified.

And having scourged Jesus. We must know that Pilate was a subject of the Roman empire; and by the Roman law it was ordained, that whoever was condemned to the cross, should previously suffer the punishment of scourging. (St. Jerome) --- He wished also by this apparent severity to soften the minds of the Jews, content their inveterate animosity, and this with hopes that they would in the end consent to the liberation of Jesus. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, *gathered together unto him the whole band:

Mark 15:16.; Psalm 21:17.
A Roman cohort properly consisted of 625 men; but they were not always complete, nor all equally strong. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 27:28 And stripping him, they put a scarlet cloak about him.

A scarlet cloak. St. Mark and St. John call it purple. But these colours are frequently taken promiscuously by writers. Scarlet is a lighter, and crimson a deeper red colour. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 27:29 *And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews.

John 19:2.
The crowning of thorns had preceded the time, when Jesus was made over by Pilate to the Jews. As the Jews have no preterpluperfect tense, we may conjecture that those words, circumdederunt, posuerunt, are Hebraisms; for circumdederant, posuerant, they had covered him with a cloak; they had placed a crown of thorns on his head, and a reed or cane in his hand. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 27:30 And spitting upon him, they took the reed, and struck his head.

Matthew 27:31 And after they had mocked him, they took off the cloak from him, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify him.

\f + \fr 27:31\fk Jesus carrieth his cross to Mount Calvary, where he is nailed to it. A great darkness.\ft And led him away to crucify him. It was the custom for men condemned to die by crucifixion to carry their cross, which Jesus did through the city; but going out, or being gone out of the city, and, as it is probable, fainting under the weight of it, (his strength as man being exhausted) they forced a man of Cyrene, named Simon, perhaps a Gentile, or Cyrene, in Lybia, to carry the cross after him. St. Luke says, they laid the cross upon him to carry after Jesus; whether it were that they made Simon carry the whole cross, or whether he only bore it up behind, is not expressed. St. Luke tells us, a great crowd followed, and a number of women, who wept and lamented; to whom Christ said: weep not over me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children, on account of the punishments and miseries that will shortly happen. (Witham)
Matthew 27:32 *And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon: him they forced to take up his cross.

Mark 15:21.; Luke 22:26.
Cyrene was the capital of a province in Africa, near Lybia. See Acts 2:10. Some are of opinion that this Simon was a Jew; his name favours that sentiment, and there were many Jews in that province. (Bible de Vence) --- St. John says that Christ went out carrying his own cross, while the other three evangelists state that they forced Simon of Cyrene to carry it for him. Both are true: for seeing Christ unequal to the weight, they compelled the other to take it up for him; not a part only, as some painters represent, but the whole, to Mount Calvary, as Jesus Christ had carried the whole before. (St. Augustine) --- The evangelists would not have been so particular in this part, had they not wished to inculcate, that all who desire to follow Christ, must also take up their cross and follow him. (St. Jerome and Jansenius) --- The latter says, in his Commentaries on the Gospels; as no one liked to carry the ignominious cross, the insolence of the soldiery compelled a stranger to carry it. By this we learn, that the cross is not taken up by many except with compulsion; but, when once taken up, they carry it with willingness. (Jansenius)
Matthew 27:33 *And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is the place of Calvary.

Mark 15:22.; Luke 23:33.; John 19:17.
Golgotha, that is the place of Calvary,{ Ver. 33. Calvariae locus. kraniou topos.|} of heads and skulls: perhaps, says St. Jerome, from the skulls of persons executed, and buried there. Several ancient writers would have it so called, from Adam's skull, whom they guess to have been buried there. Some also say that a part of this mountain was called Moria, the place where Abraham was ready to have sacrificed his son Isaac. (Witham) --- Isaac, carrying the wood on his shoulders for the sacrifice, was a figure of Jesus Christ carrying his cross. The mountain was situated to the north-west of Jerusalem.
Matthew 27:34 And they gave him wine to drink, mingled with gall. And when he had tasted, he would not drink.

Wine ... mingled with gall.{ Ver. 34. Vinum cum felle mixtum. The ordinary Greek copies have, oxos meta choles; but several copies have, oinon: and all of them in St. Mark, esmurnismenon oinon. Lamy says oxos is also used for made wines.|} The Protestants from the ordinary Greek copies, translate vinegar; but other Greek copies have wine, which St. Jerome and St. Hilary follow. And in St. Mark all copies, without exception, have wine mixed with myrrh: perhaps myrrh, from its bitterness, is here called gall. It is also observed that wine, with a mixture of myrrh, was often given to those that were to die a violent death, to comfort them, or stupefy them. Our Saviour tasted it, but would not drink it. He refused not to taste the bitterness, but would not take what might lessen his torments. (Witham) --- St. Mark says, mingled with myrrh; perhaps it was mixed with both, to render it as bitter as possible. (St. Augustine) --- What St. Mark relates, he took it not, is thus explained: he took it not, so as to drink it; which St. Matthew confirms, by saying: and when he had tasted, he would not drink; (St. Augustine,) so as to receive the support and comfort which a strengthening draft might afford.
Matthew 27:35 *And after they had crucified him, they divided his garments, casting lots; that the word might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: **They divided my garments among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.

Mark 15:24.; Luke 23:34.; John 19:23. --- ** Psalm 21:19.
They divided his garments. This was accounted with the ancients the greatest infamy. It was never done with any but the most vile and worthless wretches; with men who possessed nothing more then their garments. This they did to our blessed Saviour; a punishment they did not think the two thieves deserving of. (St. Chrysostom)
Matthew 27:36 And sitting down they watched him.

Matthew 27:37 And they put over his head his cause written: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.

This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. St. Mark has only, this is the King of the Jews; as also St. Luke. St. John, Jesus, of Nazareth, King of the Jews, which might be the whole inscription. It was the custom of the Romans to put such inscriptions with the cause of their being crucified. St. Luke and St. John tell us, it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The Jews begged of Pilate that it might be changed, or only put; He said, I am the King of the Jews: but Pilate made them this short answer: what I have written, I have written. (Witham) --- This title was nailed over the head of our expiring Redeemer, by divine Providence; that the Jews might still be convinced, that with all their opposition, they must acknowledge him for their King, whom they had condemned to so cruel a death; and that so far from lessening his empire and regal power, they rather increased it. (St. Remigius)
Matthew 27:38 Then were crucified with him two thieves: one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

Two robbers, or thieves, and Jesus in the midst; as if he had been the greatest malefactor of the three. (Witham)
Matthew 27:39 And they that passed by, blasphemed him, wagging their heads,

They ... blasphemed, reviled, and insulted him with words and gestures. (Witham)
Matthew 27:40 And saying: *Vah, thou who destroyest the temple of God, and in three days dost rebuild it, save thy own self: if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

John 2:19.
If thou be the Son of God. Behold these children of Satan, how they imitate the language of their father. That wicked fiend, tempting our divine Saviour, exclaimed, "if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down:" and these his children say, "if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross:" but, on the other hand, Jesus will not descend from the hard wood of the cross, because he is the Son of God; for, being God, he descended on earth, took upon himself human nature, to die thus for those who crucified him. (St. John Chrysostom)
Matthew 27:41 In like manner also the chief priests with the Scribes and ancients mocking: said:

Matthew 27:42 He saved others; himself he cannot save: *if he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

Wisdom 2:18.
If he be the king of Israel. Pilate having written on the inscription set upon the cross, that Christ was the king of Israel, the Jews endeavoured to persuade him to remove or alter it; but Pilate gave them for answer, according to St. John, "what I have written, I have written." The Jews, therefore, wishing to shew that he was not their king, said with insulting scorn, "if he be the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross," (St. Chrysostom) "and we will believe him." Falsehood and deceit are stamped upon these words of the Jewish priests; for, whether is it more difficult to descend from his cross, being yet alive, or, being dead, to raise himself from the tomb? He rose again, and you did not believe had he descended from the cross, you would have been equally incredulous. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 27:43 *He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he will have him: for he said: I am the Son of God.

Psalm 21:9.
If he will have him: literally, if he will him. In the style of the Scriptures, to will, is to love, or be pleased with any one; and so it is applied, Psalm 21:9, from whence these words are taken. See also 1 Kings 18:22. (Witham)
Matthew 27:44 And the same thing the thieves also, that were crucified with him, reproached him with.

And the same thing the thieves also: that is one of them, the other being converted, as we find Luke 23:39. (Witham) --- St. Ambrose, St. Chrysostom, St. Jerome, and Ven. Bede say, that at first both of the thieves blasphemed; but one of them seeing the wonderful things that happened, viz. that the sun was darkened, the rocks split asunder, etc. was terrified and converted, he believed in Jesus, and atoned for his former evil language, by praying to him as to his God. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the earth, until the ninth hour.

From the sixth hour. St. Mark says, it was the third hour, and they crucified him. St. John says, it was about the sixth hour, when Jesus was condemned. To reconcile these expressions, we may take notice, that the third greater hour lasted till the sixth hour; and so St. Mark calls it the third hour, because the third great hour (which contained three lesser hours) did not end till mid-day, when the sixth hour was beginning; so that the end of the third, and the beginning of the sixth, happened together. --- Darkness,{ Ver. 45. Tenebrae, a darkness. What is brought out of Phlegon, on the 4th year of 202d Olympiad, is no convincing proof that this was by an eclipse, but may be understood of a great and extraordinary darkness.|} at mid-day, and at full moon. Some call it an eclipse of the sun. It was rather by an interposition of clouds, or by the substraction of the rays of the sun. --- Over all the earth, until the ninth hour. It could be no miracle to be night in the opposite hemisphere; but whether it was in all those parts of the world where, of course, it should have been light, is doubted. Origen thinks this darkness was only in Palestine, and the neighbouring countries: for as to the words, over the whole earth, or over the whole land, we find one kingdom or empire, by a common way of speaking, called the whole earth, or the whole world. Here, in the history of Christ's passion, we should take notice of his seven last words, or sentences on the cross. 1. He prayed for his enemies, and those that put him to death, (Luke 23:34.) Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. 2. His mercy called the good thief, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise, Luke 23:43. 3. He recommended his beloved disciple to his mother, saying: woman, behold thy son; and his mother to the same disciple, with, Behold thy mother. (John 19:26-27.) 4. Here (ver. 46) he cried out with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani, that is my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? These words, out of Psalm 21:1[2?], were to express his violent sufferings. The Arians objected them against the divinity of Christ; to whom the Fathers answer, that he spoke these words in the person of sinners, for whose sake he suffered, as they shew by the following words of the same Psalm: far from my salvation are the words of my sins: which cannot be applied to Christ, he being incapable of sinning. Besides, these words may be expounded as a prayer, by which he desires of his Father, not to be abandoned any longer, but that his sufferings may now have an end. In fine, that these words were uttered with an entire confidence, and an assurance in the presence and assistance of God, appears by what he presently added, recommending his spirit into the hands of his Father. The fifth sentence was, I thirst, to let us know the violent thirst of his exhausted body. St. John (xix. 28,) says it was that the Scripture might be fulfilled. (Psalm 68:22.) And in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. The sixth sentence was, It is consummated; (John 19:30) that is the work of man's redemption, and all the prophecies, and decrees of heaven, concerning me, the Saviour of the world, are now accomplished. The seventh and last sentence was, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit; and with these words, says St. Luke, (xxiii. 46.) pronounced with a loud voice, he expired. (Witham) --- The learned are divided on this passage: 1st, As to the cause of the obscuration of the sun; and, 2ndly, as to the extent of its darkness. Origen is inclined to think that the darkness was partial, and confined to Judea and the neighbouring countries, as the darkness of Egypt was only perceived in that country, and not in Gessen, where the children of Israel were. St. Jerome imagines that the obscurity was caused by the rays of the sun being suddenly withdrawn by divine power, as was the case in Egypt. These they give as conjectures only. But St. Dionysius, the Areopagite, speaks from his own observations, being, as he informs us in a letter to St. Polycarp, then at Heliopolis, a city of Egypt, for the purpose of astronomical observations. He noticed this miraculous eclipse. He saw the moon rise from the east, and placing itself directly under the sun, cause the above mentioned darkness. This made him cry out to his companion, in the greatest admiration. He observes in this eclipse, four things contrary to the ordinary course of nature: 1. The time, full moon, when there cannot be an eclipse of the sun; 2. the moon being under the sun at the sixth hour, returned to its place in the east for the evening; 3. the order in which the sun was obscured. In ordinary eclipses, the western limb of the sun is first obscured, on account of the motion of the moon in its orbit, being from west to east; whereas, in the present case, the moon having already passed the sun, and being removed from the sun the distance of a semicircle, returned from the east to the sun, and of course first eclipsed it on the eastern limb: 4. contrary to the manner of common eclipses, in which that part is first visible which was first obscured, that part of the sun first appeared which was last eclipsed, because the moon returned again to the east after the eclipse was full. To this may be added the observation of St. Chrysostom and St. Jerome: that the duration of natural eclipses is very short, whilst this lasted the space of three whole hours. But this interposition of the moon, which suffers the greatest parallax, could not cause an universal eclipse; if, therefore, the text is to be understood literally of the whole earth, another cause must be supposed for this universal darkness. But it may be understood in a more limited sense, of the land of Judea. (Denis the Carthusian)
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: *Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Psalm 21:1.
Matthew 27:47 And some that stood there and heard, said: This man calleth Elias.

\f + \fr 27:47\fk The miracles at Christ's death. His burial.\ft This man calleth for Elias. St. Jerome thinks these might be some of the Roman soldiers, who understood not Syriac, but who had heard of the prophet Elias. (Witham) --- But if we understand it of the Jews, who could not possibly be ignorant of this word, we must suppose it was merely a stratagem of theirs, who wishing still to shew the weakness of our Redeemer, said that he called Elias to his aid. (St. Jerome) --- The soldiers thinking that he called for Elias, wished to hinder any one from offering vinegar, lest it should hasten his death, and prevent Elias from coming to assist him; which, from the darkness and other signs, they might think probable. (St. Augustine) --- Wine and vinegar, on account of their penetrating quality, were thought to hasten death. We read in Plutarch, that wine was given to Mark Anthony, when he had stabbed himself, that he might die the sooner. (Jansenius)
Matthew 27:48 And immediately one of them running, took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar; and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

Matthew 27:49 And the others said: Stay, let us see whether Elias will come to deliver him.

Matthew 27:50 And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

With a loud voice. In this our Redeemer confirms what he had said to Pilate; I have the power to lay down my life, and I have the power to take it up again: for he cried with a loud voice, and at the very hour of the evening sacrifice, to shew that it was by the effect of his own will that he died. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxxix.)
Matthew 27:51 *And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent.

2 Paralipomenon 3:14.
The veil of the temple was rent. As there were in the temple two parts of the sanctuary, so there were two veils, or partition walls. The first sanctuary, called the holy, was separated by a veil from that part of the temple called the court of the Israelites. Into this outward sanctuary, called the holy, entered every day the priests that were in office. The second interior sanctuary, called the holy of holies, was also separated from the outward sanctuary by another veil. And into this holy of holies, no one was to enter except the high priest, and he but once a-year. Both these veils seem to have been rent at Christ's death: and by their being broken down, was signified first, that the ceremonies of the ancient law were to be abolished by the law of Christ; and also that heaven should be open to all. --- The earth quaked. How far this earthquake was extended, is uncertain. --- The rocks were rent, and the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints ... arose. St. Jerome takes notice, that these saints did not rise with their bodies till after Christ was risen; and so it follows, that going out of the graves, after the resurrection, they came into the holy city, (that is, into Jerusalem) and appeared to many. (Witham) --- This event was a prophecy of the fatal destruction that was shortly to fall upon the temple; and also, that it should henceforth give place to things more noble and sublime. It likewise shews that greatness of Christ's power. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxix.)
Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept, arose:

Matthew 27:53 And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city and appeared to many.

Matthew 27:54 Now the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were greatly afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God.

Indeed this was the Son of God. St. Mark says, that when they saw Jesus die in that manner, crying out with a loud voice, which could not be natural, and when they saw the other miracles, they were struck with fear. St. Luke says, (xxiii. 47.) that the centurion glorified God, etc. (Witham) --- It is said that this centurion, being afterwards confirmed in the faith, was honoured with the crown of martyrdom. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxix.)
Matthew 27:55 And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

Ministering unto him. It was customary with the Jews, for the women of that country to minister unto their teachers both food and raiment; but because this was liable to abuse, and to cause scandal to the Gentiles, St. Paul dispensed with their assistance. These women ministered to our Lord, hoping that he would bestow heavenly food to them, who offered earthly food to him: not that the Creator of all things stood in need of assistance: but he wished to shew his disciples an example of poverty in himself, and charity in these women. But let us see what sort of women these were that followed our Lord, among whom were Mary Magdalene, sister of Martha and Lazarus; Mary, the mother of James the less and Joseph, sister of the blessed Virgin Mary, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee, otherwise called Salome, who were disciples of Jesus. (St. Jerome, and Menochius)
Matthew 27:56 Among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Matthew 27:57 *And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus.

Mark 15:42.; Luke 23:50.; John 19:38.
When it was evening, etc. St. John tells us, (Chap. 19:31.) that the day on which Jesus died, being the day of preparation, (literally, the parasceve) that is the Friday or eve of the great sabbath, to wit, of the sabbath-day, which happened in the week of the paschal solemnity, the Jews desired of Pilate that the bodies might not remain on the crosses on the sabbath-day, but that they might be taken away. Some soldiers were sent for this purpose, and broke the legs of the two others that were not quite dead; but perceiving that Jesus was dead, they broke not his legs, but one of them pierced and opened his side with a lance or spear; and with such a wound, as would have deprived him of life, had he not been already dead. The divine Providence permitted this, to make his death more certain and undoubted. --- Joseph, a disciple in private, now encouraged by the miracles which had happened, went boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. St. Mark says, Pilate wondered, when he heard he was dead; and having been informed of the truth by the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. Nicodemus also, who is called a prince of the Jews, (John 3:1.) came to bury our Saviour, bringing with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, to embalm the body, as they did. (Witham) --- The evangelist does not call Joseph a rich man out of vanity, or to inform us that Jesus had persons of distinction among his followers, but to shew why Joseph in preference to any other went to beg the body; for being a nobleman, he could obtain easier access to the governor of Judea than any of the other disciples, who were chiefly poor illiterate fishermen. (St. Jerome) --- The town of Arimathea is placed on the maps about eighteen or twenty miles north-west of Jerusalem.
Matthew 27:58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered.

The Roman laws forbade sepulture to be given to criminals, without an express permission from the judges. (Bible de Vence, and Menochius)
Matthew 27:59 And Joseph taking the body wrapt it up in a clean linen cloth,

Wrapt it up. Behold with admiration the courage and constancy of this disciple of Christ, who, through love for his crucified Saviour, willingly exposed himself not only to the enmity of his countrymen, but even to the danger of death, and dared in the presence of all to beg the body of Jesus, and to give it public interment. (St. Chrysostom, hom. lxxxix.)
Matthew 27:60 And laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way.

And Joseph laid it in his own new monument, ... hewed or cut out in a rock, where no one had ever been laid: and rolled a great stone against the entrance, that no one might go in, or take away the body. But Mary Magdalene, and other women that had accompanied Jesus from Galilee, followed at a distance, to mark the place, having a design to come afterwards, and again embalm the body. (Witham) --- It was the custom of that country, to excavate a tomb from the hard rock, for all persons of great distinction. (Bible de Vence) --- From the unadorned tomb of a Man-God, we are taught to despise the grandeur of this perishable world, and fear the example of those who, even in their sepulchres, manifest to the world how grieved they were to leave their wealth, since they carried it with them to their tombs, ornamenting them with every costly decoration human ingenuity could devise. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 27:61 And there was there Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary sitting over-against the sepulchre.

Sitting over-against. Though St. Matthew makes mention of two women only, who were there, it is nevertheless certain from the other evangelists, that there were more, though these two are here particularized, because they perhaps shewed greater anxiety. They are said to be sitting, because they were afraid to join themselves with the two noblemen, Joseph, of Arimathea, and Nicodemus; and not able to leave their Lord, without knowing where he was placed, they sat down to see the end. (Jansenius)
Matthew 27:62 And the next day, which followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate,

The next day, which followed that of the parasceve, or preparation, (that is, on the great sabbath-day) the chief priests came to Pilate, to beg him to set a guard at the monument. (Witham) --- The day of the preparation. The eve of the sabbath; so called, because on that day they prepared all things necessary; not being allowed so much as to dress their meat on the sabbath-day. (Challoner)
Matthew 27:63 Saying: Sir, we have remembered, that that seducer said, while he was yet alive: After three days I will rise again.

Sir, we have remembered, that that seducer, this impostor, this cheat; so they called our blessed Redeemer; from whence, says St. Augustine, Christians may learn to be patient under the greatest injuries. --- Said: ... after three days I will rise again. This, therefore, must have been well known among the Jews. (Witham) --- The chief motive, which influenced the high priest on this occasion, was probably the apprehension lest this prediction of Christ's resurrection should be verified. The wonderful prodigies which took place at his death, and especially the opening of the graves, (though none arose it is believed till after Christ's resurrection, since Christ is called the first-born from the dead, and the first-fruits of them that sleep. (1 Colossians 1:18.; 1 Corinthians 15:20.) might naturally appear as preludes to what he had so often foretold. It is true they had no idea but of a temporal passing resurrection , like that of Lazarus, which they had seen: yet they judged that such an event might be attended with the most serious consequences. Hence, it is probable, that they gave them most express injunctions to put Jesus to death by all means, and to secure the body in the monument: for, it is certain, they formed a similar design against the life of Lazarus, whose resurrection occasioned many to believe in Jesus. (Haydock) --- They were not satisfied with taking his life; they must, moreover, deprived him of his good name. (Menochius) ---The chief priests could not yet be satisfied, after the horrid murder they had committed, unless they stirred up the minds of the people to a still greater height, by calumniating this innocent Lamb of God, and calling him an impostor, who was the most innocent of men, and spread abroad their poisonous doctrines in every sentence they uttered. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 27:64 Command, therefore, the sepulchre to be guarded until the third day: lest his disciples come, and steal him away, and say to the people: He is risen from the dead; and the last error shall be worse than the first.

Matthew 27:65 Pilate saith to them: You have a guard: go, guard it as you know.

You have a guard; supposed to be a company of Roman soldiers, destined for the guard of the temple: (Bible de Vence) or, may take a guard; go, and make it secure; which they did, sealing the stone, and placing guards at the monument. Providence ordered this, to make Christ's resurrection more certain and evident. (Witham)
Matthew 27:66 And they departing, made the sepulchre sure, with guards, sealing the stone.

They departing. See how beyond the possibility of contradiction these precautions prove the reality of Christ's resurrection, and how the inveterate enemies of Christ become unwilling witnesses of it; for, since the sepulchre was guarded, there was an impossibility of any deceit on the part of the disciples. Now, if the least deceit was utterly impracticable, then indeed Christ our Lord was infallibly risen; and to remove every, the least possibility of deceit, Pilate would not permit the soldiers alone to seal up the monument. (St. Thomas Aquinas) --- The high priests made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone at the entrance of the monument with the public seal, sphragisantes ton lithon, proof against all fraud, either of corrupt guards or of designing followers, as Darius did, (Daniel 6:17.) that no violence might be offered him. All this diligence, on the part of the enemies of the Christian faith, was permitted by divine Providence, that our faith in Christ's resurrection might be more certain, his glory greater, and the minds of the people better disposed to believe. (Jansenius)
Matthew 28:0 The resurrection of Christ. His commission to his disciples.

Matthew 28:1 And *in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Mark 16:1.; John 20:1.
about the year A.D. 33. { Ver. 1. Vespere autem Sabbati quae lucescit in prima Sabbati. opse de sabbaton, (one Greek copy, sabbatou) te epiphoskouse eis mian sabbaton, (in unam seu primam Sabbatorum.) What must the Latin, quoe, and the Greek, epiphoskouse, agreek with? We must understand in the Latin, dies; that is die quae lucescit: and in the Greek, we must understand, emera te epiphoskouse. --- We may also observe, that in the Greek we read not opsia, but opse, the adverb, sero; so that in the Latin to correspond with the Greek, it should also be vespere, late after the sabbath. In fine, that vespera is used in Scripture for the night: see what is said in Genesis, on all the days of creation; and the annotations on Matthew xiv. 15. ---Paulus Burgensis, in his Additions, published with his Glossa on Gen. 1 p, Attendendum quod Hebraei per vespere intelligunt Noctem, quae incipit a vespera, et terminatur in mane sequenti, etc.|} And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week. According to the letter, in the evening of the sabbath, which began to dawn on the first of the sabbath; (or of the sabbaths in the common Greek copies.) This latter translation, which is that of the Rheims Testament, is certainly more according to the letter, and more obscure than it need to be. First, by translating, on the first of the sabbath, where sabbath is taken for a week, as in other places, Luke 18:12.; Acts 20:7.; and 1 Corinthians 16:2. It may therefore here be literally translated, on the first day of the week. Secondly, By the evening, is here meant the night: for in the Scriptures, both the Latin and Greek word, which we find in this place, not only signifies that time which we commonly call the evening, but is also put for the whole night itself, and for the time from sunset to sunrise next morning. Thus it is taken in the first chapter of Genesis, where, in the computation of natural days of 24 hours, all the hours in which it was dark, are called vespere, in the Septuagint. And all the hours in which it was light, are called mane, proi. et factum est vespere et mane dies unus, that is primus. And from the fourth day, on which were created sun and moon, by vespere was understood all the time from the sun setting on such parts of the earth, to its rising to them again: and mane signified all the day, or the hours that the sun appeared to the like parts of the earth. Therefore, the literal and proper sense of the verse is: in the night, that is in the latter part of the night of the sabbath, or after the sabbath, towards the morning of the first day of the week. And that in this place is signified the latter part of the night, and not what is commonly called the evening, appears first by the following words, when it began to dawn, or to be light. Secondly, It appears by the other evangelists. St. Mark (xvi. 1.) says, when the sabbath was past ... very early in the morning. St. Luke says, (xxiv. 1,) very early in the morning. St. John (xx. 1.) says of Mary Magdalene, that she came in the morning, when it was yet dark. From all which it is plain, that Mary Magdalene, and the other pious women, came to the sepulchre at the end of the night after the sabbath-day, or when it began to be light, and about sunrise on the first day of the week, on our Sunday. --- There may indeed be some doubt whether the Latin word vespere be not an adverb, corresponding to the Greek opse, serò. And then it may be translated with Dr. Wells: late in the night after the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week. But this makes no difference at all as to the sense. And the other Mary, etc. St. Mark says, Mary, the mother of James and Salome. St. Luke also names Joanna, who was wife to Chusa, Herod's steward. These women had rested the sabbath, and as soon as it was over, that is after sunset, they bought spices, and prepared them in the night, in order to embalm the body next morning. (Witham)
Matthew 28:2 And behold there was a great earthquake. For an Angel of the Lord descended from heaven: and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.

Behold ... an angel. The angel did not remove the stone to afford a passage to Christ when he arose; for Christ most certainly arose before the angel appeared; but he removed the stone to prepare the way for the women, and to shew the soldiers that Christ was arisen. He sat on the stone, that the women might know he had removed it; and, in the second place, that they might not be terrified at the appearance of the soldiers; for he exhorted them not to fear, but to come and see; and lastly, to prevent the soldiers from putting in another body, had they been so disposed. The holy women seem not to have known that there were guards placed near the sepulchre; otherwise they would not have been so solicitous who should roll away the stone for them, as how they should deceive the guards and break the seal. (Tirinus) --- For an angel of the Lord. This angel, who came to testify Christ's resurrection, removed the great stone; but Christ was risen before, who according to all the fathers, says Estius, rose, the sepulchre being yet shut.{ Ver. 2. Estius. Est omnium Patrum sententia Christum resurrexisse clauso sepulchro.|} --- St. Matthew and St. Mark name but one angel; St. Luke and St. John name two. It may be answered, that the women saw one at one time, and two at another: one upon the stone, out of the monument; (which also frightened the guards) afterwards this angel disappeared, and the women coming near, and looking into the vault, saw two angels, when he that was on the right side said, why seek you him that is living, among the dead? --- Another difference to be observed, is, that Sts. Matthew, Mark and John tell us, that the angel, or angels, sat; and St. Luke, that they stood: they might sit at one time, and stand at another. Besides that in the style of the Scriptures, standing, or sitting, many times imply no more than that they were present there. --- In the third place, we take notice that Mary Magdalene seems to have come running to St. Peter, and St. John, as soon as she saw the stone removed, with these words, They have taken away the Lord ... and we know not where they have laid him: John 20:2, we do not there read that she said any thing of the angels. Or perhaps St. Peter and St. John ran away before they heard all that Magdalene had to say. In all these there is no contradiction; and the difficulties rise only from this, that each evangelist does not relate all the circumstances. (Witham)
Matthew 28:3 And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow.

Matthew 28:4 And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men.

The guards were struck, etc. Fear and astonishment seized upon them, because they had not that charity for our Redeemer, of which he is so deserving; and they became petrified, like statues, at the thought that the crucified Jesus was arisen from the sepulchre. For these men guarded the sacred tomb, actuated more by passion and cruelty than by any sentiment of love and duty. (Rabanus)
Matthew 28:5 And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified:

It is not yours to fear, who love Jesus Christ: let those rather fear, who through hatred have crucified Jesus. All such, if they do not repent of their wickedness, must have to undergo the greatest extremities of pain. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xc.) --- Those miscreants fear, because they have not charity, but fear not you; for I know you seek him that was crucified, who is risen, as he promised you. These affectionate women sought Jesus among the dead, who was then among the living. The recent storm of calamities had nearly overwhelmed their faith, and the weight of temptations had so enfeebled their understanding, that they came to seek the Lord of heaven as one dead among the dead. (St. Jerome) --- The angel blushes not to style Jesus the crucified; for this is now the height and perfection of all good. By these glad tidings he endeavoured to expel their fears, speaking with a smiling countenance, as the messenger of the most joyful news. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xc.)
Matthew 28:6 He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.

He is risen, as he said. This is to put them in mind of what they ought to have remembered, and believed. --- St. Luke is more particular; and tells us the angel said: remember how he spoke to you, when he was yet in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again. (Witham) --- By this the angel give them to understand, that if they would not believe him upon his own testimony, they should at least on the testimony of their Redeemer's promises, who had frequently assured them that on the third day he should rise again. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xc.)
Matthew 28:7 And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen: and behold he will go before you into Galilee: there you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you.

Into Galilee. It is not without reason that the angel informs the women that he will go before them into Galilee; for Galilee is interpreted a transmigration, or a passage. O happy women, who merited the glorious ministry of announcing to a sunk and distressed world the triumphant resurrection of our Redeemer. But thrice happy those souls, who in the day of judgment shall deserve to sing in everlasting canticles, the joy you now conceive in your breasts at the happy resurrection of Jesus. (Ven. Bede) --- Moreover, the disciples being Galileans, it was natural for them to return to Galilee, after the festival week of the Passover. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 28:8 And they went out quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.

Matthew 28:9 And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and worshipped him.

Jesus met them. According to St. Mark, Christ appeared first to Mary Magdalene; and the particulars are related by St. John. She at first did not know him, but took him for the gardener: then he called her by her name Mary, and she knew him: he said to her, touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; that is according to the common exposition, I have not ascended, nor am yet going to ascend; thou mayest see me again before I ascend: this is not the last time. --- We also read here, (ver. 9,) that he appeared to some of the other women, as they were returning to Jerusalem from the sepulchre, and that they laid hold on his feet, and adored him; nor is it said that he hindered them. (Witham) --- They were then returning to carry the news to the disciples, when they laid hold of his feet. To touch the feet, was in the Scripture a species of veneration; (see Exodus 4:25; 4 Kings 4:27.) as among the Greeks, the touching of the knees. Thus Homer's Illiad, b. i., Kai ra paroith autoio Kathezeto, Kai labe gounon. (ver. 500.) And again, ver. 512, os epsato gounon.
Matthew 28:10 Then Jesus said to them: Be not afraid. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me.

There they shall see me. Our Saviour, on the day of his resurrection, shewed himself alive five different times: 1. to Mary Magdalene; 2. to the women leaving the sepulchre; 3. to St. Peter; 4. to the two disciples going to Emmaus; 5. to the disciples assembled together, when the two returned from Emmaus. And after the day of his resurrection, before he ascended into heaven, he appeared other five times: 1. after eight days, when Thomas was present; 2. when the seven disciples were fishing on the sea of Tiberias; (John 21.) 3. to the eleven on Mount Thabor; 4. in Jerusalem, on the day of his ascension; and 5. on the same day on Mount Olivet, when he was taken from them. (Denis the Carthusian) --- The seventh apparition of Jesus, which was by the sea or lake of Tiberias, St. John calls the third, which may mean in any numerous assembly of his disciples; the first being on the day of his resurrection, and the second the Sunday following. This may also be referred to the number of days. He first appeared to different persons on the very day of his resurrection; secondly, eight days afterwards, and then a third time. (St. Augustine) --- The history of our Lord's different apparitions in not very clear, and it is necessary to have recourse to the first chapter of the Acts, and to the 15th chapter of St. Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. St. Augustine says, (lib. 3:de cons. Evang. ch. XXV,) that there are ten apparitions of our Lord recorded in the four evangelists, which he specifies; but Maldonatus, on the 28th Matthew of St. Matthew enumerates 13 different apparitions.
Matthew 28:11 Now when they were departed, behold some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had been done.

Some of the guards came into the city. It is probable they had retired a while to some place to consult what to say, and how to avoid being punished. The chief priests, after consulting upon the matter, ordered them to say, that when they were asleep, the disciples came and stole away Jesus's body. This report was spread about every where. St. Augustine laughs at them for their blindness and folly, in bringing men in for witnesses of a fact, which they themselves own was done whilst they were asleep. (Witham) --- The poet, Sedulius, also is no less severe on these faithless guards: Mentita est vox vana sibi; tamen ista figuram Res habet egregiam, Judoeis constat ademptum, Quem nos devoto portamus pectore Christum.
Matthew 28:12 And they being assembled together with the ancients, having taken counsel, they gave a great sum of money to the soldiers;

Gave a great sum of money. These princes of the Jewish nation still persisting in their malice, refused to turn to their Creator by hearty repentance, and wished to persuade the world that Jesus was not risen, sacrificing that money to falsehood, which was given for the use of the temple. For as they offered Judas 30 pieces of silver to betray his Master, so now they offer a great sum of money to suppress a truth so useful and so necessary for man. (St. Jerome)
Matthew 28:13 Saying: Say you, that his disciples came by night, and stole him away when we were asleep.

It hence appears, that the chief priests themselves were fully convinced of the fact; for otherwise, they would not have bribed the soldiers to dissemble, but would have accused the soldiers before the president of a neglect of duty. (Tirinus) --- How was it possible for the timid and weak disciples, who dared not shew themselves in public, to come in defiance of an armed multitude to steal away the body! If these men dared not even to come forward in defence of their Master when alive, is it probable that these same men after his death would steal away his body? And could they, even allowing the possibility of conceiving the design, have removed the stone, which required a great number of hands to stir? Was not the mouth of the sepulchre also sealed? But why did they not steal away the body the first night, before the guards were stationed? For it was on Saturday the priests petitioned for a guard. Why did they not also take the clothes, which St. Peter saw lying in the sepulchre? Would not a delay in taking off the clothes, and the napkin that bound his head, have appeared dangerous? Would it not have exposed their lives, particularly as the body had been anointed, and some time would be requisite to remove the linen, which would adhere to the body? The means they take to make the miracle uncertain, render it utterly undeniable. For in protesting that the disciples stole it away, they confessed that the body was no longer in the sepulchre. The fear and doubts of the disciples, joined to the idle story of the soldiers, is an evident demonstration, that the account of the body being stolen away, is a gross calumny. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xc.) --- But let us again see how beautifully Sedulius paints the same in verse. ---------- Fare improbe Custos, Responde scelerata cohors, si Christus, ut audes Dicere, concluso furtim prductus ab antro Sopitos latuit, cujus jacet intus amictus? Cujus ad exuvias sedet angelus? Anne beati Corporis ablator velociùs esse putavit Solvere contectum, quam devectare ligatum? Cum mora sit furtis contraria. Cautiùs ergo Cum Domino potuere magis sua lintea tolli.
Matthew 28:14 And if the governor shall hear of this, we will persuade him, and secure you.

Matthew 28:15 So they, taking the money, did as they were taught. And this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.

Matthew 28:16 And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

The eleven disciples went into Galilee, yet not till above eight days after. As to the order of Christ's apparitions, in the gospels: He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, and to other devout women; then to St. Peter; next to two disciples going to Emmaus; after that to the apostles that were all together, except only St. Thomas. These apparitions were all on the very day he rose from the dead. We find also (John xx,) that eight days after he appeared to all the eleven apostles, Thomas being then present, to whom he said, put in thy finger hither, etc. This is generally thought to have happened at Jerusalem. When the apostles and disciples were gone into Galilee, he shewed himself to seven of them, as they were fishing on the lake of Tiberias. (John 21:4.) We read also in this Matthew (ver. 16,) that he appeared to them on a mountain in Galilee: what mountain is was we know not. It may be of this apparition that St. Paul says, (1 Corinthians 15:6,) Then was he seen by more than five hundred brethren at once. He also tells us he appeared to St. James. See ver. 7. But when or where this was, is not mentioned. In fine, Christ till his ascension frequently appeared to them, and conversed with them. He taught them to understand the holy Scriptures, and all that belonged to their ministry: he gave them power to forgive sins: He sent his apostles as his heavenly Father had sent him. He gave in particular to St. Peter the charge over his whole flock: He promised to send down upon them the Holy Ghost; and to remain with them himself to the end of the world, that is with his Church. (Witham) --- It is supposed that then and there took place what St. Paul mentions, that Jesus Christ shewed himself to more than 500 of the brethren together. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 28:17 And seeing him, they adored: but some doubted.

They adored: but some doubted. This, says Theophylactus, need not be understood of the apostles, but of others, who had not seen Christ after his resurrection. It may also be expounded of those disciples who had doubted at the first, and particularly of St. Thomas the apostle. (Witham) --- These doubted not of the resurrection or divinity of Christ, but whether the person that appeared to them was really their Master, Jesus Christ. (Bible de Vence)
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth.

All power is given to me. The Arians object that the power which Christ had, is said to be given him by another. The Catholics answer, that Christ, as man, received this power from God. 2ndly. It may also be said, that the eternal Son, though he be equal, and be the same God with the Father, yet he proceeds and receives all from the Father. (Witham) --- See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ's Church. He received from his Father, all power in heaven and in earth: and in virtue of this power he sends them (even as his Father sent him, St. John 20:21.) to teach and disciple, matheteuein, not one, but all nations, and instruct them in all truths: and that he may assist them effectually in the execution of this commission, he promises to be with them, (not for three or four hundred years only) but all days, even to the consummation of the world. How then could the Catholic Church go astray? having always with her pastors, as is here promised, Christ himself, who is the way, the truth, and the life. (St. John 14:6.) (Challoner) --- Some hence infer that Jesus Christ, according to his human nature, was sovereign Lord of the whole world; but more properly this may be taken of his spiritual power, such as regards the salvation of souls. For Jesus Christ says to Pilate, my kingdom is not of this world. This spiritual power, Jesus Christ communicated in part to his apostles and their successors in the ministry, as to his vicars: As my Father hath sent me, so I send you. Whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven: behold here the power both in heaven and earth. (Estius)
Matthew 28:19 *Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

Mark 16:15.
Teach all nations. In St. Mark we read, going into the whole world, preach to every creature, that is capable of it; not only to the Jews, but to all nations throughout the whole world, baptizing them, etc. The Anabaptists pretend to shew from this place, that none are to be baptized, unless they be first taught and instructed. This is true, as to persons who are already come to an age, in which they are capable of being instructed before their baptism. But according to the tradition and constant doctrine of the Catholic Church, received also by the pretended Reformed Churches, new born children are to be baptized before they are capable of instruction: nor can they enter into the kingdom of heaven without baptism. --- In the name of the Father, etc. We are made Christians in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: we profess to believe, and hope for our salvation, by believing, hoping, serving, and adoring the same three divine Persons, from whence the Fathers prove the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be one God, and equal in all perfections. (Witham) --- Had Christ only said, Lo! I am with you all days; it might, in that case, be limited to the natural lives of the apostles; but as He moreover adds, even to the consummation of the world, it must necessarily be extended to their successors in the ministry, till the end of time. (Estius) --- By these words Go, teach, he gives them the power of teaching not only what relates to faith, but also what is necessarily connected with piety and a holy conversation. For we see added a further explanation, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; which words, beyond all doubt, must be referred to the precepts of a holy life. How egregiously then must those men be deceived, who infer from the words teach all nations, that faith alone will suffice. What follows, baptizing them, shews another part of the pastoral functions, which consists in the administration of the sacraments. Hence also all heretics are refuted, who pretend to affirm that all ecclesiastical ministry consists in barely delivering the word. (Estius, in different location)
Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world, embraces two points necessary for the Church; viz. integrity of doctrine, and sanctity of life; for, if either of these should be wanting to the Church, it might then be justly said, that she had been left and abandoned by Christ, her Spouse. (Estius) --- Jesus Christ will make good his promise: 1. by always dwelling in the hearts of the faithful; 2. by his sacramental presence in the holy Eucharist; 3. by his providential care, and constant protection to his holy Catholic Church. These last six lines of St. Matthew's gospel, says the bright luminary of France, Bossuet, most clearly demonstrate the infallibility and indefectibility of the one, holy, Catholic Church, which all are commanded to hear and obey.